A HUGE THANK YOU to the 50 people who entered our 2015 DiabetesMine Patient Voices Contest this year, and shared their wonderful ideas for diabetes life hacks. We learned a lot, while evaluating all of the input and essays!
Our esteemed guest judge this year, D-author and advocate Riva Greenberg, had this to say:
“It was a joy to look at the hacks so many passionate people sent us. I loved seeing the many innovative ideas, and also I loved reading the personal stories of so many PWDs who are already advocates in their own communities.
"I am delighted that the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit will bring our hackers and those from various diabetes industries together to share their ideas in this unique think tank. I can't wait to see what happens and feel the buzz in the room as we all work toward a single purpose -- improving life for people dealing with diabetes. Bring it on!"
NOTE that our winners were not chosen on the merits of their hacks alone, but on the combination of their ideas, passion, background, and expressed reasons for wanting to be part of the Innovation Summit.
With that, drumroll please... today we unviel our 2015 winners (in alphabetical order):
- Anthony Byers - a type 2 PWD (person with diabetes) since 2004 who lives in Oakland, CA. After many years of struggles, he turned his life around by launching his own business and re-focusing on his diabetes care. Life Hack: leaving his corporate executive job for a major life overhaul.
- Brian Cohen - a type 2 PWD living in Northern Virginia with a "devoted interest in using science and innovation to improve the lives of those with diabetes." Brian blogs at The Trials of Type 2 Diabetes and is active as an administrator at the TuDiabetes community site. Life Hack: avoiding insulin mistakes with a rubber band memory device.
- Julie Crawford - an Ohio-based mom whose 9-year-old son was ironically diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on Halloween day of this past year. With a degree in nursing (RN), 15 years' experience in the healthcare industry and an MBA degree in marketing, she immediately set out to become an innovator in diabetes tools herself. Life Hack: Julie is working with a team to develop a caregiver support app called Type1D - team for life.
- Jane Dickinson - a certified diabetes educator and longtime type 1 patient herself, who says she's feeling the effects of middle age and wants "to represent the needs of people experiencing menopause, memory loss, hearing loss, hair loss, tooth decay, mild cognitive impairment, loss of muscle strength, and all the crazy/scary things that come with aging." Life Hack: a basket placed on the bathroom countertop to help remind her whether she's taken her Lantus or not each day.
- Amy Green - a retired professional dancer, now raising 3 young children, who's been living with type 1 diabetes for 25 years. She applies the Jagger Principle to diabetes: “You can't always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes... well, you just might find, you get what you need!” Life Hacks: several "mysterious, semi-magical" tricks including "littering your home with glucometers" and using Breathe Right Strips to help hold your CGM sensor in place.
- Dmitri Katz - a type 1 PWD for close to 35 years who's currently studying for his PhD in Berlin, Germany. He's researching the role of mobile technology in diabetes management and how to improve the user experience (UX) of diabetes self-management apps. Life Hack: Getting involved with developing new digital tech for diabetes management, which he says "makes my control more fun."
- Kelly Kunik - a longtime type 1 (almost 38 years!) and well-known D-blogger and advocate, whose conviction is "that diabetes innovations in all forms and patient/doctor communication partnerships are key tools for people with diabetes to live, grow and flourish." Life Hacks: MacGyvering her One Touch Ultra strips canister lid to help remove her pump battery, and using long-stemmed 3- 4 ounce glasses for a "fancy" hypo treatment that won't overdo it.
- Corrine Logan - diagnosed at just 23 months, this young woman has experienced diabetes as a toddler, a child, a teen, and now transitioning into adulthood. Yep, she even performed “The No-Hurty Dance” with her kindergarten classmates when an injection did not hurt. Life Hack: creating the fashionable supplies that her own pre-teen self desperately needed, in the form of Pumpstash, a comfortable, discreet option to hold an insulin pump and Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM).
- Joanne Milo - a Southern California based D-blogger, author and passionate advocate who's a devotee of Nightscout/CGM in the Cloud; she did some recent product reviews for us here at the 'Mine. Life Hacks: setting up Nightscout, exchanging unused D-products within the support group, and making her own medical ID bracelets for herself and anyone who asks... they even come with matching earrings!
- Betsy Ray - a type 1 herself, parent of a type 1 child, professional nutritionist and “diabetes optimal wellness expert.” She’s also an Eli Lilly 50-year silver medalist, and a cyclist who's “always on the hunt for products and services that improve my experience as a diabetic athlete.” Life Hacks: we loved the way she mounted a Dexcom CGM receiver onto her bike for better data-viewing while riding, but of course we're impressed in how she's a founding winner of the Eli Lilly “Inspired by Diabetes” competition and founder of her own Diabetes Activist awareness and education group.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL! You'll be hearing from us soon with details on your Summit participation.
Regarding those Diabetes Life Hacks -- we'll be in touch with a number of submitters, as we plan to compile some favorite picks to feature in the 2015 DiabetesMine Patient Voices video we're compiling, and we'll feature some faves here soon too.
We can't wait to share with y'all!