TuDiabetes Talks with DiabetesSisters CEO Anna Norton and Karen Graffeo! 5pm PT

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Meet DiabetesSisters CEO Anna Norton!

Hi, I’m Anna Norton and I am the CEO of DiabetesSisters. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1993 and manage the disease with an insulin pump (since 2000) and CGM (since 2010). I’ve been involved with DiabetesSisters since 2011, serving as a committee member for the Weekend for Women Conference. In 2012, I joined the DiabetesSisters staff as Operations Manager, overseeing the National PODS Meetup Program, the National Weekend for Women Conference Series, website development, and many of the daily functions of the organization. Today, I am honored to serve women with diabetes in the CEO role.

I currently reside outside of Chicago, Illinois and have lived in North Carolina, New Jersey and Florida. I am a proud graduate of the University of Florida (BS 1998) and Florida International University (MS 1999). I’ve spent many years in the non-profit world, raising funds for United Way, medical centers and universities, with over 15 years’ experience in Annual Giving, Major Gifts, and Event Planning. I am also bilingual in English and Spanish.

As a woman with diabetes, I am passionate about the work DiabetesSisters does – when I learned of this organization, I was eager to become involved and help make a difference in the lives of other women like me. Over the last several years, I have forged great friendships through this organization and have established a wonderful support group. My hope is to continue to learn from the experiences of each Sister and hopefully, offer some of my own experiences.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my husband and son. I also love reading, traveling to Disney World, Zumba, water aerobics, and going to the movies. Please reach out to me at anna@diabetessisters.org – I’m looking forward to getting to know you!

WHO WE ARE DiabetesSisters was founded in January 2008 by a woman who was diagnosed with diabetes as a teenager in the early 1990s. In addition to being faced with many obstacles, including social isolation, she was amazed how little information about or services for women with diabetes were available and how the issue seemed invisible within the women’s health community. Her high-risk pregnancy further illuminated the limited number of resources available to women with diabetes during important life stages, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. All of her experiences culminated in the formation of DiabetesSisters in January 2008.

WHAT WE DO DiabetesSisters offers a range of education and support services to help women of all ages with all types of diabetes live healthier, fuller lives. We understand the fear and isolation that often comes with living with diabetes because we are an organization that is managed by women who are living with diabetes.

DiabetesSisters recognizes that emotional and peer support is vitally important to a woman’s overall wellbeing. Through DiabetesSisters’ education and support services, women form a special bond and can freely share information, helpful tips, and stories of hope.


See more of the impact of DiabetesSisters here.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-9FdkinaVE

TuDiabetes Talks Roundtable! A New Year and Rethinking Diabetes? 5pm PT

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Does a new year have have you thinking or rethinking your diabetes?

“Real” diabetes talk! Join us for this fun, casual chat about all things diabetes! Mariana Gomez, Mandy Jones, Cynthia Celt and others will be chatting about staying safe in diabetes emergencies, advocacy, food and how we’re all feeling about diabetes as we launch into a new year.  Join in the chat for this sure to be fun and insightful conversation. We’ll also be joined by our friends from RapidSOS who are offering a wonderful safety app free for a year to everyone in the community! Learn more about and download the free app in the TuDiabetes forum here. 

TuDiabetes Talks with Christel Oerum from the TheFitblog.com


Join us as TuDiabetes Talks with Christel Oerum from TheFitblog.com and learn more about her amazing efforts in creating a space dedicated to living well and healthy with diabetes.

Christel is a passionate fitness enthusiast and the driving force behind the recipes and product reviews found on TheFitBlog.com She just left her  management job in the medical industry to dedicate herself full-time to TheFitBlog. She holds an ISSA Personal Trainer certification as well as an MBA. Christel knows what it means to be a true “corporate girl” and loves to help other busy women get fit. As a type 1 diabetic, Christel is particularly passionate about helping others with diabetes and is always available to answer questions about how to get fit and healthy as a diabetic.

Below are links to just a few of the events Christel is excited to be hosting in the New Year!

Fit With Diabetes New Year’s Challenge! http://thefitblog.com/join-the-fit-with-diabetes-new-years-challenge/

Details: Join us for a free 4-week online challenge focused on healthy nutrition and weight management with diabetes. Each week, we’ll cover specific topics or skill needed to successfully manage diabetes and weight while increasing physical fitness and getting in better shape. It’s hosted on TheFitBlog and articles will be written by Christel Oerum and guest: Dr. Sheri Colberg, Gary Scheiner, Susan Weiner and Hope Warshaw.

The challenge starts January 7th 2017, and sign up is open at www.thefitblog.com/fit-with-diabetes-challenge/

Fit With Diabetes Retreat http://thefitblog.com/join-us-first-ever-fit-diabetes-retreat/

Details: It will be three days of workouts, diabetes education, sunshine, and fun in Santa Monica, CA February 18th to February 20th, 2017. Limited spaces, contact Christel Oerum for more information Christel@TheFitBlog.com

TuDiabetes Talks with Diabetes Hands Foundation Team Members Allyson Schloming and Mandy Jones!

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Mandy Jones


Director of Advocacy

Diabetes Hands Foundation | Berkeley, CA
Contact Information:

Twitter: @D_Advocates

Mandy Jones was a senior at U.C. Berkeley when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Her adult diagnosis was a steep learning curve accompanied by fear, loneliness, and waves of anxiety. In addition to becoming a 24/7 nurse, she realized she had to become her own healthcare advocate, insurance specialist, scientific researcher… not to mention anxiety reduction specialist!

But searching for solutions in a confusing healthcare world quickly ignited a passion. Over the next few years, Mandy volunteered as a Youth Advisory Board Member at UCSF’s Madison Clinic for Diabetes, began hosting adult support happy hours in Los Angeles, mentored newly-diagnosed patients, and wrote a comprehensive appeal to change an insurance policy. She worked as an environmental planner and co-founded an organization that offers pro bono consulting to environmental and public health non-profits. In 2015, Mandy began creating T1Decoded, an online educational source to help other patients navigate a type 1 diabetes diagnosis. Her mission is to help all patients thrive amidst a chronic disease diagnosis.

Mandy is excited to ignite the Diabetes Advocates program and create positive change in the diabetes space. She believes that advocacy can happen at any age, in any geography, in any language, and in any form. Advocacy can be as quick as a conversation with our doctor, or as complex as an international policy change. By identifying the causes that speak to us, equipping ourselves with effective tools, and learning from other disciplines, we can create positive change for ourselves, for our local communities, or even internationally.

Mandy is inspired by Deepak Chopra (7 Spiritual Laws of Success), Brené Brown (The Power of Vulnerability), Tim Brown (IDEO: Design Thinking), and Joyce Lee (Doctor as Designer). Mandy’s favorite adventure to date has been bike touring the coast of California (seeing breathtaking coastline via two wheels made the low blood sugars preparations 110% worth it!)

Allyson Schlomingallyson-768x512

Director of Development

Diabetes Hands Foundation | Berkeley, CA

Contact Information:
Allyson brings with her over 18 years in non-profit management experience, raising funds for advocacy, research and education for the diabetes community. Her son, Kyle at the age of nine was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and has made diabetes her passion to improve the lives of all those touched by diabetes.

At the Diabetes Hands Foundation, Allyson is responsible for the implementation of the fund development strategy and is deeply involved in the identification and nurturing of strategic partnerships.

Allyson is a native Californian. She resides in Livermore with her daughter, Katy who is a senior in high school.

In her spare time, Allyson enjoys bike riding, taking walks on the beach or reading historical fiction novel.

TuDiabetes Talks with Manny Hernandez and Emily Coles!

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Join us live as we sit down and visit with Manny Hernandez, founder of Diabetes Hands Foundation and Emily Coles, previous community manager at TuDiabetes to chat about what they have been up to! This “Home for the Holidays” episode is sure to be heart warming, informative and inspiring…


The Big Blue Test 2016! TuDiabetes Talks 8pm ET, 5pm PT

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Join in the conversation as Cynthia chats with Mike Lawson about Diabetes Hands Foundation’s very own Big Blue Test!  Laugh as both Cynthia and Mike share their own exercise clips as they log their Big Blue Test blood sugars!

What is The Big Blue Test?

Between October 14, 2016, and November 14, 2016, participants perform 14-20 minutes of physical activity and then report their results at BigBlueTest.org or by using the iPhone or Android smartphone app. Each entry will result in $1 donated to three US-based initiatives ($3 total; up to $5,000).

“The Big Blue Test rallies communities to experience the impact that small changes can have on their health,” said Gene Kunde, CEO of Diabetes Hands Foundation. “The grants generated by Big Blue Test participants will impact thousands of people with diabetes who have been traditionally underserved.”

Three US-based initiatives will receive $5,000 in funding.

DiabetesSisters [www.diabetessisters.org] With this grant funding, DiabetesSisters will grow the newly launched Minority Initiative which is focused on bringing resources and education to African American and Hispanic women with diabetes and pre-diabetes.

We Are Diabetes [www.wearediabetes.org] We Are Diabetes has created a Recovery Toolkit that will be available digitally for health care providers. With the Big Blue Test grant funding, they will be able to distribute physical copies to clinics across the country.

Riverside Community Diabetes Collaborative [www.rchf.org] The Riverside Community Diabetes Collaborative will be using Big Blue Test funds to purchase equipment for their annual “Together We Can!” event which is a free seminar that includes health screenings and education on healthy living with diabetes, and addresses the emotional aspect of living with diabetes.

The goal for the 2016 Big Blue Test campaign is to collect 45,000 entries (resulting in $5,000 for each nonprofit organization).


Asha Brown Talks Diabetes and Eating Disorders, Diabulimia and Recovery. 5pm PT, 8pm ET

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Asha Brown, Founder & Executive Director

Asha was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 5 years old. Throughout her childhood, diabetes was simply a way of life because her father had type 1 most of his life as well. She didn’t mind being a little different than her friends and never had a problem explaining type 1 diabetes to anyone who had questions. In fact, diabetes never created an obstacle in Asha’s life until she was old enough to understand that her weight and body size were not completely under her own control. As a dancer, actress and a fitness instructor by the time she was 17, Asha lived for movement and her body’s ability to feel good in its own skin. After reading many articles and books that gave a daunting account of weight gain associated with insulin resistance and diabetes, Asha felt the first stirring of resentment towards a disease she felt was dooming her to an inability to have the physical strength and shape that she knew she deserved and could achieve. And so she started to omit insulin occasionally when it was “necessary” to get things done.

The obsession with maintaining a healthy size and weight while coping with multiple autoimmune disorders (hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome, as well as type 1 diabetes) became a full-time job for Asha during high school and college. The lack of support for type 1 diabetics was also disheartening as most of the information discussed in the media dealt with type 2 diabetes. Asha began to omit insulin for the purpose of weight control. She also started to rely on the numbing effect of ommission to drown out the daily anxieties that people with chronic illness often battle against. She felt it was a cruel joke to have such a passion for dance and performing and to have to constantly “take it easy” due to her low blood sugars, or worry that she would have one when she was on stage. Skipping her insulin shots, or taking less than required to cover a meal, became second nature to her, and for years she struggled with the cycles of omitting insulin, binging, restricting and swearing never to do it again.

Asha wrestled, off and on, with symptoms of diabulimia beginning in her sophomore year of high school, but it began to truly take over her life in her freshman year of college. By then, it dramatically affected every single choice she made in her life, her relationships and her daily routines. The effort to keep her eating disorder a secret became all-encompassing. It wasn’t until she met the love of her life and was married that she began to consider the idea of seeking treatment for her eating disorder. For years, Asha continued to tell herself that she would stop her dangerous secretive behaviors once she was at her perfect weight. The problem with that, of course, is that there’s no such thing as a perfect weight or a perfect body — and, therefore, no end in sight. Asha soon realized she had no idea how to live without her eating disorder. And she knew she could never be the wife and life partner to her wonderful husband or truly follow her dreams of performing until she let go of her destructive behaviors.

Asha took her first step towards living fully in her life again when she had an initial assessment made at the Park Nicollet Melrose Center in 2009. She was strongly encouraged to check into the inpatient treatment program that very day due to the severity and danger of her out-of-control diabetes. And with that, she surrendered. She went through a year of treatment, starting with two weeks of inpatient care and then moving to weekly outpatient appointments, and finally monthly. Along with the wonderful support she received from the staff at the Melrose Center, she realized how supportive her family and friends could be once she finally shared her difficulties with them. Her life began to churn once again with passion, discovery and joy.

Asha’s life today is new and very different after finally coming to terms with her disorder. She is no longer imprisoned by the numbers on the scale or the fear of food. After receiving treatment, she returned to teaching yoga, a passion she had enjoyed years ago before her diabulimia took top priority. She performs often in theaters in the Minneapolis area, and delights in exploring and cooking new recipes and foods. She lives very happily with her beloved husband who has been her grounding source of support and continues to give her the courage to fight the odds associated with her type 1 diabetes, her recovery, and reminds her of so many reasons to never give up.

Asha works with families, patients, and health professionals across the USA. She uses her personal experiences with ED-DMT1 to offer hope and support to those still struggling. She also establishes relationships with eating disorder facilities and diabetes organizations across the county to help connect people to appropriate care. Asha has presented at NEDA, AADE, and JDRF, among others. She writes for Diabetes Health, Diabetes Daily, Glu, Insulin Nation, dlife, DiabetesMine, and other websites. She was a member of the ADA Woman and Diabetes Subcommittee and is a member of Diabetes Advocates and BEDA.

Depression, Anxiety and Anger Management with Bernard Golden, PhD Live! 5pm PT

Overcoming Destructive Anger and Diabetes

Bernard Golden, PhD. 

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A diagnosis of chronic illness often triggers anger, as do the many challenges that face us in managing our conditions. People with diabetes are often especially prone to experiencing anger, because of fluctuating blood glucose levels that can contribute to mood swings and make them vulnerable. Anger can harm our relationships, and human connection is critical for our health and well-being. Cultivating “healthy anger” involves learning to pause and reflect on what we’re experiencing, rather than react to them. “Healthy anger” has been shown to enhance our resilience and overall well-being. And it empowers us, because it fuels assertive (rather than aggressive) communication, which improves our success at achieving our goals and satisfying our wants and needs.



Anger is an emotion provoked when we perceive threat, and it originates in the part of the “old brain” (limbic cortex) that generates the fight-or-flight response. How each of us reacts to our anger, depends upon the habits of mind we’ve developed throughout our lives. But good news lies in the brain’s neuroplasticity; we can strengthen our prefrontal cortex, our “rational brains,” to overwrite established neural pathways and form new patterns of behavior. Drawing on neuroscience, psychology (cognitive behavior therapy) and Eastern philosophy (mindfulness, meditation, and practices in compassion and self-compassion), Dr. Bernard Golden has developed a breakthrough method to unite mind and body in the critical achievement of “healthy anger” and self-control.



Dr. Golden’s innovative framework for cultivating “healthy anger” includes:

  • Exercises in mindfulness, visualization, and reflection without judgment to make us aware of our physical & emotional triggers and help us cultivate our compassionate selves
  •  His “anger log” for charting the internal experiences that precipitate anger: our needs, desires, expectations, and negative feelings
  • Practical steps for how to:
    • Overcome a critical mind
    • Override emotional reactivity
    • Diffuse another person’s anger during a conflict
    • Let go of expectations
    • Let go of power
    • Forgive (ourselves and others)
    • Show self-compassion and empathy for others
    • Communicate assertively (rather than aggress

TuDiabetes Talks with Diabetes Artist Justus Harris 5pm PT

Justus HarrisJustus Harris, is an international exhibiting artist and technologist whose work is informed by his experiences living with type 1 diabetes. He uses art and technology in new ways to educate and inspire people to understand diabetes and the body. His 3D printed Diabetes Data Sculptures have been featured at the DiabetesMine D-Data Exchange conference at Stanford School of Medicine, MedScape.com, The Compound Gallery in Oakland, CA, and most recently at the CHI 2016 (human-computer interaction conference) in San Jose, CA.

He recently started a new blog, translatediabetes.com, dedicated to highlighting art, multidisciplinary work, and people from many backgrounds who creatively explore diabetes. He works with and artists, scientists, doctors, among many others in line with the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) movement in education.

He is based between Chicago and the West Coast and is an alumni and portfolio evaluator for The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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