I had a handful of people at the event I hosted, and enjoyed getting to have face-to-face conversations about things like the artificial pancreas, beta cell regeneration, and my Dexcom CGM. We heard the panel discuss topics like getting the artificial pancreas approved by the FDA for use in the U.S., how to increase public awareness of type 1 diabetes and how to educate others about it, and healthcare coverage for type 1 adults.
I thought the topics were handled well, but I wished we had more time. It's certainly difficult to try to fit five topics of that magnitude and importance into an hour, but to then try to have time for real-time questions - it just didn't happen. There is talk of holding events like these on a semi-regular basis in the future, and I'll be glad to participate if this idea comes to fruition*.
With that said, I thought the variety of panelists was just what it should be. Each presenter brought something important to the conversation; we had people from the science and research end of things, the public relations side, and the online community side. We had both type 1's and type 3's**. We also were fortunate to have some of the brightest minds out there in the diabetes community, and it was fun to watch them interact all in one room.
Nice work, JDRF.
* I'd like to make a disclosure here. While I have ties to JDRF in different capacities as a volunteer, my choice to mention them here, and to ask others to help in their efforts is just that - my own choice. They have never asked me to mention them; I do so because I like the organization, and feel that they have the loudest voice when it comes to diabetes advocacy at this time.
** A "type 3" is defined as someone who cares about and/or for someone with diabetes. This could include parents of a child with type 1, a spouse, a brother/sister, a friend, etc.