Save the Date: Get Fit, Don’t Sit!

The American Diabetes Association wants you to join us on May 6, 2015 for the inaugural National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day!

Spreading the news about moving more to help fight diabetes has never been easier. Here are six quick ways you can act today to get others involved:

  1. Mark the date. Do it. Open your calendar, wherever you keep it in the cloud, on your desktop, in Outlook or on the refrigerator, and save May 6 as “Get Fit Don’t Sit” day.
  2. Download the e-Toolkit. This kit is packed with healthy ideas to get your organization, community or family out of the chair and moving on the day, but also every day. With plenty of  tools and tips, there is something for everyone.
  3. Get organized. Call a meeting at your company and ask for volunteers to help engage their work teams. Volunteers can help to print posters, revise the template e-mail to employees about the day and plan a few events.  Get Fit Don’t Sit Day is scalable to fit what works best for your company. You decide how to best celebrate the day, based on your corporate culture.
  4. Take the pledge. Commit to get your company up and moving at least every 90 minutes. Take the pledge and your company will be recognized via social media and published on the event website.  Plus, we would love to hear how your company plans to participate in the day.
  5. Share the news. Place a banner graphic on your Intranet or external websites. Post a blog about why your company is participating in the Get Fit Don’t Sit day. Include the Get Fit Don’t Sit logo and links in messages to your end users and partners. Make sure to use the hashtag #GetFitDontSit
  6. PREP TO STEP: Participate in the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes®  by forming a team.  Use a company-wide walking challenge leading up to the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes as a way to motivate participants and encourage healthier behaviors. Host a “walk around the building” and use the opportunity to invite employees to join the company Step Out team.

    If you have any questions or need any guidance from us as to how to best bring the National Get Fit Don’t Sit Day to life at your company, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Make sure to post pictures to our Facebook page and share your successes with the day.

Young Professional Leadership Council Kickoff

YPLCToday I am here from the American Diabetes Association’s Young Professional Leadership Council (YPLC)! Who are we? We are young professionals helping with the movement to Stop Diabetes. Our volunteer leaders have the opportunity to work together as a team to lead key fund raising, strategic partnerships, events, advocacy, community engagement, and developing an effective volunteer base.

I’m excited to announce our new series, “I ride because…” Watch out for our weekly articles in anticipation for the Tour de Cure! With this series you will hear about what it’s like to ride the 100 miles (the longest distance at the Tour!), the History of the Tour and of course, personal stories talking about why riders ride in the Tour. We can’t wait to share with you!

Want to know more about the YPLC or have questions? Feel free to email the YPLC at

Lexi Walz, YPLC Marketing Chair

Meet the 2015 Duluth Walk Ambassador

BrittaBritta is your All-American first grader. She is smart, artistic, athletic and a good friend to others. Britta excels at math, loves to read and enjoys music.  She takes every pottery and craft class that is offered at school.  Britta does gymnastics year around and the seasonal sports of softball, soccer, and basketball.  She attends birthday parties nearly every weekend.  However there is one thing that makes her different than all the other first graders at her school…she is a type 1 diabetic.

Our family’s way of life changed three years ago when Britta was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. She was just a week shy of her fourth birthday.  Her health was fine except for her extreme thirst and frequent urination.  We feel we caught it early as her blood glucose was at 330 and there were no other complications.  We had some textbook knowledge of diabetes but no experience of knowing anyone close to us with the disease.

Hello carb counting.  We had never read labels or dieted to even know about carbs.  Now every meal consisted of nutritional values and carb counting.  We even travel with a scale in the van for the DQ Blizzards, a measuring cup for pasta and are constantly searching on the iPhone for nutritional facts when eating out.  Sadly, eating at home has become the more convenient option.

Britta had a rough few days at first with all the shots and poking, but quickly adjusted to her new normal. She now is able to test herself and record the information on her daily log sheet.  Britta now reads labels and can navigate her pump with parental supervision.  She does an amazing job of eating balanced meals and having self-control with high sugar foods.  Britta even went to her first day camp, Camp Sweet Life, for diabetes in Mankato.  She left the camp with more confidence and knowledge of living with diabetes as well as several friends who were just like her.

Britta has two younger siblings, Brooke (4) and Bryce (2 1/2).  Neither one is diabetic, although the fear is there. When they ask for a drink during the night or complain of a headache, we squash those fears with a quick finger poke and blood sugar test.  Her siblings are very aware of diabetes.  Brooke often helps with getting the test kit and helping out during emergency lows.  Bryce likes to be a big helper by holding Britta’s hand during site changes.  Diabetes is a family affair.

Britta’s third year of doing the walk is special, as she was named the 2015 Ambassador. Originally, what made her want to do the walk, was reading about the diabetic sisters who were previous Ambassadors. We agreed that it would be good for her to meet others who have diabetes just like her.

On the way home from the walk we started brainstorming ways to raise more money for the following year. We decided to use our family business, Duluth Granite Works, to raise money by offering customers a discount on their purchase if they made a donation To Stop Diabetes.  Britta did a commercial with us for the fundraising campaign.  We were surprised and touched by the stories customers brought and the money we raised.  We hope for another successful year for Britta and everyone else affected by diabetes.

We invite you to walk with us at the Miller Hill Mall on Saturday, March 28, 2015, for the Step Out: Walk to STOP Diabetes! With your help we can reach the Walk’s goal of $66,000! Create your own team or walk as an individual by registering online at or contact Jackie Reding at the ADA office at or 763-593-5333 ext. 6598.

Get Fit, Don’t Sit on May 6th

Join the Movement on Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 – ‘Get Fit, Don’t Sit!:

People across the U.S.are sitting almost all day, living an excessively sedentary lifestyle. They don’t like it, they know it’s bad for them, but they are doing it anyways. Check out this great infographic provided by Ergotron:
Get Fit page 1Get Fit page 2jpg

Camp Needlepoint: Home Away from Home

“My life was changed before I ever had a chance to really live it. The only life I’ve ever known has been one of routine, planning, counting, and adjusting. I have always been hyper-aware of what is happening within me. I never had a choice. You see, at 16 months old I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
I have faced the unique situation of never having known a pre-diabetes life. I do not remember a time before finger pokes, shots, blood sugars, and carb counting. The effect this has had on me as a person is unfathomable. Diabetes has truly shaped who I am in ways that I can’t even imagine, no matter how much I fought it. For instance, until I was 15 years old I had never had a candy bar or had a meal that wasn’t completely planned out in advance. Additionally, I have always connected with people who were different than everyone else.
Most of my young life, I was the only diabetic kid I knew. When I began school, I had to answer questions like “Why do you get extra snacks?” and “Why do you always go to the nurse’s office?” Each year I had special meetings with all my teachers about what diabetes is and how to take care of me. I was singled out as The Diabetic Kid. That is until the summer of fourth grade. That was the first year I attended Camp Needlepoint. I couldn’t believe there was an entire camp filled with kids just like me. Kids who understood me when I said things like, “I’m wiggly,” and “I need to test.” I was finally just like everyone else. Camp Needlepoint gave me something I had always wanted: it finally reversed the rolls. I now had something that ONLY diabetic kids could have and only they could understand.
After my first week at Camp Needlepoint I knew that nothing would prevent me from coming back again and again. Each year, for nine years, I returned to my new home away from home to see my second family and every year on the day camp ended, I began to count down until the next year. Coming back to work as a counselor was a no-brainer. My camp family had gotten me through the loss of a grandparent, my awkward tween years, and together we got through a loss of one of my best friends and one of our own. I needed to give that to children who are exactly where I had been.
Each year I came back it always felt like I was coming home. A home where every day has a new and exciting adventure planned and glorious moments that could never be planned. My most rewarding moments as a counselor have been seeing the same kids come back year after year because they have found that family at the heart of Camp Needlepoint that will be with them all their life, just like it has been there for me and shaped my life.”
-Jordan Anderson

Camp Needlepoint: A Life-Changing Experience

My journey with diabetes started almost 4 years ago when I volunteered as a medical intern at Camp Needlepoint.  I was born and raised in Marine on St. Croix, which is just up the river from camp. After graduating this past May in Biomedical Engineering, I now work as an engineer at a local medical device company. I am actively involved in the Society of Women Engineers, The American Diabetes Association and absolutely love anything related to the outdoors; spring, summer, fall or winter. One of my biggest passions though is molding together happiness and health through medicine. I came into camp 4 years ago in with little knowledge of diabetes, no knowledge of the biochemistry of it all and no idea how to even care for someone with diabetes. What I ended up learning and gaining from my Camp Needlepoint experience though, was absolutely invaluable.

I had no knowledge of diabetes, no friends or family with diabetes, and no idea where to even go on my first day at camp. I quickly found out I was not the only first timer, as I saw children crying and still clinging to their parents as they were being dropped off. New challenges and places are scary for everyone, whether you are twelve, twenty or fifty. What Camp Needlepoint taught me though, was that you are not alone, there are people that are going to help you no matter what your circumstance is, no matter how lost and alone you feel. I saw old campers welcoming new counselors, counselors welcoming families, and medical staff welcoming new campers. It was a never ending circle of inclusion and I had never felt as quickly welcomed into a family as I had at Camp Needlepoint.

Working in the medical office not only acclimated me to the basic sciences of diabetes, but it also opened my eyes to a life with diabetes. With hundreds of kids constantly running, swimming, hiking and climbing, the medical staff saw their fair share of highs and lows throughout the week, literally. The beginning of the week started off rough, many campers were here for the first time with barely any knowledge of how to manage their diabetes. We experienced countless tears and tantrums during the day in our office, as well as scared and restless nights as campers were away from home for the first time. However within days, and sometimes even hours, those tears turned into smiles and those tantrums turned into laughter. One girl specifically, put in her own set for the very first time. We saw something deep down light up inside her, a whole new confidence and happiness as she walked out of our office. She ran out back to her counselor and bunkmates to spread the good news and instantly they all cheered and congratulated her on her new accomplishment. This is exactly how camp is though. No matter the feat, no matter the obstacle, your counselors, your medical staff, and even your bunkmates are going to welcome you, encourage you, and support you.

During my week at camp I gained not only knowledge and awareness, but friends. Sadly I could not stay involved with camp as school and internships kept me busy throughout college. I stayed in contact with friends though, and this ultimately led to my involvement with the YPLC this year. I am beyond excited to get back to camp and see all those kids again. Whether they were hiking, sailing, camping, horseback riding, or tie-dyeing, these campers felt like they were at home. Camp Needlepoint is a family that will always be there for its campers, counselors and medical staff; to give them confidence, independence, and most of all, a family.

– Jessica Springer

Camp Needlepoint: A Great First Experience

Hank giving himself a shot

Our son Hank was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the fall of 2008 at the age of 6.  As a result of his diagnosis there have been many firsts (including this attempt for me to blog).  Some bad, lots good and the many unexpected firsts that come with a T1D diagnosis.

One of our biggest first was Camp Needlepoint.  As the oldest child in our family, we had yet to send a child to overnight camp much less a child with diabetes.  As we drove across the MN/WI border to camp, I was silently second guessing our decision to send him.  Another state!  It seemed way too far.

We arrived at Camp Needlepoint and began unloading his suitcase and saw many other families doing the same.  We headed for the checkout line and it seemed really long because I knew everyone had to go over carb counts, insulin amounts etc., with the camp staff.  About 5 minutes into the line it was our turn.  I was armed with all of the information needed to manage Hank’s diabetes care.  I was prepared for this to take a while and to my great surprise it only took a few minutes.  The staff spoke the diabetes lingo and the got all the information they needed in about a minute.  My doubts about sending him were calmed.  Not only was the staff efficient and knowledgeable, they were also very excited about the upcoming week.  Looking around at all of the other kids and families that were in our situation was comforting.  As we walked to his cabin my fears were eased more as we met his counselor and some new friends.  It was going to be a great week.  As we drove home without Hank (first time he had been away from us since his diagnosis) I began to think that Hank is probably going to get better care at camp than at home as he was surrounded by everyone that was going through was he was.

One of the biggest milestones at camp was Hank giving himself his first shot.  This was one of those firsts I never thought I would be excited about until his diagnosis!

Hank is going back for his 4th year to Camp Needlepoint this August.  He was a little shy about writing his own blog but was willing to let me share some highlights with you. Here is his unedited list in no particular order.

#1 You wake up at 7:00am
#2 You go horseback riding
#3 You get desserts every night
#4 You can recommend people in your cabin (bunk with friends)
#5 You do 90 minutes of games
#6 You get to go swimming

My favorite part of his list is there is no mention of diabetes.  His camp experience was about having fun and how to incorporate his care into his fun rather than trying to manage fun around his diabetes.  We are extremely grateful for Camp Needlepoint and the staff who showed us kids with diabetes can have fun at camp!

-Sara, Hank’s Mom

2014 EXPO Meet the Chef: Dana Herbert

The Grand Tasting Area is a multi-layered world class sampling of appealing diabetes-friendly foods created and served by Novo Nordisk Diabetes Education Program Celebrity Chefs: Chef Tiffany Derry, Chef Rory Schepisi, Chef Doreen Colondres, and Chef Dana Herbert. Each chef will be paired with a Novo Nordisk Diabetes Educator delivering educational focused on healthy eating and meal planning. Healthy eating does not have to be boring but vibrant, full of life and flavor! Groups will be admitted into the Grand Tasting Area every 15 minutes from 11:00am – 1:30pm.

Meet Chef Dana Herbert:

Chef Dana Herbert was introduced to cooking and pastry making while studying for a culinary degree at Johnson and Wales University. He operates an award-winning custom bakery “Desserts by Dana” in his home-state of Delaware, where he dishes up sweet and savory treats. Affectionately called “Delaware’s King of Cakes” by local fans, Dana was challenged to join TLC’s “Cake Boss: Next Great Baker” flagship series in 2010-2011. Dana took the show by storm, bringing flavor and color to life in his cakes on television, and ultimately won the show. His big win caught the attention of the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour, where he came on board as a celebrity chef and gained recognition for his culinary creations. He has since been featured on a number of different shows and has authored A Sweet and Savory Union to showcase his love of blurring the lines of sweet and savory. Dana comes to Diabetes Academy with not only a passion for food, but also the sensibility and insight that life is all about moderation.

Click HERE to read more about Dana and the other chefs that will be at EXPO on October 11.

To to learn more about the details and register for the 2014 Minnesota Diabetes EXPO click HERE.


Diabetes Camp Needlepoint: Changing Lives!

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in January of 2007, a week before my 17th birthday. In the time between my diagnosis and my first summer at Minnesota’s Camp Needlepoint in 2009, I hadn’t encountered many people living with diabetes. The thought of being surrounded by other people with diabetes for an entire week seemed unreal. Immediately upon my arrival, everyone was very welcoming and friendly. The campers were excited to be back and meet up with friends from the past year. It didn’t take long for me to realize this was a safe place where I felt normal. I didn’t have to explain my low blood sugar and how horrible it felt or that I immediately needed some sugar. Instead, as soon as “oh man…56” left my mouth, I was greeted by 5 different people with juice, glucose tabs, and snacks. Camp Needlepoint is a place where there is an understanding between everyone that doesn’t need to be taught. This camp emphasizes having a fun time while managing a chronic disease, which is a great lesson to be learned.

As a young adult with diabetes, I have been able to share my personal experiences with these kids at camp. My first year as a counselor I encountered Ashley*, who was newly diagnosed and relied heavily on her parents to manage her diabetes. Before our first meal, she watched as a fellow camper gave herself a shot of insulin in the stomach and asked, “do you always do that there?” Sensing her apprehension, I shared my story of how I overcame my fear the first time I gave myself a shot. With encouragement from fellow campers and our cabin physician, Ashley* gave herself that first shot. At the end of the week Ashley* proudly told her parents that she would now be administering her own shots. A lesson learned from camp is that everything does not always go as planned; the ability to improvise, be resilient and create a positive atmosphere can influence outcomes. No one ever plans to live with a chronic disease, but helping campers gain confidence in managing their health is the reason I return to camp each year and has served as motivation for a future career in medicine with a goal of becoming a pediatric endocrinologist. This will be my 6th year returning to camp as a counselor and I hope to come back to Greatest Place I know as a physician in the near future!

Sarah Green
2009-2014 Counselor

2014 EXPO Meet the Chef: Doreen Colondres

The Grand Tasting Area is a multi-layered world class sampling of appealing diabetes-friendly foods created and served by Novo Nordisk Diabetes Education Program Celebrity Chefs: Chef Tiffany Derry, Chef Rory Schepisi, Chef Doreen Colondres, and Chef Dana Herbert. Each chef will be paired with a Novo Nordisk Diabetes Educator delivering educational focused on healthy eating and meal planning. Healthy eating does not have to be boring but vibrant, full of life and flavor! Groups will be admitted into the Grand Tasting Area every 15 minutes from 11:00am – 1:30pm. – See more at:

Meet Chef Doreen Colondres:

Join Chef Doreen at the MN Diabetes EXPO on October 11


Born into a family of cooks, Doreen Colondres’ family kitchen was the epicenter of her childhood. She developed a passion for local, fresh food and merging classic flavors with new ingredients. When life took her to Miami, Doreen found she was never far from the kitchen, cooking for friends and entertaining. In fact, Doreen wanted to convince the world that “The Kitchen Doesn’t Bite” and launched her website of the same name. A leading figure in today’s “Cocina Latina” movement and an expert in a range of Hispanic cooking, Doreen is determined to revolutionize the way the world approaches food, cooking, and eating habits. As a fresh food advocate with a passion to educate, Doreen’s easy approach and vibrant personality have helped her become a “people’s chef.” When Doreen isn’t experimenting in the kitchen, she’s either traveling abroad consulting for international companies, or is on-air hosting cooking shows on Fox’s Utilisima Network. Her mission is to show others that Hispanic food is flavorful and diverse, and that cooking is relaxing, healthy, and most importantly fun! – See more at:

Click HERE to read more about Doreen and the other chefs that will be at EXPO on October 11.

To to learn more about the details and register for the 2014 Minnesota Diabetes EXPO click HERE.