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What exactly is a NeedleBay system? Allow me to demonstrate…

These things are pretty cool and I’ll definitely use one when I travel.

I think it’s really awesome of NeedleBay to offer so many (25 winners!) in support of Scott’s Sweepstakes, and I’m excited to get these out to you. Sweepstakes ends on Monday, February 16th at Midnight. Enter now!

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Put five on it – Spare a Rose


It’s a beautiful gift to give, and to receive!

Lack of access to insulin is the most common cause of death for children in many countries around the world. You can change that.

Five dollars is enough for Life for a Child to provide a month of insulin to a child in need. It’s no coincidence that the cost of a Valentine’s Day rose is about five dollars.

Spare a rose, save a child. It’s that simple.

[su_button url=”” target=”blank” background=”#d5132d” center=”yes” icon=”icon: heart”]GIVE NOW![/su_button]


Real Life Diabetes Podcast by Diabetes Daily Grind

Logo of the podcast, Real Life Diabetes - by

I enjoyed a new diabetes podcast today and wanted to spread the word about it. It’s the Real Life Diabetes Podcast by Diabetes Daily Grind.

Amber & Ryan at DDG are fun and laid back. They promise occasional explicit language and content that may not always be suitable for children.

But it doesn’t take long (less than a minute) to see that they’re also serious when it comes to self-improvement and living better with diabetes, and helping others do so, too.

More reasons to like it?

The opening theme song is pretty awesome…

Tell me sugar-mama what’s your A1C, are you into endocrinology…

And I think the closing has a kazoo.

But what really sold me was when Amber burped into the microphone. 🙂

Let ‘er rip, sis! Seriously though – great job, you guys! I’m already looking forward to the next episode!

Loving People and A Compulsion to Share

I love this quote from conductor Leonard Bernstein. I don’t mean to trivialize his brilliant words by saying I feel the same about the diabetes online community.

“The original energizing motor that makes me compose is the urge to communicate — and to communicate with as many people as possible. Because what I love about the world and life is people, I like them as much as I like music, if not more. I love people, and I have a compulsion to share with people what I feel, what I know, what I think.” — Leonard Bernstein, Conductor, New York Philharmonic

Leonard Bernstein

Photo: Allan Warren, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Supporting PWD’s in India through Penpals United

Penpals United header image

Jack Terschluse

Jack took me on an amazing field trip. In the space of about 90-minutes we visited four different clinics in India spread over 3,000 miles and reaching hundreds of people living with diabetes.

Jack Terschluse is the founder and President of Penpals United, an inspiring community of people with type one diabetes worldwide offering support and inspiration to children and teens using online support groups and traditional pen pal opportunities.

Dr. Santosh GuptaHe got the idea when his former endocrinologist, Dr. Santosh Gupta, retired to start her own foundation to support children with type one diabetes in northern India (the Manav Seva Foundation).

“She told me about the lack of support networks for children in the developing world and connected me to a teenage girl named Surbhi who I started exchanging letters with. An idea popped into my head: what if an online support group existed for children with type one diabetes around the globe?” — Jack Terschluse, Penpals United

Thus, Penpals United was born. Thier vision is to build an inspiring community of people with type one diabetes worldwide by offering online support groups and pen pal opportunities for children and teens with T1d.

Penpals United Support GroupWith mentors from the US, Canada, England, and Mexico now serving over 250 children monthly in India, Mexico, Rwanda, and Uganda, they are making a difference and continue to grow.

Jack says, “Our motto, Many miles, Many people with T1 diabetes, One connection, reflects the power we’ve discovered in sharing stories about living with T1d, ultimately empowering kids to be diabetes leaders in their villages who then can lift other kids up as well.”

My Experience

A map of India with pins showing the clinic locations we visitedMy time with their online support groups was nothing short of incredible. After connecting with Jack and his team, we spent the evening virtually zooming around India visiting with four different diabetes groups at local hospitals and clinics.

At each group I spent a few minutes sharing my story and talking about living with diabetes, then I took questions from the attendees. I was impressed by similarities we all face and their drive to grow their ability to support their peers, not only in terms of diabetes education, but also in the psychosocial space that we all know is so important.

Image of the video conference screen showing Scott, Jack, Hannah, Alex, Dr. Santosh Gupta, and one of the groups in India

I was also very impressed with the rhythm and system that Jack has put together. As we wrapped up at each site, one of Jack’s team (in this case, Hannah in the upper right, or Alex in the lower left) would stay behind with the local group to answer any additional questions, spend a few minutes following up, then transition it to the local group facilitator.

Penpals United Group Shot 2In the meantime, Jack, Dr. Gupta, and I would zoom off to another site and start the discussion with a new group. About halfway through, one of either Hannah or Alex would rejoin the call, ready to handle the transition again. It was all very smooth and gave me the impression that each local group was very well taken care of.

We only see part of the team here, but Jack has an awesome group helping, including Jay Haapala, who you may have seen on Scott’s Diabetes before.

One of the most powerful memories I have from my time with Penpals United is something Dr. Gupta said to me after we finished.

“Most people there, even the doctors sometimes, don’t expect people with diabetes to live more than 20 years. So simply seeing me, and others like me, who are living well after so many years of diabetes sends an incredible message of hope and inspiration.” — Dr. Santosh Gupta

She continues, “Having a Penpals United online mentor who lives successfully with type one diabetes shows these children that they too can live long, happy lives.”

How Can You Help?

I asked Jack if he had to pick one call to action, what would it be?

Write a letter to a child with T1d and then tweet to @PenpalsUnited that you wrote a letter! Building the international T1d community through the internet and Twitter is vital. — Jack Terschluse, Penpals United

View the United Penpals photo gallery for more

Asante Snap – Strong & Simple Challenge


I am a fan of the Asante Snap insulin pump. I like it so much that it is official replacing my beloved Cozmo and I’m going to be doing some work with Asante Solutions through 2015.

share-your-story-imageIf you are an existing Snap pump user, why not take a moment to take part in the Asante Snap Strong & Simple Challenge? For each video submitted, Asante will proudly make a donation to one of two great non-profit groups (Diabetes Hands Foundation or Diabetes Youth Families).

If you’re not a Snap user, why not send in a quick video talking about what you interests you or what looks exciting about the Snap pump?

Maybe you’d even like to try the Snap pump? You can get a free 4-week trial that includes support from a diabetes educator!

Disclosure: I have a business relationship with Asante Solutions and am a member of their patient advocate advisory board.

Prep Pad from The Orange Chef

Image of the Prep Pad with Oranges on it and an iPad & iPhone behind it

I recently had a chance to play around with a Prep Pad from The Orange Chef.

To call the Prep Pad a food scale seems wrong. I mean, it is a food scale, but there is something beautiful and elegant about it. It feels different than anything I’ve used before.

The Prep Pad connects to an iPad or iPhone via Bluetooth with the touch of a single button (visible in the image above – little black dot on the right side). The app, called “Countertop,” is required to use the scale.

Much like the Prep Pad itself, I found the Countertop App elegant and beautiful. You can watch a quick promo video on the homepage of, or check out a slightly longer and more detailed video here.

Prep Pad retails for $99.95 (regularly $149.95), and the folks at The Orange Chef have generously included a coupon code just for readers of Scott’s Diabetes, valid until January 15th, 2015, that will drop the price another 10%, which brings your total down to $89.95 with free standard shipping included.

10% Coupon Code

I’d love to hear about your experiences with the Prep Pad if you decide this is something for you (or a loved one). While I still have many emotional triggers around measuring my food, using beautifully designed tools and applications help a lot.

I’d also like to send a big thanks to The Orange Chef for supporting their local ADA Tour de Cure (Silicon Valley).

Don’t forget, the coupon code is only valid through January 15, 2015! Be sure to place your order before then to take advantage of the discount.

Disclosures: I received a Prep Pad to review at no charge. The coupon code and links above are not affiliate links and I do not receive any monetary compensation if you choose to buy a Prep Pad. By clicking through for the coupon code you agree to receive periodic email updates (newsletters) from me, however your information is never sold or given away and you are welcome to unsubscribe at any time.

PERL Study – Early Treatment for Diabetic Kidney Disease

I am a believer in participating in clinical research.

It is an important part of medical progress, and if it weren’t for clinical research, we would be in pretty poor company when it comes to choices and options for the products and medicines we use to manage our diabetes.

I have received some of the best medical care of my life through clinical studies

For example, some years ago I had an opportunity to participate in a study at the University of Minnesota called the RASS Study. The study included two actual kidney biopsies, one at the start, and one at completion, five years later.

Can you imagine the peace of mind when Dr. Mauer told me my kidneys look great even after so many years with diabetes? Sign me up, all day, every day.

Participation is Key

I believe there is a misconception about clinical research. I think that people hear those words and get a little scared. They think that there is a lot of risk involved, and that they will be putting themselves in harm by participating.

Yes. There is some risk involved. There is always risk involved. But studies done at reputable institutions, like what you’ll find through, are designed with safety first on the list. Nobody wins if a volunteer is harmed during a trial.

And there are many benefits to participation.

  • Feeling of contributing to advancement of medicine and medical science.
  • Advanced and intensive medical care and screening, unlike anything you’d typically get through your normal doctor.
  • Early access to medications that may be beneficial (you have to weigh the risks here, as they may be unknown).
  • Free medication during the course of the study.
  • Sometimes even payment for participation.

PERL Study

Dr. Michael Mauer

Dr. Michael Mauer

Dr. Michael Mauer (University of Minnesota Medical School), and Dr. Alessandro Doria (Harvard Medical School & Joslin Diabetes Center) and their teams have asked for help in spreading the word about the PERL Study (Preventing Early Renal Loss in Diabetes). It’s a 3 year study and they are looking for about 480 people with type 1 diabetes to enroll. Candidates should be showing early signs of decreased kidney function on either blood or urine tests.

This is the only trial that is looking at early treatment options for diabetic kidney disease, which is very exciting.

Diabetic kidney disease continues to be, by far, the most significant cause of kidney failure in the USA. Slowing early progression could provide many years of additional good health. — Dr. Michael Mauer, University of MN

There are study centers in most areas of the Unites States and Canada, and travel costs will be paid for eligible participants. Please see the PERL Study website to learn more and find out if you might qualify.

PERL Study

Please spread the word if you might know someone who may be interested.