Yesterday my wife and I attended the TCOYD conference. It was a cold and slightly snowy day so we drove into DC and actually got there early. It seemed like not too many people were there, but that changed as the room for the keynote presentations quickly filled.
These conferences reach out to people to help them to empower patients to take care of themselves and to be able to live a long, healthy and happy life. The Diabetes Hands Foundation is a partner with TCOYD.
I think we can often get a distorted view of diabetes. There are many people out there who really struggle with their diabetes, they don't have to tools and education to take proper care of themselves, the "system" has let them down and they just feel depressed, angry and defeated. This conference really tries to change that.
The speakers were very inspirational, Steven Edelman, William Polosky and Urban Miyares. After listening to these speakers it really can leave you with a changed view of your own relationship with diabetes. Even the most frustrated of us has to feel some real hope and promise that you can change your life around.
Many of the attendees did appear to be people who really benefited from the day. It only costs $20, but it must cost nearly $200 or so per person. They had wonderful snacks and a diabetic friendly lunch. Many of the sessions and health fair exhibits are staffed by local doctors and professionals. I saw a fair number of ones that I have met before. I even crossed paths with Hope Warshaw about a dozen times in the health fair, although I declined to talk to her (we don't exactly see eye to eye).
I spent some time with Karen Graffeo who writes BittersweetDiabetes. Many of you may follow her blog. She is also famous for having started Blog Week. Karen is tireless and talked to many of the attendees. Karen manned a booth on social media and provided an introductory presentation. Emily Coles had sent me a bunch of brochures and Karen helped me distribute them. It was clear to me that while the on-line community really helps me and many others here, a lot of the attendees are not technology savvy and there remains a big gap. Many people seemed unaware of what was available on-line.
My wife and I were fortunate to meet up with our own fellow member kphil06 for lunch. We joined a table with some other participants and three physicians assistants (TCOYD runs a parallel session for health professionals). I really enjoy meeting other members. I am always so impressed with the people who are members here.
I really enjoyed this conference. It was a wonderful way to spend the day. I did learn a bunch of stuff had a great time talking with people, particularly at the health fair. My wife gained some real insight into the world of diabetes. And I think it makes me really appreciate how important it is to reach out and help others.
Has anyone else attended a TCOYD conference? What was your experience?