Diabetes advocates are my favorite people and I get to see many of them in just a few days. Suffice it to say I’m a little more than giddy. I’m practically bouncing out my chair right now as conversations in the Facebook group turn to packing tips and roommate assignments.
So what is bringing all of us together?
MasterLab is a diabetes advocacy event hosted by the Diabetes Hands Foundation through their Diabetes Advocates platform and program. To make things better for attendees (e.g. patients who have medical bills for days) they offer a number of scholarships that include travel and hotel stay. I received such a scholarship, making my own attendance possible.
Why is MasterLab so wonderful? Well, they bring in speakers who deal in advocacy as it related to diabetes and as it related to disability in general. Speakers like Mark Heyman (who I am personally indebted to for editing the application that got me accepted to graduate school) are sure to both inform and inspire. At what other event can you find a lineup of speakers who so broadly address matters of advocacy geared toward the advocates themselves?
The following are taken directly from the Diabetes Advocates MasterLab event page. Two of the offered sessions are:
- “Diabetes and Mental Health: Advocating for Others While Taking Care of Yourself” Dr. Mark Heyman, Center for Diabetes and Mental Health. Mark Heyman is a diabetes psychologist, person with type 1 diabetes, and Founder and Director of the Center for Diabetes and Mental Health. We will learn how can advocates communicate the psycho-social and emotional challenges of diabetes in their advocacy work and take care of themselves in the process.
- “Building Collaboration and Sustainability in Programs for Nutrition and Access, in Underserved Neighborhoods”. We will learn from Roniece Weaver, Executive Director of Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Registered Dietician and author, about how she has brought health messages to underserved populations in Orlando, in a different delivery mode. This is a great example of the opportunity that might exist in your community, to work offline, make a difference and support local, smaller organizations.
Aren’t those amazing!?
Is your mind completely blown like mine was?!
If these descriptions appeal to you, but you are not attending MasterLab, fear not!
I, along with many other advocates, will be there live-tweeting and blogging about everything we learn.
If you are interested in participating in the live-tweeting, follow me here @HeatherGabel, and make sure to check in with #MasterLab.
You will not miss a thing. Promise.
See you at MasterLab!