Just back from the TypeOneNation Summit, our statewide JDRF retreat.  I was excited to give the welcome to everyone and then to do a session on travel. A few quick thoughts:

Best unofficial sessions happen at the hotel pool. We went Friday night and again Saturday afternoon after the Summit was over. This is where Benny made his newest friend (an 11-year-old just diagnosed last month) and where I was able to meet half a dozen parents. Somehow, diabetes conversations in the hot tub are just better. Hardest part is recognizing people the next day in real clothing.

I wasn’t able to attend Gary Scheiner’s session (he wrote the terrific Think Like A Pancreas), but I was able to speak to him for a few minutes at the vendor fair. We had a great conversation about meters. I use the OneTouch Ping meter-remote that goes with our Animas pump. He suggested I look into a OneTouch Verio IQ. I love our Ping system, but he pointed out it that the newer Verio IQ is more accurate, which would make our Dexcom CGM more accurate. That’s great, but I just got three months’ worth of One Touch Ping test strips, I love the remote and our meter values matched our latest A1C. So, not an emergency, but something I’ll definitely look into this year.

I partnered with Charlotte-area TSA trainers for my travel presentation. They gave the rules and regs and I spoke about the realities of travel. The TSA ladies were really interesting. We had to do some technical adjusting; we couldn’t share the same laptop for the presentation (because, Government). They didn’t give our group any information that isn’t readily-available on the TSA website, but somehow having real people talking to us about what’s allowed made the whole system seem more human. I got some great questions about how I pack, what I bring and where we go. I last wrote a bit about travel over on Animas’ site (click here for more).

The highlight of the event, for me, was talking to Kady Helme. She gave the keynote speech about her experience with the artificial pancreas project. Kady was diagnosed with T1D at age 6. She’s now in her early 20s and took part in an artificial pancreas clinical trial this past fall. In addition to the big talk, she also spent time with B’s age group. He’s eager to get into a clinical trial for this (we’re trying, but it’s a real long shot), so he was excited to meet her.

Kady Helme & her newest fan

Kady & her newest fan

One tip: careful about who follows you on the bill. I gave the welcome presentation right before the magician took the stage. It was so jam-packed in there that they had all the kids give up their seats and sit on the floor right up front. That’s great for the magic act, but while I was talking, I swear I could see the kids thinking, “Enough already, lady. Bring on the balloon animals!”


I’ll work on my card tricks for next time.

Thanks to the Greater Western Carolinas Chapter of JDRF for having me speak. Animas Corporation paid my speaking fee and my expenses.  No one looked at my notes or told me what to say there or write here.