A visit to Philadelphia

I had the pleasure to speak at the Diabetic Parent Support Group at the Childrens' Hospital of Pennsylvania last weekend. If I didn't know it was only their third meeting, ever, I wouldn't have guessed. The event was well attended and while there were new faces in the room, it was obvious that many of the people had met each other before.

For me, it was a chance to speak about some of the basics of managing diabetes and exercise and to share a bit about Team Type 1. I'd say the group was fairly typical in that regard; most in the audience knew a little about us, but few knew about all of the teams and what some of our amazing athletes have accomplished. That in and of itself is valuable, I think, because it sends a message that diabetes isn't a limiting factor in your life.

At events like this, I'm always struck by the awesomeness of the people; how connected, engaged and interesting they are. But truth be told, it is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Who chooses to attend an event about becoming a better diabetic? The same type of person who cares about self improvement in a lot of things. Inevitably, those people are connected and engaged and interesting.

In the end, I hoped to do my part to let the young athletes know that role models exist to help them. I talked at length about newly minted PhD Andy Mead to a 17 year old aspiring biologist who wants to cure diabetes. And I spoke about collegiate track champion, Mandy Marquardt, to a newly diagnosed velodrome racer, concerned about what diabetes will mean to his favorite hobby. These are the stories that I am blessed to know and that I am equally blessed to be able to tell.


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