Monday, April 24, 2017


Since being diagnosed with diabetes I have been to A LOT of conferences.   A LOT.  Since the conferences I go to have so much meaning to me, each time I leave a conference, whether it is a day or a week, I am left with simple reminders and a clear focus.   I must admit, this last conference that I went to has got to be on the top of the list of being THE BEST conference I have been to. 

I attended a conference called HealtheVoices in Chicago (for anyone wanting to learn more, check out the #healthevoices17 to see what we got up to!)  What separated this conference from the rest?  I can't quite decide.

Was it learning that others living with different conditions such as HIV, Psoriasis, Mental Health + Chronic Pain have all kinds of amazing and tight communities like the type 1 diabetes community does? 

Was it hearing the stories that literally brought me to tears knowing that we are all facing battles and some how still find a way to give ourselves to one another relentlessly and unselfishly?

Or was it connecting with others that I know I would have never encountered had I not been diagnosed with a chronic condition?

I don't know.

What I do know is that I am leaving this conference with so much empathy, pride and hope that although sometimes we as online advocates have no idea if we have an impact or not, is anyone reading this? We still take time out of our busy lives to tell our stories, their stories and the stories that would otherwise not be told.  We continue to fight despite not feeling great, not feeling present and not feeling strong. We continue on. 

Disclaimer: Janssen paid for my transportation + accommodations. All thoughts + opinions are my own! 


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