Christel Marchand Aprigliano, MS
Christel Marchand Aprigliano, MSFounder
Diagnosed at twelve with Type 1 diabetes, Christel works with other prominent advocates to heighten public awareness and create meaningful positive changes in the diabetes community. She was the co-creator of diabeticfeed, the first podcast about diabetes and diabetes research and is considered a pioneer of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC).

She now devotes her efforts to many diabetes advocacy avenues, including co-founding the Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to amplifying the diabetes voice on federal and state policies; founding The Diabetes Collective, Inc., which produces The DiabetesUnConference; and acting as a gubernatorial appointed member of the Florida Diabetes Council. You can find her thoughts on life with diabetes on her personal blog, Christel lives in Florida with her husband and daughter.


Nicole Berelos, PhD, MPH, CPH, CDE
Nicole Berelos, PhD, MPH, CPH, CDEFacilitator
Dr. Nicole Bereolos, PhD, MPH, CPH, CDE is a clinical psychologist and certified diabetes educator with specialized training in public health. Originally from Illinois, she earned her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of North Texas and a MPH (health behavior) from UNT-Health Science Center. She completed her internship in family medicine and geriatrics at UNT-Health Science Center and a post-doctoral fellowship at Brown Medical School in Rhode Island.

While at Brown, she served as project director of a NIH funded grant to develop a diabetes management program in American Samoa based on the AADE7. She has experience in training community health workers in diabetes, presenting at scientific conferences, serving as a reviewer for peer-reviewed journals, co-authoring scientific papers, and working with both adults living in nursing homes with type 2 diabetes and with adolescents living with type 1 diabetes.

Nicole sees herself as an integral part of an inter-disciplinary team dedicated to helping people live with diabetes successfully. Currently, she has a private practice in Dallas and volunteers as a speaker for the American Diabetes Association-North Texas Chapter and JDRF. She loves to travel and shop and recently completed culinary school. She has also had type 1 diabetes for 22 years and has been pumping since 2000.


Bennet Dunlap, MSHC
Bennet Dunlap, MSHCFacilitator - (PLU) People Who Love Us
Bennet is a health communicator and project manager with experience in diabetes, social media, and advocacy programs. Combining analysis, communication and humor to bring groups together to help people with diabetes, he is the father of four – two young adults with Type 1 diabetes and is Type 2 himself. Following a 35 year career in commercial banking, he earned a Masters in Health Communication to professionally serve the diabetes community.

Bennet created the grassroots advocacy campaign for diabetes meter accuracy, which helped pave the way for many successful policy advocacy endeavors, including #FDAasksDOC, #Vote4DM, and most notably, as the co-founder of Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition. He writes the blog Your Diabetes May Vary.


Karen Graffeo
Karen GraffeoFacilitator
Karen was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1979, at the age of 11. For most of her life she didn’t know anyone else with diabetes, and often used to hide diabetes from others because she didn’t like feeling “different”. That all changed in 2008 when Karen started her diabetes blog, Bitter-Sweet, and became immersed in the diabetes online community. She hopes her blog helps others living with diabetes feel less alone and also raises awareness of real life with diabetes. Karen is the founder of Diabetes Blog Week, a yearly event aimed at uniting the diabetes blog community. She hosts the DiabetesSisters Virtual PODS monthly online support group and is a Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation Board Member. In the offline diabetes world, Karen is involved with local support groups and the JDRF chapters in her home state of Connecticut. Karen’s blog tag-line best sums up what she’s come to realize over the years . . . . life with diabetes isn’t all bad.


Scott K. Johnson
Scott K. JohnsonFacilitator
Scott was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. He has been writing about his struggles and successes with diabetes since late 2004. Currently blogging at Scott’s Diabetes (, working as the Communications Lead, USA for mySugr, and contributing to many other diabetes related projects, Scott stays busy connecting with others living with diabetes. Scott lives with his family near the Minneapolis, MN area.


Anna Norton, MS
Anna Norton, MSFacilitator
Anna Norton, MS, has been living with type 1 diabetes since August 1993. As the CEO of DiabetesSisters, Anna is dedicated to improving the lives of women living with diabetes through peer support and education. DiabetesSisters ( creates a safe environment for women living with diabetes through online and in-person programs such as online forums, blogs, webinars, National Conferences, and monthly support group meetups throughout the United States. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida and Master of Science in Education at Florida International University. She has worked for large university systems and metropolitan health care systems since 1999, with a focus on major gift fundraising, annual gifts, event planning and community relations. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband Mike and their young son.


Mike Norton, MA, MAS
Mike Norton, MA, MASFacilitator - (PLU) People Who Love Us
Mike Norton, MA, MAS, lives as a PLU (Person who Loves Us), supporting his wife with diabetes. Early on in their relationship, he learned as much as he could about the medical side of diabetes, and well as the mechanics of how medical devices worked. In the years that have followed, Mike has made learning about the social and emotional side of diabetes an integral part of his daily routine. He focuses on keeping his family healthy and teaching his young son the importance of understanding the intricacies of diabetes. Mikes enjoys sharing his knowledge with other PLUs and exchanging personal experiences about the unique challenges of supporting a person living with diabetes. Professionally, he works for the United States’ government, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Northeastern University, a Master of Administrative Sciences from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a Master of Arts in Political Science from Rutgers University.


Stephen Shaul
Stephen ShaulFacilitator
Stephen has been living with Type 1 diabetes since 1991. Since April 2012, he has been writer of the diabetes blog Happy Medium, and  has covered a number of diabetes-related subjects, including participation in clinical trials, living a week gluten free as if he were newly diagnosed with celiac disease, and the complex relationship between patients, corporate interests, and government entities.

In November 2014, he spoke before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during a public workshop on interoperability between diabetes devices. In November 2013, Stephen began awarding medals to people living with diabetes who achieve their athletic goals. He is a part time moderator of the popular weekly DSMA Twitter chats, and advocates for people with diabetes everywhere through support of legislation designed to reduce the burden and ensure safety of people living with diabetes, and through encouraging others by staying true to the phrase “I support you… no conditions”