Don’t take our word for how incredible attending The Diabetes UnConference would be for you!

Here is what 2015 attendees are saying about The Diabetes UnConference:

“There was laughter. There were tears. Hugs abounded and high fives flew. Clapping (twice). Frustrations. Hope. Fear. Unbelievable strength and dogged determination. There really aren’t enough words available to me to describe this event. So here’s what you should do. Next year, you should plan to attend.” – Kate Cornell

“I had been blaming myself for my diabetes and its complications. Opening up at the UnConference, I was embraced with open arms and a lot of ‘me too!’ I truly am not alone!” – Landileigh N.

“I met people who had lived with diabetes for over 50 years and I met people who had lived with diabetes for only a few months – and folks who ran the gambit in-between and I learned from every single person in the room. And there was a hell of a lot to learn, because collectively, our group had damn near 2000 years of diabetes experience.” – Kelly Kunik

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“People shared some of their most closely held fears and secrets. People emerged stronger. People emerged not feeling so alone. People were empowered to take another look at diabetes and their friends who live with diabetes, making a collective investment in a better future for all of us. We are all in.” – Stephen Shaul 

“As we gathered in the meeting room the warm welcome was just the beginning for a day and a half filled to overflowing with respect, compassion  and a deep understanding of shared experience. Lasting friendships were formed and hugs exchanged. It was a very profound experience that I will be forever grateful to have shared.” – Janis N. S.

“I am my diabetes expert.  You are your diabetes expert.  And it took The Diabetes UnConference to show me how important that is and how much we need to come together and help each other.” – Karen Graffeo

“The safe space we all created and respected that allowed everyone to feel valued, respected, and welcomed. This gave people the comfort level they needed to share and listen and react and laugh and cry and swear and whatever else they needed to do.” – George Simmons

“Simply put…it was inspiring and transformative.” – Kristin S.

“For example, when we were talking about burnout, many people shared their personal experiences with diabetes-related burnout, and others said that they haven’t ever experienced burnout.  I thought that was a powerful moment, because while there might be majority opinions on certain topics, the whole point of the diabetes community is that we are strong in what unites us as well as what makes us different.  One size doesn’t fit all, and neither does one emotional response.  I loved these moments because they woke me up and reminded me of the diversity of our experiences.” – Kerri Sparling

“I appreciated talking about looking for success with diabetes and working to feel powerful through our achievements instead of oppressed by our challenges.  Perhaps this sort of philosophical game is absurd but life is a philosophical game and victories are strewn across the battlefields of our lives with diabetes.  We should be very proud of what and who we are.” – Mike S.

“I actually went into this thing, thinking I didn’t belong there because I have only been a PWD for 2 years and 9 months.  I was scared.  I was afraid I was going to hear things like, “Oh, you’re so new.  You can’t possibly need to go to an event like this.” I did not hear that once this weekend.” – Arlene Skinner

“There is an immediate bond when you meet someone living with diabetes. Words can’t describe the feeling of someone your just “gets it”. Now multiple that feeling by 80, that is what the UnConference felt like.” – Shawn S.

“You could talk about your fears, your joys, shed your tears, or burst out laughing … This safe place to share opened all of us up and got conversations going like nothing I’ve been a part of before. The key takeaways for me were the ‘me too’ and walls of isolation crumbling apart. For some, it was the first experience like that, and it was very emotional.” – Scott Johnson

“This was an experience I truly needed, even without realizing how much I needed it before the weekend began.” – Michael Hoskins

“But the biggest surprise for me was the intimacy I found at the Diabetes UnConference. Not only in small, personal talks, but also during session in the main room with almost 100 people. So many offered a look deep inside their heart, maybe allowing a deeper look to other attendees than they allow even to their own partner. This was something I did not expect and I will not forget.” – Joe Gaiser 

“They say that when you are diagnosed with diabetes you immediately become a member of a club nobody wants to join. After attending the first ever Diabetes UnConference I can safely say that this is a club that every person with diabetes will want to become a member/attendee of. The UnConference provides a safe, nurturing, welcoming, and very interactive environment with others who “get it.” It is an UnDerstatment to say that the Diabetes UnConference was UnParralleled, UnEqualled, and one of the most UnForgettable experiences I’ve had since my diagnosis 30 years ago.” – Brad S.

“I knew that everyone attending understood how much a pain this is, how exhausting it can be, and how no matter how hard we try some days diabetes wins.  I knew that I would come away feeling better and stronger.  What I didn’t know was how much I would love everyone I met.” – Jennifer Christensen