The DOC , Type 2 and Me

Written by Gary Stem

I am long-term Type 2 diabetic, diagnosed in the mid-1990’s. I’m like a lot of T2’s in that I do not remember the date or even the year. I progressed through all the available treatments of the day until one day my doctor said it, “Gary I believe it is time for you to start insulin treatment.” I knew it was coming, I had been threatened with it and had resisted it for years. I walked out of the office that day with a Levemir prescription; it was that day that I found the diabetic online community in the form of TuDiabetes.

Today I am an insulin pumping Type 2 diabetic. How I got to this point has been shaped by my participation at TuDiabetes. The knowledge I gained helped to guide my way; I soon learned that basal insulin alone would not be enough, soon MDI was prescribed and finally a pump, I have been pumping now for six years.

How my diabetes looks can best be summed up by something, a Type 1 friend said to me. She said, “Gary, Your diabetes looks almost exactly like mine.” I hadn’t realized it until then, but she was right. I do all the things a Type 1 does. I count carbs and calculate boluses, I monitor my blood sugar, and I do corrections when needed. I experience highs and lows. I do basal testing, and I have defined carb ratios and correction factors. I do pretty much everything any other insulin-dependent person does.

The diabetic online community, TuDiabetes, has been my information source and my lifeline, I was not taught all I needed to know by the medical community, I learned it from the members of TuDiabetes, I sometimes feel that they saved me. I learned more from them than about basals and boluses, more than low carb dieting and exercising, I learned that others out there cared about me. They encouraged me, and they consoled me. I learned it is more than the diabetic online community; it is a diabetic online family.

I realized in the earliest part of my involvement in this diabetic online family that I wanted to give back to it. I did everything I could think of to provide support. Eventually, I was asked to be part of the TuDiabetes Administrative Team, I have served on this team for six years now, it is my way of giving back to the community.

For all TuDiabetes has done for me the significant thing about it is not how it has helped me. I am reminded of the importance of TuDiabetes each time I hear a new member or even a not so new member says this or something similar, “I am so glad I have found this community of people like me, I no longer feel alone.” I smile each time I hear this said; it confirms our purpose.

TuDiabetes exist so that no person touch by diabetes should feel alone. I think that is true for the entire DOC. I am proud to be a part of it.

Connect with Gary and many others in our Forum. Join the conversations!

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

Join us HERE at the time and date of the event

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.

Diabetes UnConference in Las Vegas

Register at


What’s it all about…

If you are a person with diabetes or love someone with diabetes, you live with this disease 8,760 hours each year.

How many hours are spent with a medical team talking about diabetes? One hour? Two hours?

Those precious hours talking with medical professionals are usually not spent asking about how to deal with the perceived social stigma, disclosing diabetes to your colleagues or dates, intimacy issues, fears about complications, or dealing with everyday life. Most appointments talk about the numbers (lab results, blood glucose results, medication changes) and you’re left to muddle through on your own.

You may get support elsewhere: the Diabetes Online Community and all the wonderful resources found online, local support groups, but there has never been a multi-day conference where you can talk about anything and everything related to your life with diabetes.

No keynotes. No multiple tracks where you have to make a choice between sessions. Just your peers – those who live with diabetes every day like you – talking about the things that matters most to you that you can’t talk about with your medical team or those who aren’t impacted by diabetes.

We create the agenda. We decide what’s important. All of us participate. All of us learn. All of us become confidantes and compatriots.

That’s why The Diabetes UnConference was created.

Learn more at


TuDiabetes Talks with Manny Hernandez and Emily Coles!

Join us HERE at the time and date of the event


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…


FiTBlog Diabetes Retreat in Santa Monica February 18th -20th

Clinical Trials with Antidote Live on TuDiabetes Talks 8pm Eastern 5pm Pacific

Join us HERE at the time and date of the eventantidote_banner_fbWe’re leading a global effort to advance medical research, and transform the way people connect with it.

And to make it happen, we need your help. Learn More. Play your part

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

Join us HERE at the time and date of the eventlongwhat

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 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 [] 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 [] 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 [] 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).


Navigating Adolescence and Puberty: How to maintain your sanity with a teen faced with diabetes and hormones! MasterChat on TuDiabetes Talks Live 8pm ET 5pm PT

Join us HERE at the time and date of the eventdhf_masterchat_oct19Navigating Adolescence and Puberty: How to maintain your sanity with a teen faced with diabetes and hormones!

It’s that time of the year again: Master Chats! The Master Chat Series is an annual collaboration between TuDiabetes and Columbia University’s Master of Science in Diabetes Education and Management program. This master’s program is offered to clinicians who are currently in or interested in the diabetes field.

As part of a course requirement, students present ‘Master Chats’ on a variety of diabetes related health topics. They will be featured this October and November on TuDiabetes Talks

All of the topics this year have been generated based on TuDiabetes community member feedback!


Jane Dickinson Discusses MasterChat and the Online Graduate Program in Diabetes Education and Management at Teachers College Columbia University! TuDiabetes Talks 5pm PT, 8pm ET

Jane Dickinson Discusses MasterChat and the Online Graduate Program in Diabetes Education and Management at Teachers College Columbia University

MasterChat is a series featuring TuDiabetes community generated topics led by students in the Master of Science in Diabetes program at Columbia University

TuDiabetes Talks 5pm PT, 8pm ET

Jane K. Dickinson is a nurse and certified diabetes educator. She has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1975 and helping others live well with diabetes since 1995. Jane is the Program Director for the Master of Science in Diabetes Education and Management Program at Teachers College Columbia University. She has been with Teachers College since they launched the program in 2011. Jane also provides diabetes education in Northwest Colorado, and consults for various diabetes-related organizations and projects. Jane lives in Colorado with her husband and two teen-age kids. She loves to walk, hike, and snowshoe, and in her spare time she blogs at