Diabetes by the Numbers

Join me as we discuss diabetes advocacy, science, and technology on Diabetes by the Numbers.
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Sep 4, 2017

Clinical trials come and go, and often they may seem like the same thing is just being tested over and over again. But it’s really not like that at all.

Case in point is the clinical trial beginning at the University of Virginia Center for Diabetes Technology. Jess Robic and Jennifer Pinnata from the CDT are here to talk about this trial specifically, and to answer a few questions surrounding clinical trial participation in general.

This trial is specifically recruiting MDI (multiple daily injections) users, but it’s using algorithms developed for use in artificial pancreas systems. There are many super interesting aspects to this study.

The best part is all the diabetes stuff you get as part of participation in the trial. It includes:

- Insulin for the length of the trial
- Use of an innovative insulin “smart” pen
- Use of a Dexcom G5 continuous glucose monitor
- Test strips for the length of the trial
- A stipend, dependent on the number of in-person study visits you complete before the end of your participation.

Seriously, if I was an MDI user, I would sign up for this trial yesterday.


A quick note: this interview was conducted two days before the unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12. If you’re wondering why we’re so cheery in the interview, and why we’re not even acknowledging anything about the racial discord of that weekend, or the fact that someone lost their life, it’s because it hadn’t happened yet.

In the aftermath of that sickening weekend, all of us decided to wait a bit before airing the episode. If you qualify, I hope you will consider signing up for this study… I believe it will help lead to something truly unique in insulin delivery for people living with diabetes.

Reference Material - Click below for more information

Jess and Jennifer talk about CDT's Recruitment Database... to join the pool of potential clinical trial participants, CLICK HERE.

To see the clinical trials currently recruiting and taking place at the University of Virginia, CLICK HERE.


Aug 28, 2017
Mindy Bartleson is accomplished.  I don't think that's overstating it.  What's really amazing is how accomplished she is at only 24 years of age.

Mindy lives with a number of chronic conditions, diabetes being one of them, and we talk about them here.  Many people remember her from her previous work at College Diabetes Network.  She has a really super blog.  Her writing has been featured on numerous websites.

And now, she's written a book.
We talk about the book, about what it's like to live with so many things and go to college and write a blog and write a book too.
This interview is being aired in conjunction with the Kickstarter campaign designed to help Mindy get her book published.  CLICK HERE to contribute... the end result will be well worth it.
Here's a pretty revealing look at one of nicest people you'll ever get to know.
Reference Material - Click below for more information on this topic
Help Mindy publish her book!  To donate to Mindy's Kickstarter campaign, CLICK HERE.
Mindy's blog is titled There's More To The Story, and you can find it here:
Jun 7, 2017
Truth be told, I look to Christopher Snider as the gold standard for quality diabetes interviews and podcasts.  I've wanted him on this podcast for some time.

Now, with that out of the way, let me tell you why Christopher was part of the podcast this week.  He has a new role, as Community Manager at Tidepool.

Tidepool is a terrific nonprofit organization that helps provide a free, open platform where people with diabetes, doctors, researchers, and others can either upload or view diabetes data.  Christopher explains it way better than I do, so I will encourage you to listen for that.

We spend a good amount of time talking about Tidepool's recently announced Big Data Donation Project.  Tidepool has agreed to donate ten percent of any fees they receive for selling your de-identified data to researchers.  The money will go to one of eight diabetes nonprofits that you probably know well.  Christopher explains it way better than I do, so I will encourage you to listen for that too.  

There's also a vague reference to Odin, the Norse god.
Reference Material - Click below for more information on this topic

Christopher Snider is Community Manager at Tidepool:
To find out more about Tidepool's Big Data Donation Project, go to:
Christopher Snider is host of two amazing podcasts:
Just Talking Podcast
Mark All That Apply
Mar 29, 2017
How do you do two interviews on the same subject on different days within the same week?  It helps if something big happens on one of the days in between interviews.

"Everything in my life, every decision I've made throughout my life, has always been framed around, 'Will I be able to get health insurance?'."

In part two of my discussions with leaders of the March for Health, the wonderful organizer of the Nashville march, Cara Richardson explains perfectly why, even though the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives pulled his "repeal and replace" healthcare legislation from consideration last Friday, there is still a need for a March.  She explains exactly why access to care and spreading knowledge of patient's rights are such an important part of her life.
Trust me... this will be well worth your time.

Reference Material - Click below for more information on this topic

Cara Richardson is organizer for the March for Health in Public Square Park, Nashville Tennessee, Saturday, April 1st at 11:00 a.m.  To find out all about March for Health Nashville, or to find another city where you can march; or to help support March for Health with a donation, go to:

March for Health still needs volunteers who can help with everything from e-mails to fundraising to setup and cleanup.  To become a March for Health volunteer, email:
Cara writes about her life with diabetes at the blog Every Day, Every Hour, Every Minute:
Mar 27, 2017
Wow.  What a turn of events.  Last Thursday, when Leyla Mansour-Cole and I recorded this interview, we were less than 24 hours away from the unexpected move of the Speaker of the House of Representatives pulling the Republican's "repeal and replace" health care legislation from consideration.
Still, there is a lot left to debate when it comes to health care in America.  And that's why people all over the country will be participating in the March for Health Saturday, April 1.  So many of us are affected by the way care, drugs, and medical technology are delivered in this country.  That's a lot of what we'll be talking about in this episode. 

And don't forget to listen to Wednesday's companion interview on March for Health with Cara Richardson.  Together, these two are the model of what happens when you see an important issue and throw yourself head first into the discussion, making a huge, positive impact.
Reference Material - Click below for more information

Leyla Mansour-Cole is National and Washington, D.C. coordinator for the March for Health, Saturday, April 1st.  To find a city where you can march, or to help support March for Health with a donation, go to:

March for Health still needs volunteers who can help with everything from e-mails to fundraising to setup & cleanup.  To become a March for Health volunteer, email:
Feb 8, 2017
Hello, and welcome to my little part of Diabetes Podcast Week

This week, eleven diabetes podcasters and video bloggers are taking part in a week-long diabetes information-fest, and centering once again on the Spare A Rose, Save A Child campaign.  So listen to this episode, then use the giving link to make your donation and save the life of a child living in a developing country who is also living with diabetes.  More information on Spare A Rose, Save A Child is at the beginning of this episode, and there's an additional link below.
My guest for this episode is one of my best friends in the world, Karen Graffeo.  But that's not why you should listen to our conversation.  You should listen because Karen, in addition to leading Diabetes Sisters' Virtual PODS (Part Of Diabetes Sisters) group, is helping to lead Diabetes Sisters Voices, a collaboration between Diabetes Sisters, the Johns Hopkins University, the University of North Carolina, TrustNetMD, and the Diabetes Sisters stakeholder advisory board of women and diabetes advocates.
If you're a woman living with diabetes, there is an easy way for you to participate in this groundbreaking research, and Karen is going to tell you all about it.  There's also a link below.  I think I also may have inadvertently convinced Karen to reprise Diabetes Blog Week this spring:)  I hope so.
Reference Material - Click below for more information on this topic
Are you a woman living with diabetes?  Find out more and participate in Diabetes Sisters Voices research:
Help save the life of a child by using the giving link and donating to Spare A Rose, Save A Child:
Thanks to Stacey Simms for coordinating Diabetes Podcast Week again.  Find out about Diabetes Podcast Week and meet each podcaster by going to:
Karen Graffeo writes about her life with diabetes, and hosts Diabetes Blog Week at:
Jan 26, 2017
Time now for the third and final part of my conversation with Christel Marchand Aprigliano.  If you haven't yet listened to the first two parts of our chat, please go back after this episode and listen to them, because they are well worth your time.

In this episode, we talk about Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition,or DPAC.  Christel and Bennet Dunlap started DPAC as a way to help amplify the voice of the patient to elected officials and policy makers.  They provide a slew of tools that empower friends, family, and fellow advocates to take action on a number of diabetes-centric issues.  Often, in less than one minute.

Note: I volunteered with DPAC in 2016, and plan to do so again in 2017. 
Also, I should mention that this interview was recorded after the November 2016 election, but prior to the beginning of the 115th U.S. Congress in 2017.
Thanks so much to Christel for sitting down for this conversation.  Enjoy, and get your advocacy on!

Reference Material - Click below for more information on this topic

Christel Marchand Aprigliano writes about diabetes at:
You can connect with Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition, or DPAC, at:
Jan 12, 2017

Welcome back to Diabetes By The Numbers.

Today, I feature the second part of my conversation with Christel Marchand Aprigliano.  In this episode, we talk about one of the hot button issues of the day-- insulin pricing.

We cover a recent meeting between insulin makers and diabetes advocates, and developments on pricing announced by two of those insulin makers since that meeting took place in November of 2016.


Reference Material - Click below for more information

Christel Marchand Aprigliano writes about diabetes at:

You can connect with Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition, or DPAC, at:

Stephen Shaul

Jan 6, 2017
I can't tell you how excited I am to finally share a conversation with Christel Marchand Aprigliano.  In three parts.
Christel, as I mention in the introduction, is a force in the diabetes world.  Until there isn't a diabetes world any longer, we can only hope to have advocates like her who get in the trenches and fight for the things that are important to those of us living with this disease.
In part two of our conversation, you'll hear about one of the hot topics of the day, insulin pricing, where roles are slightly reversed, and I'm the feisty one.  Part three will cover Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition, and how using the easy button can help you get your diabetes advocacy started, and up your diabetes advocacy, all in less than two minutes.  Those episodes are still to come, and you're not going to want to miss them.
Today, we talk about the unique gathering known as the Diabetes UnConference.  Christel covers all the things that make the UnConference life-affirming.  We discuss the No Social Media policy that exists during the sessions on Saturday and Sunday, and why that is so important to attendees.  And Christel admits that her intentions in creating the UnConference were not entirely altruistic (her words, not mine).  She needs it just as much as the rest of us.
If you’re in a place in your walk with diabetes where you could use some space to vent, or learn, share, and meet new friends, whether diabetes has been in your life for days, weeks, months, or years, this is the podcast episode you’ve been waiting to hear.
Full disclosure:  I will be a facilitator at the Diabetes UnConference in both locations this year.  I am not compensated in any way for this interview, except in the good vibes that come with going one on one with a person whom you admire and trust and learn from at every turn.

Reference Material - Click below for more information on this topic

Christel Marchand Aprigliano writes about life with diabetes at:
Find out everything about the Diabetes UnConference (and read experiences from attendees too), by going to:
The Diabetes UnConference will be held February 10, 11, and 12 at the Westin Las Vegas. Register by January 24 by going to: