News and Updates

  • Recap: TCOYD Omaha

    The You Can Do This Project was at the Taking Control Of Your Diabetes conference in Omaha, NE on October 12th, 2013, with Kim, Jess, and her husband staffing our table in the conference’s health fair. Jess is providing a recap of the events with her post below (which you’ll also find cross-posted on her site today), and you’ll find some photos we took during the event on our Facebook page. Take it away, Jess!
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    Last Saturday was a magical day.

    On October 12th, I spent the day in Omaha at the Taking Control of Your Diabetes Conference.  Well, to be more precise, I spent the day in the exhibit hall, volunteering at the You Can Do This Project booth.

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    It was me, Kim, and my husband, Josh.  This was my fourth time volunteering for YCDT.  I worked the booth at Friends for Life, at the JDRF Omaha walk, and at TCOYD in Des Moines.  Though each event has been different, there are some things that stay the same.

    Each time I work the booth confirms just how much this project is needed.  The response from the people we meet is overwhelmingly positive.  Saturday was no exception.  Not everyone jumps for joy by any means, but most people seem to think it’s a great idea.

    We passed out a lot of fliers and bracelets, and talked to plenty of people.  But there are moments that stick out in my mind.  While I sincerely hope everyone we talked to will check out the project, there are a few people that I REALLY hope do.  Their diabetes makes them feel so alone, or they are so frustrated by lack of progress.  I want them to know they are not alone.  None of us are.

    It wasn’t only people with diabetes we talked to.  TCOYD has a track for Diabetes Educators and other healthcare professionals who work with PWDs.  Quite a few of them stopped at our booth.  Know what was awesome about that?  Their reactions.  So many of the CDEs were SO EXCITED when we explained what YCDT was.  It was fantastic!  They took lots of fliers to distribute to patients.  One CDE even asked Kim and I how to encourage her patients to get involved online.  Fist bump!  I have real hope that we’ll see some follow-up from these CDEs.  Very cool.

    In the sea of adults, we did meet a couple kiddos.  Kennedy is amazing, and was our only video volunteer of the day.  If you haven’t seen her video yet, stop and watch it right now.  I’ll wait.  We also met Henry, who was so sweet and bright.  It was truly a joy to meet him.  I mean, look at his face!  If he can do this, then I totally can.

    Henry

    For me, the highlight of the day was when a gentleman with a medal came up to our booth.  A 50 year Joslin medal, to be exact.  He’s actually been living with Type 1 Diabetes for 63 years.  Which completely takes my breath away.  He graciously spent 15 minutes talking to Kim and I about his life.  I can’t even put into words how much hope he gave me.  Seeing him standing there, talking to us, in pretty good shape after living with diabetes for 63 years.  I’m getting teary just thinking about it.  It’s a moment that will stay with me.

    And that’s what You Can Do This is all about.  Hope.  Hope because you aren’t alone.   Hope because mistakes don’t mean you’ve failed.  Hope, because we can do this.  Together.  We really can.

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  • Announcing: Taking Control of Your Diabetes Conference, Omaha, NE

    Attention, Midwesterners!

    TCOYD is hosting a conference for people with diabetes in Omaha, NE this Saturday, and we’ll be there! Come find our table in the exhibit area and say “hi” – you can find out more about the conference and register by clicking here.

    Thank you to those who have made donations in the past several months, as we wouldn’t be able to afford exhibit space without you!

     

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  • Update: Friends For Life 2013 Conference

    We have good news!

    1. One again this year, the Children With Diabetes organization has generously upgraded us to a booth space, at no charge (which is much larger and can accommodate our filming a bit better)! We are ever-so-thankful for the opportunity to once again bring the hope, validation, and encouragement of the diabetes community to the attendees of the Friends For Life conference. Take a look at the exhibitor hall map by clicking here - we’ll be at booth 317!

    A glimpse of the 2012 booth at FFL.

    2. Last year, Hope Paige Medical was kind enough to donate 2,000 rubber bracelets with the You Can Do This Project logo to be given away to conference attendees, and man were they popular! We still see people asking for them, so we hoped to be able to get some for this year’s conferences as well. Thanks in part to the Seeds grant we received last year from the Diabetes Hands Foundation, we were able to order 1,500 more for this year’s conference appearance(s)! YAY! (This grant also helped us out with some of the costs for printing and signage at the FFL booth.)

    3. We are working on some fantastic giveaway items for the booth at FFL as well – more news on that soon.

    We hope to see you there!

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  • Announcing: Friends For Life 2013 Conference

    The You Can Do This Project will once again be present in the exhibit hall at the Friends For Life conference in Orlando, FL!

    This table is made possible by the volunteered help of one of our Advisory Team members, Sara (Kim will not be at this year’s conference, as she’ll be 8 months pregnant at that time), and others whose time and efforts will make this possible. Our table cost has been covered by a generous donor who asked to remain anonymous, and we are truly grateful!

    We are excited at the chance to introduce You Can Do This as a resource to the families, teens, kids, and adults living with diabetes who will be attending this year’s conference. If that’s you, please make sure to stop by and say “hi”!

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  • Spotted: You Can Do This Project Bumper Sticker!

    Earlier this week, we added a new item to our Zazzle store: a bumper sticker. And look! Someone is rocking it already!

    We appreciate your support, whether that’s through word-of-mouth, blog posts, links in your blogroll, our button on your website, Tweets and Facebook posts, making a video of your own, or any other form. You’re what makes our community strong and supportive!

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  • Announcing: Level Life Promotion

    If you took a good look at some of our pictures from the Friends For Life conference (or if you were there in person!) back in July, you may have noticed the vendor next to our booth.

    image credit: Chris

    That booth was for Level Life Glucose Gels, and the proximity meant that we got the chance to get to know Ethan Lewis, CEO and founder of Level Foods, during the conference! Ethan really liked what we were doing and was enthusiastic about finding a way to work with the You Can Do This Project, and we’re very happy to announce that they’ll be supporting our growing community:

    Beginning today, everyone who submits a new video to the You Can Do This Project will receive a free Level Life Starter Kit!

     

    And you know what’s even cooler? It’s not just for the month of November. Level has offered to continue this promotion for as long as we want it. Wow!

    We are grateful to the folks at Level Foods for supporting the You Can Do This community!

    Here are a few more details on this promotion:

    • Each person who submits an approved video (meaning, the video meets the criteria outlined on our “How To Participate” page) will receive a kit. If you create a group video, each person in that video is eligible for a free Level Life Starter Kit, too!
    • Each person who qualifies and wants the free Level Life Starter Kit must provide us with their first and last name, email address, mailing address, and phone number. (FedEx requires phone numbers.) We will pass that information onto the folks at Level Foods, and they will ship you the kit. You’ll find a new field, just for this purpose, when you submit your video on the “How To Participate” page.
    • Each kit contains glucose gels, a “Keep Moving Forward” guidebook, and a coupon for future Level purchases.

    Now’s the time – make your video and show others living with diabetes that they are not alone in their struggles!

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  • Recap: TCOYD Des Moines

    The You Can Do This Project was at the Taking Control Of Your Diabetes conference in Des Moines, IA two weeks ago, with Kim, Rachel, Sara, Jess, and Courtney staffing our table in the conference’s health fair. Rachel is providing a recap of the events with her post below, and you’ll also see some of the advice we gathered in the video (thank you to Sara for editing!) below. Take it away, Rachel!
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    TCOYD registration and plane ticket confirmations for Des Moines were already sitting in the e-mail inbox with the promise of finally being able to hear Drs. Edelman and Polonsky speak. Then came the news of the You Can Do This Project booth and the request from Kim to work it once she knew of the confirmations in the e-mail inbox.
    Having been part of the YCDT advisory team for awhile, I had not seen the in-person buzz that Friends For Life or the JDRF Omaha walk created. I knew that the target audience would be different – more people like me with type 2 and possibly more people with significant complications. I also knew that there would be more people like my mother, who only uses the dial-up connection for e-mail and nothing else.
    However, I also believed that we could still reach people who needed the boost of the YCDT project and we could still reach people who already embodied the principles of the YCDT project, possibly being able to help others by telling their stories.
    And then there was a big question – what would the healthcare professionals attending the conference think of the project?
    Away I went into the experience, thinking that if one person came away from the table thinking that they can do life with diabetes, it would be so worth the travel and the waking up early to help set up the booth. All of the notions about the target audience were correct – more people with type 2, more people with significant complications, and even more people than I imagined without an internet connection or even a computer.
    Yet I know that at least a few people with whom I spoke walked away with more hope than when they walked to the table, not to mention a few who were ready to tell their inspiring stories through the hope board. That was so worth the waking up early.
    Having certified diabetes educators walk away with fliers to spread the word about YCDT to their patients, with both immediate positive feedback and at least one follow-up email about a new opportunity to spread the project’s message? That was so worth the travel, even if I would have gone to Des Moines for TCOYD anyways.
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  • News Update: Seeds Funding

    From the Diabetes Hands Foundation (the complete post can be found here):

    Today we are happy to announce the nine innovative diabetes advocacy projects selected to receive DHF Seeds grant funding for 2012. Each of these projects, aimed at connecting, educating or empowering people touched by diabetes, will receive US$2000.

    “Our goal is to support promising projects and help advocates through grants that assist them in taking their projects to the next level,” explains Manny Hernandez, president and founder of the Diabetes Hands Foundation.

    Created by diabetes advocate, blogger, and cartoonist Kim Vlasnik, You Can Do This has, to-date, broadcast videos from over 90 people. Each person tells his or her own diabetes story and encourages others living with diabetes that they too “Can Do This.” The DHF Seeds grant will be used to broaden participation in this ongoing online project that connects people touched by diabetes.

    I am so honored to be among the nine selected to receive a Seeds micro-grant, and will keep you all posted on how the funding is spent!

    (Watch the DHF Seeds application video here!)

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  • Friends For Life: The Outtakes

    Because we can’t be serious ALL the time…

     

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  • Friends For Life: How We Got There

    I want to say THANK YOU again to everyone who has supported You Can Do This, and especially to those whose generosity (both in time and money) made the booth at the Friends For Life conference earlier this month possible.

    Because we know that not everyone who wanted to be there could be there, we wanted to recreate a bit of the atmosphere for you, while chronicling the journey.

    (Thank you again to Advisory Team member Sara for help with video editing!)

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