I walked into the Richard Rubin Keynote (opening session) with an overflowing breakfast plate and my shoulder bag full of diet sodapop. After only a step or two into the room I was stopped in my tracks by the sheer size of this thing. I had no idea. No. Idea.
I could not even see the people on the other side of the room. They were lost over the horizon. There were THREE giant TV screens to broadcast the podium. THREE SCREENS!
I was very full of emotion being surrounded by so many people all deeply entrenched in diabetes. Everyone there was either a person with type 1 diabetes, a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes, family member of someone with type 1 diabetes, or a caregiver for someone with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 1 diabetes. Everywhere. I have never experienced so much type 1 diabetes in one place. I was overwhelmed by it all. The love and support just swallowed me up, and the program hadn’t even started yet.
, an Ironman Triathlete who lives with type 1 diabetes, delivered an incredible opening speech. The Ironman Triathlons are a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, THEN a 26.2 mile run. One right after the other. Not the next week, not the next day, but all together in a single day. It is an amazing accomplishment to train for something like that, much less compete on a professional level. And to do so with type 1 diabetes? I find that incredibly inspiring. I really enjoyed Jay’s ability to tie in the struggles we face living with diabetes into the challenges of such a grueling endurance race. I was very moved by his speech, and was thrilled to have the opportunity to shake his hand, thank him, and get a picture with him. Thank you Jay!
I had a lot of trouble deciding which sessions to attend for the rest of the afternoon. I wanted to go to ALL of them! For the most part, I made good decisions about what to attend, but I also missed some great discussions. There was just no way to attend six sessions all at the same time. If I could have figured out a way to do it, I would have.
One of the things I enjoyed most was constantly bumping into, and visiting with, people from the DOC.
And to top the evening off, I even got to play some basketball with Gary Scheiner.
Thanks to Kerri
for this action shot!