Meeting Riva Greenberg and other inspirational people

by Colleen 


I heard at the last minute that Riva Greenberg (of Huffington Post fame) was coming to Lancaster General Hospital for a speaking engagement. The title of the presentation was called “Taking Control” and the description of the event focused on lowering your A1C. These topics didn’t really appeal to me all that much considering how well I’ve been doing with diabetes since my pregnancy began. But, since I admire Riva so much I decided to check it out anyway.

I walked in the room and was greeted with the latest edition of the Calorie King. Uh thanks, I guess? Before Skippy go there I was looking around and noticed that I was definitely the youngest person in the room. I immediately was concerned that this event was going to be geared more towards people with type 2 diabetes, than to people with type 1.

BOY was I wrong! Turns out, I was just the youngest person with type 1 in the room! How COOL is that? I don’t think that has happened to me since I was a kid. Not only that, but Riva’s presentation really struck a cord with me. It went beyond the “you have to do this and this and this” to get a better A1C. It wasn’t preachy. She spoke about the emotional aspects of living with diabetes and some ways to overcome them.

Here’s a picture of one of my favorite parts of the discussion:


Riva asked the crowd… Do you do things for diabetes because you HAVE to or because you CHOOSE to? Your first reaction is probably to say “because I have to.” But really think about it, no one is holding a gun to your head and telling you to test your blood sugar or bolus for your dinner. You do those things because you CHOOSE to live healthier with diabetes. Think about that. Doesn’t it just make you FEEL better? YOU are the one controlling your life. YOU are the one deciding how to live with diabetes. What an incredible, thought provoking, and RELIEVING thought!

After the presentation we stuck around and chatted with the others in the crowd. We got to meet a really cool lady named Deone. She is 81 years old and has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 50 years! She is involved in the Joslin Medalist Study and told us about how there are over 800 participants! So inspirational! Not only that, she talked about how many of them are STILL producing small amounts of insulin. That gives me so much hope for future advancements!

Overall, it was a very cool experience, and I’m so happy to have gone. We met some awesome people with diabetes, and learned a lot about putting diabetes in perspective. If you have a chance to see Riva speak, definitely do it!

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