Adults with type 1 diabetes, rejoice! Whereas we were once "square pegs" in a world dominated by "juvenile diabetes" and type 2, there is more and more recognition that we exist, and more and more great events are welcoming us grown-up type 1s and LADAs.
Now, this includes the national diabetes-education conference series many of us know and love, Dr. Steven Edelman's organization out of San Diego, Taking Control of Your Diabetes (TCOYD). Starting this October, TCOYD is launching a new type 1 diabetes track at its 18th annual San Diego conference on Oct. 27, 2012.
"We wanted to make everyone feel included and focused on, so that they'd all be involved in the overall conference, but then throughout the day have the opportunity to break off into hands-on workshops and sessions geared to them," says TCOYD's outreach manager Jennifer Braidwood.
The organization's core audience has traditionally been type 2, but Braidwood says they've been wanting to offer more programming for type 1s for some time now. At a retreat earlier this year, the group's leaders discussed how to make that happen. The ideas for the new separate type 1 track came out of that meeting.
About 2,000 people are expected to attend the San Diego event where the new track will debut. All attendees will hear the opening speakers, including Dr. Steven Edelman himself and famous diabetes psychology expert Dr. Bill Polonsky. Then type 2s will head off in one direction, and type 1s in another.
The Type 1 Track starts with a session dubbed "iDiabetes: Pumps and CGM," featuring a four-person panel of medical professionals who (suprise!) all wear pumps and CGMs — Dr. Edelman, fellow endocrinologist Jeremy Pettus, CDE John Walsh, and CDE Laura Barba. A trio of afternoon workshops include discussions about insulin, hypos and hospital emergencies, and possible cures and discoveries for type 1. Attendees will also be able to attend one of nine "Type1 Chalk Talk" presentations, ranging from how to get involved in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) to diabetes legal issues to family planning.
After the October conference, there is just one more TCOYD event to follow in 2012 — in Austin, Texas on Dec. 1 — and Braidwood said the organization will evaluate the feedback from San Diego and determine how it might be weaved into the 2013 conferences.
It looks like TCOYD is following in the footsteps of other organizations that have added new resources for adults with type 1 diabetes in recent years, like the Children With Diabetes Friends for Life summer conference that's added excellent adult T1 sessions, and JDRF, which in recent years has been shifting its focus to include more adults with type 1 through "toolkits" (see promo photo).
While the new T1 Track doesn't kick off until the San Diego conference, we wanted to note TCOYD will also be hosting its fifth conference in Des Moines, Iowa, this coming weekend on Saturday, Sept. 22. About 1,000 are expected to be at that day-long conference, including a handful of DOC members!
One presentation being will be led by PWDs Scott Johnson and Mike Durbin. This DOC aspect is also new this year, Braidwood said, and TCOYD has been working diligently to embrace the online community and partner with online communities, like DiabeticConnect, TuDiabetes and DiabetesDaily, towards a common good.
"We want to help people get more connected to the DOC, and the groups we've partnered with are available at the click of a mouse," Braidwood said. "Those are places our conference attendees can feel connected to other people with diabetes, and they can join communities and discussion boards."
While we won't be present at the upcoming conferences, we're looking forward to seeing the reports from those who do attend. Let us know about your experiences and we'll happy to include posts in our monthly DOC Roundup.
TCOYD also has a Twitter account, where you can surely follow some conference activity, too!
And that's not all the exciting news from TCOYD: On top of all the conference changeups, Dr. Edelman and team are currently working on the newest edition of their TCOYD book, an awesome guide for all patients.
This will be the 4th edition, an update from the third edition published in August 2007. Our 'Mine founder and editor Amy Tenderich is proud to be is authoring a chapter in the new edition titled, "Diabetes in the Internet Age: How Getting Networked Can Change Your Life."
Keep your eyes peeled for that book coming out soon!