It’s really hard to put into words how much fun I had, and how much learning, growth, and incredible value was added to my life by attending this year’s #MasterLab sessions in Orlando, FL put on by the Diabetes Hands Foundation in collaboration with Children with Diabetes. I am so happy that I decided to take the time to apply for a scholarship through the Diabetes Hands Foundation and actually won! When the scholarships are offered again next year, I will post an update to the blog with the website. The tagline for the #MasterLab sessions was “A More Effective Advocate,” and they (Melissa Lee, Mike Lawson, Emily Coles) couldn’t have done a better job putting together an outstanding lineup of speakers giving awesome advice on advocacy in all aspects (watch the video for slightly more in depth descriptions of what we learned about!) 🙂 The only thing I will do differently next year is to stay for the Children With Diabetes Friends for Life conference that immediately follows the MasterLab sessions! Even though I was spending quality mommy-daughter time with my mom in Key Largo (no regrets there!), I feel like I missed out on some really incredible connections at FFL and can’t wait to go next year.
I re-connected with old friends like Christel Aprigliano and Bennet Dunlap of the Diabetes Unconference and Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (please go check out and support our rights as people living with diabetes by visiting DPAC ASAP, it couldn’t be easier to do!), Scott Johnson of ScottsDiabetes, Kerri Sparling of sixuntilme, Kelly Kunik of Diabetesaliciousness, Mike Hoskins of DiabetesMine, and got the pleasure of meeting some new ones in person like Cherise Shockly of DSMA , David Edelman, founder of DiabetesDaily, and Manny Hernandez, the co-founder of the Diabetes Hands Foundation as well! I honestly can’t wait to go back next year. From my awesome friend Asha Brown, founder of the much needed non-profit organization We Are Diabetes, to Edward Fieder, founder of another amazing non-profit organization The Faces of Diabetes and author of the upcoming photography book The Faces of Diabetes, to the lovely Marina Tsplina who gave a very moving presentation and is the founder of The Betes Organization, this conference was packed with diabetes advocates from all walks of life all wanting to share their messages in order to make life better for those of us living with diabetes.
I am proud and honored to have been in everyone’s presence, and you can do this too next year, in fact I highly encourage you to join the family! I got nothin’ but love for my #DOC <3