Diabetes Awareness Month is nearly here! And when November hits this year, those of us living with diabetes will get a special treat in the form of free access to the second annual online Diabetes Empowerment Summit, airing November 1-5, 2017.
This virtual conference is the pet project of Daniele Hargenrader, a passionate Philadelphia-based T1D advocate and fitness and health coach who founded Diabetes Dominator, and authored the accompanying book Unleash Your Inner Diabetes Dominator.
She's been creating online video interviews to motivate PWDs (people with diabetes) for a number of years. And last year's first iteration of this event, called the Peer Diabetes Mentoring Summit, brought in 3,000 registrants "and TONS of incredible feedback," she tells us.
This year, the five-day all-online program starting on Nov. 1 is on track to hook in 9,000 registrants (!). The speaker lineup includes more than 25 well-known advocates and experts, including Adam Brown, author of Bright Spots and Land Mines; Sierra Sandison, Miss Idaho 2014 and PWD author of Sugar Linings; Damon Dash, music mogul and PWD host of the Dash Diabetes Network; Christel Oerum, founder of TheFitBlog; Anna Norton and Sarah Mart of Diabetes Sisters; Asha Brown of We Are Diabetes; Mark Heyman of One Drop; plus CDEs, successful PWD athletes, and many more.
Full Disclosure: Yours Truly, AmyT of DiabetesMine, is part of the speaker lineup as well this year. I enjoyed taping an hour-long conversation with Daniele about my work pushing for innovation in diabetes technology and tools. That's what motivates and empowers me, and I hope you all enjoy the listen!
So how do all these online talks hope to "empower" anyone? Daniele's vision is quite clear:
"All the presenters share their best tools, systems, frameworks and practices regarding HOW they cultivate an empowered mindset with diabetes, HOW they build confidence in their day to day choices, HOW to begin improving our mental and emotional relationships with ourselves and our diabetes, and also what they teach their patients/clients/readers/followers in the same regard... I (and all the presenters) are so passionate about this topic because the reality of traditional healthcare when it comes to living with diabetes is that the mental and emotional sides of life with chronic disease are almost NEVER addressed."
"We really wanted to make psychosocial support a much more visible part of Diabetes Awareness Month," she adds.
Amen to that! Ready to learn a bit more and find out how to register for this event? Read this brief Q&A with Daniele:
DM) Why host an online summit rather than an in-person gathering?
DH) An online summit is like attending a diabetes conference (for ALL TYPES of diabetes) that has some of the most high-caliber speakers, without having to pay for conference fees, travel costs, taking time off work, etc., and that you can watch at your leisure without worrying about missing the presentations that appeal most to you.
Why the shift in event title from "Peer Support" to "Empowerment Summit" this year?
Last year we focused solely on the life-changing power of peer support with diabetes and where to find it, while this year we are expanding our focus to include the incredible power of our mindset, motivation, and choices by highlighting the many empowering options we have when it comes to strengthening our mental and emotional wellness. We cover peer support throughout as a practice of self-love and empowerment, along with many other highly effective options.
We have many new speakers as well, most of whom live with diabetes themselves. We also have several speakers who specialize in working with people with type 2 diabetes as we know that the practices related to creating a healthier mind are the same regardless of what type of diabetes we have, as we work hard to be all inclusive of all types of diabetes.
We also have several new non-profit partners including Diabetes Sisters, the College Diabetes Network, and more, along with our returning partners, Beyond Type 1, WeAreDiabetes and more, as we love to promote and support organizations who do great work for the diabetes community.
What can people expect to get out of this year's event?
This year we are focusing more on the attendee’s power of choice, with immediately actionable “how-to” advice. We want to help people understand that there are many ways to strengthen your mental and emotional wellness, much like you equate strengthening your physical wellness with exercise. These are just different exercises!
We cover a wide range of topics and practices for building an empowering mindset, including mindfulness, nutrition, fitness, emotional support, motivation, and much more.
Wow, this action-oriented content does sound unique...
Yes, resources covering HOW to cultivate the habits and practices that will allow us not only to build a strong, solid emotional foundation to build the rest of our lives on, but those same tools that we need to lean on when we are experiencing difficult times/burnout, are not offered at the doctor’s office. Without these CRUCIAL tools, we are left to figure this all out on our own.
I know because that was my journey with diabetes for so many years. Clinical depression, eating disorder, obesity, shame, guilt, anger. That was my everyday experience and mindset for more than 8 years, and it's why I am so passionate about creating this event and resource that is free for everyone -- because it's a tool that I wish I had when I was struggling, and I want to help bridge the gap between traditional healthcare, and the emotional tools we all need but are generally not given.
How do people register and take part in the Diabetes Empowerment Summit?
You can register at this link. There will be 5 presentations released each day, and each day’s presentations will be available to watch for 48 hours, so the attendees don’t have to worry about missing the presentations that are meaningful for them, unlike in-person conferences where if you miss the presentation you wanted to see, there is no option to see it again.
Attendees can also post questions and comments, and interact with each other on a forum inside the Summit once the summit goes live on Nov. 1. I will be moderating throughout the Summit. You must register to participate!
If folks miss the live Summit, can they still access the talks?
You can also purchase an optional VIP Access Pass will give you unlimited lifetime access to all the talks and content online. 50% of all proceeds from that VIP Access Pass will benefit our non-profit partners the Betes Organization, We Are Diabetes, Diabetes Sisters, and Beyond Type 1.
If you purchase the Pass by Nov. 1, the price is just $47; if you purchase by the Summit's end on Nov. 5, it's $67; and after that it goes up to $97-- which we still think is very reasonable for lifetime access.
And don't forget to follow hashtag #DES2017 to see what others are saying about the talks.
Great! Finally, we heard there are prizes for attendees?
Yes! Anyone who registers will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Myabetic diabetes carry case gift card, a One Drop Chrome meter with unlimited test strips for a year, and a KNOW Better Foods sampler pack that includes all-natural, low-carb cookies and other goodies.
Well, wow. Thank you, Daniele! Not least for helping to make Diabetes Awareness Month offer something concrete for those of us already living with diabetes.