On November 16, we had the pleasure to attend the 5th annual Reach & Teach U. These events are always so great. We learn more about what is happening in research, listen to multiple guest speakers, meet more people that are on this journey with us and kick off the Walk to Cure Diabetes!
This year the keynote speaker was Kerri Sparling writer of Six Until Me. She is an amazing speaker, just as she is a blogger. She is so full of life and speaks with such candor. I was expecting humor, and it was delivered. She makes the daily trials that we all go through so humorous.
We then heard about the research that is going on right now.
- Artificial Pancreas (insulin pump that is able to not only deliver insulin but suspend the pump without human intervention – automatically) Read more here Watch for info here
- Smart Insulin (only works when needed, glucose responsive insulin) Watch about it here
- Encapsulation (implantable Beta cells, protected from the immune system) Watch it here
- Prevention (vaccines to prevent and “reverse” by training the immune system NOT to attack Beta Cells) Watch here
- Restoration of lost Beta cells Watch here
Next up, diabetes burnout and a child’s role in diabetes management.
Moira McCarthy Stanford’s book “Raising Teens With Diabetes: A Parent Survival Guide” from the blog Despite Diabetes was a suggested book. I’m in the process of reading this book right now. Biggest thing we took from this session was don’t give your child too much responsibility too early, it will only cause them to have a burnout. There is a difference between knowing how to do things (checking blood sugar, giving insulin) and remembering to do them. Remember everyone forgets at some point, don’t go ballistic on your child for forgetting.
The other session was with Kerri Sparling from the blog Six Until Me, was about diabetes burnout, we had a discussion about situations that cause burnout, ways to pull yourself out of a burnout and ways to prevent burnout. We talked about:
- not enabling, but instead EMPOWERING one another.
- Burnout is normal, so don’t beat yourself up.
- We need to expect the best while planning for the worst.
- When we feel we have failed as a parent of a child with diabetes or as a person with diabetes, we need to remember that we didn’t fail, the beta cells of the pancreas are the failure.
Our last session before lunch was on the use of media for diabetes education and care. They discussed navigating the web and getting relevant and correct information.
- Trusted sources of information include JDRF, ADA, PES (pediatric endocrine society), children with diabetes, and medical institutions.
- HON CODE icon for trusted and reputable sources
- blogs are anecdotal but they are great resources for information and in finding someone who’s been where you are now.
- Be wary of “Miracle Cures”, we’ve all seen them out there. But be cautious. Cinnamon, wishing on falling stars, or imagining that you no longer having diabetes won’t cure you of diabetes.
Then it’s our favorite part of the day, no not the lunch portion but that’s always really good as well! It’s the kick off for the upcoming walk! During this kickoff portion of the day we hear from the upcoming walk’s family ambassadors and what the walk means to them. We love participating in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes! This will be our 5th year walking. The walk is 13 weeks away. It’s coming up fast and this means we need to kick our fundraising into high gear! The goal for JDRF this year is $1,750,000. Our family teams goal is $6,000. We hope we can raise this much money for the 2014 Walk to Cure Diabetes!
We look forward to the walk and next years Reach & Teach Session!