Free Diabetes Driving Clinic for Teens – Chicago, IL – 9/27/14

A sign that says "Check Before You Drive!"

Check Before You Drive!

I’m happy to announce that Juvenile Diabetes No Limits is heading back down to the Chicago area for another free driving clinic for teens with diabetes.

This 1-day program is open to teens with diabetes ages 15-19 with a valid permit or drivers license. If space permits, 14 and 15 year olds can take part and learn (they can ride along, usually, but can’t do the behind the wheel exercises).

The instructors have backgrounds in the auto industry, motor sports, advanced racing/driving schools, and high-threat driver training for the military and law enforcement, and more. Sounds like an amazing opportunity to me!

Space is filling up fast for the September 27th class! There are only about 8 spots left – so register today if you’re interested!

You can learn more about the program and free registration at Juvenile Diabetes No Limits.

Diathlete Gavin Griffiths in Minneapolis!

Gavin Griffiths I’m very excited to welcome Gavin Griffiths to Minneapolis!

Gavin is an ultra-marathoner who has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of 8.

He’s making our great city an important part of an amazing adventure he’s on – the “Diathlete USA Tour 2014!

Based in London, Gavin makes a habit of doing big things in the name of diabetes advocacy. As this post publishes, he’ll be in New York running SEVEN back-to-back marathons in support of diabetes awareness…  that’s right, one marathon each day between September 7th – September 13th. Amazing!

Come Meet Gavin!

On Monday, September 15th, Gavin will be appearing at the JDRF MinnDakotas local office to give a talk about “Taking Control and Achieving Your Goals!”

I can’t wait – hope to see you there!

Gavin at JDRF

Want to Win an iHealth Align Meter?

I’m having fun with the “Scott’s Sweepstakes” series! I was so tickled when the contest software picked Loren as the winner of last week’s giveaway!

I actually met Loren and her family at Friends for Life a couple of years back, and was inspired by Chase who is bravely experimenting with putting his infusion sets in new places, and inspiring his buddies to do the same.

Here’s a fun picture of us at Friends for Life 2014 near the Lilly Diabetes Booth (see Coco in the background?).

Picture of Scott, Chase, and Loren at Friends for Life 2014

Now Up? Win an iHealth Align Meter!

Contest ends
September 8, 2014 at 11:59 PM Central

Screenshot of iHealth-Align-Contest-Form


Doug Masiuk – Appalachian Trail With Type 1

To say Doug Masiuk likes to run is like saying Scott Johnson likes to drink Diet Coke. 🙂

Doug is all about empowering people with diabetes through his love of running. Not long ago he ran across America, and now he’s taking on another amazing challenge. We’re talking with Doug tonight on DSMA Live about what he’s up to. I hope you’ll tune in and hear about what you can do to help keep him moving.

Learn more about Doug and his mission at

Announcing Scott’s Sweepstakes!


Who loves contests, giveaways, and free stuff? I do! I do! You do! You do!

I’m trying something new here, and I’d love to know what you think of it.

I want to run a semi-regular giveaway with any products or services I get my hands on that I think you all might enjoy.

Let me know what you think of this, please (concept, mechanics, anything). As with anything new, it’s a little scary, and most important to me is to make sure I stay on your sweet side.

First up is MedCenter’s ‘Your•Minder Personal Recording Alarm Clock’ – a talking alarm clock with 6 personal recorded reminders valued at $49.95. Check out the product description page for more details.

Product Description Page

Enter Sweepstakes!

Contest ends at Midnight on Monday night September 1st, 2014.

Your information will not be sold or shared with anyone, not even the sponsors of this contest (MedCenter). I’ll be shipping this myself, and am happy to send it internationally. I’m trying a fancy contest application which gives you extra entry points for sharing and spreading the word – it sounds pretty cool, but let me know if that stuff is more annoying than helpful.

Good luck! I’m excited to see how this turns out, and I already have a handful of other goodies to give away!

Scott’s Old School Low Treatment

I spent Saturday helping to clean out dad’s garage. We found an old tackle box with some low BG supplies inside. 🙂

These don’t have dates on them, but they are at least twenty-five years old. At least.

Fruit Roll-Ups

Fruit Roll-Ups

Back in the day we didn’t have glucose tabs. In fact, I remember baggies of sugar cubes and tubes of cake frosting being the go-to tools of camp counselors. Pocketable? Not really.

For as long as I can remember, I’d have two Fruit Roll-Ups in my back pocket at all times. Flattened to death before long, but still worth 12g of carbs.

Peel from cellophane before eating, yo.

I’ll Read it For You…

Are you on the move? Let me read this to you…


Jay Haapala – Flying Solo with T1D!

I’m thrilled to bring back Jay Haapala for another guest post! Last time was about the Prudential Spirit of Community award, and this time he’s soaring above cloud nine!

Welcome back, Jay!

Jay and his parents

Jay and his parents after his first solo flight.

When you think of flying you probably think of lousy service, high prices, crowded airplanes, and a lot of waiting in line. You will most likely stress about getting on your 6:00AM flight and then stress yet again about making your 45-minute connection in Atlanta. There’s another side to flying that many people never get to experience and even fewer diabetics get to experience. My name is Jay Haapala; some of you will remember me from my guest post here on Scott’s blog a little over a year ago. I am back today to share what is new with me and my quest of becoming a private pilot.

Jay in the cockpit

Jay inside the cockpit of N6238D, a Cessna 172 Skyhawk on his first solo flight. Downtown Charleston, WV is on his right and the camera’s left.

Long story short… when you’re addicted to aviation, you’re addicted. What starts the aviation addiction varies from person to person. I caught the “Aviation Bug” in June of 2007 when my mom and I flew to St. Louis for a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) conference. On the way home we ended up stuck in the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport for nine hours. I have close to no recollection of what I saw in the airport but whatever it was it sure had a very profound impact on me. Aviation became my life and it was all I talked about. I spent 4th grade with my face glued up to a window in my classroom that sits directly under the approach path to Charleston’s Yeager Airport. I would go on to fly every chance I got and more recently started working as an intern at Yeager Airport.


Airborne! There’s Jay on his first solo flight!

In April of this year I decided enough was enough and decided it was time to start my journey of becoming a licensed private pilot. While this isn’t an impossible task for someone with T1D it has its added challenges. In May of 2014 I applied for a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Third Class Medical certificate. Currently people with T1D cannot hold a First Class Medical Certificate (the type required to fly for an airline). I’m happy to say that after close to 1.5 months of calling the FAA and getting a United States Senator’s office involved I now hold an FAA Third Class Medical Certificate. This certificate allows me to fly an aircraft solo and to eventually fly as a private pilot.

All smiles after landing

All smiles after he landed N6238D by himself for the first time. He calls this the look of “I did it!”

My instructor and I made a decision that I was ready to fly an aircraft while acting as pilot in command, my first solo! This is major milestone in any pilots’ training, the person that acted as your safety net steps out of the aircraft, knowing you are capable of flying that aircraft by yourself. The day was July 9, 2014. I flew two “patters” (or circuits around Yeager Airport consisting of a take off and landing) with my instructor, Brenda. We decided I was ready, I taxied back to Executive Air (the private terminal at Yeager Airport), Brenda stepped out and said “bring the plane back safely”, she signed my logbook and walked off. I’ll be honest; I was scared to death. However, I knew I could do it. I’ve waited for this moment since I knew the average person could become a pilot. My first solo went great. I was able to fly one pattern (loop) around Yeager Airport (CRW). While a first solo is special for any pilot in training it really meant a lot to me knowing I was doing it with T1D. I won, diabetes lost. The type of private flying I get to experience is much different from the airlines; if you ever get the chance to fly in a general aviation aircraft, do it.

Jay losing his shirttail

Jay’s instructor, Brenda, cutting his shirttail – a US tradition after a first solo flight.

I’ve come to the realization that when it comes to aviation I posses a ridiculous amount of serendipity. Serendipity is defined as: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. That one word pretty much sums up my aviation life. If I were to give anyone around my age advice it would be something like: your age doesn’t matter (you can do whatever you want at your age assuming it is legal), be interested in an industry, share your passion with others, use social media (if done correctly it will help you greatly), never take no for answer, if you have diabetes (or any other health related issue) don’t let it stop you, connection are key. Finally, as the slogan of AirTran Airways states: Go. There’s nothing stopping you. As I continue my quest of becoming a private pilot, follow my website and social media feeds. My website has some of my pictures and videos flying including an onboard video of my first solo! Thank you to Scott for the opportunity to share my story on here; it is always a pleasure.

Twitter: @CRWjay
Instagram: @CRWjay
Facebook: /CRWJay
Website: Flying on Insulin


Jay Haapala on DSMA Live!

Jay Haapala on DSMA Live – Recorded July 26, 2014




Hanging with SugarFreeShawn (Shawn Shepheard)!

I was blessed with an opportunity to finally meet Shawn in person at CWD’s Friends for Life conference in Orlando – and he’s twice as awesome in person as I’d imagined him to be. We weren’t able to coordinate a video while together in Orlando, but we made sure to connect not long after.

Shawn does a TON of amazing advocacy work and is just a treat to be around. If you all don’t follow him already, please make sure to get him on your radar and support the work he’s doing.

I’m honored to be a part of his story through sharing our story.

And I can't wait to get his new book... 

And I can’t wait to get his new book…

I owe a huge hug and thank you to the marvelous Sandy Struss for the introduction.

Patient Network Live Chat – THANK YOU, FDA!

Patient Network Live Chat - Diabetes and Glucose Monitoring Devices

Helene Clayton-Jeter, Courtney Lias, and Bennet Dunlap

About four months ago the FDA’s Office of Health and Constituent Affairs hosted an extremely informative Patient Network Live Chat with FDA Expert Courtney Lias and Patient Advocate Bennet Dunlap. If you missed the live event, there is a recording online you can watch. iOS users, it’s a Flash site…sorry.

This is well worth your time to watch if you want to know more about the FDA and its role in blood glucose meter and test strip regulation, specifically the FDA’s new proposed guidelines and what standards blood glucose meters should have to meet before the FDA clears them for sale.

I’d like to express a huge “THANK YOU” to the FDA for hosting this extremely informative chat and making it available for the diabetes patient community. This is a really big deal and I very much appreciate it. Thank you!

And yes, I totally meant to get this posted a long time ago… better late than never, right?