Wherever I go, and I am fortunate enough in my profession to go to many places and meet many people, it never ceases to amaze me how those involved with ‘anything’ diabetes have such similar attitudes towards hoping for a cure, and finding just the right ingredients to live this ‘diabetes life’ that much more in charge.
Last night I attended the opening reception of the TypeOneNation Summit here in Detroit. It was a time for organizers, speakers, volunteers, and sponsors to mingle about and meet. Probably one of the most successful of these type events, they have over 1300 people registered. The conference is today.
I have had many dealings with many groups in my life. Being with the DRI and very active with CWD; as well as my prior lives with dLife and the JDRF (professionally), I know about research/medical updates, expos, fundraising, and these type of receptions and events. And to be honest, I have never once ‘grown tired’ of them…….EVER. I find them so exciting. People. People all with the commonality of finding a cure and finding better ways to handle diabetes.
I am looking forward to today. Speaking about our journey. The journey that continues. If you have never attended any of these, you should. Not only will you learn a lot; you will get your batteries recharged……….batteries need recharging. And you will meet wonderful people.
One such person I met is Michael, a JDRF Board Member in this Metro Detroit/SE Michigan Chapter of JDRF. A college Campus President who donated the space for the ‘summit’ and who with a warm smile and strong hand shake welcomed me. “You came in from New York, specifically for this Summit?……Thank you for joining us.” And here is the thing, there is nothing but absolute sincerity in Michael’s voice. Thanking me? Being with so many people who care and want to make a difference…..No Mr. President; thank YOU.
It’s always difficult for me to attend conferences and speak. It’s all deep inside my head. The speech difficulties I had as a child come back to haunt me. I always look over the day’s events and of course once again, practically everyone else has a whole boatload of credentials and letters after their name. I do not. What I do have are just 3 letters…….D-a-d. That plus 22+ years at this ‘diabetes thing’. I reflect how fortunate we have been on this journey. Me, a speaker? Still to this day I recognize that honor and it still, quite frankly, humbles me.
People here are quick to introduce themselves and state how excited they are, looking forward to the day’s events. It will be a good day and there is always much to learn. Many are parents and I cannot help but notice how many Diabetes Educators are here and have volunteered their time; WONDERFUL. There is an excitement. There is a buzz. There is…………an air…….of hope.
As I travel to events such as these, I am beyond inspired because with SO MANY people doing SO MANY wonderful things in so many different places for SO MANY reasons, the results will continue to increase and will continue to get better.
Congratulations to all who worked so hard on this event. If one person with diabetes, one parent of a child with diabetes, one person who did not know before; can be inspired and learn something at this Summit, the trip would be worth it………..well I guess it IS a success because I have surely learned already.
One final thought, contrary to what you may have heard or read, Detroit is beautiful and the people are wonderful……..plan a visit, I know I’ll be back. Nice job Metro Detroit/SE Michigan Chapter!!!!!!!……..and thank you.
I am a diabetes dad.
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