Join us on Saturday, October 15th for the Diabetes EXPO

3-days-until-expoThe American Diabetes Association® EXPO is a free event in two days on Saturday, October 15th at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Hall E between 9:00am – 3:00pm. Only participants that pre-register will receive a goodie bag when they enter the show floor. All participants will be asked to fill out a registration card prior to entering unless you have pre-registered for the EXPO.

Check out the Day of Event Program. The program contains a complete list of screenings, exhibitors, the floor plan, and schedule of events which include speakers, cooking demonstrations, fitness demonstration, and more. The program also contains Pathways to Better Health (pages 8-11) which are recommendations of what to see and do at the EXPO based on the type of diabetes you or your family member has. The Pathways to Better Health is sponsored by Novo Nordisk, Inc.

Here are some of the highlights happening at the EXPO:

  • Over 10 free screenings which include BMI, hearing, cholesterol, kidney, A1C, and more. There also will be flu shots available.
  • Cooking demonstrations and a new celebrity chef on the Healthy Eating Stage presenting the latest delicious recipes.
  • Novo Nordisk Diabetes Educators will deliver presentations focused on healthy eating and meal planning.
  • Dynamic and engaging interviews and prize drawings held throughout the day on the main stage.
  • Family focused activities, game, and planting in the kids area.

EXPO Pre-Registration: Remember, participants that pre-register for the EXPO will be able to enter the EXPO and have access to the entire hall starting at 8:45am and will receive a goodie bag.

  • We require each individual to register, instead of one per group/family. Please take this into account when preparing for the Diabetes EXPO. Consider pre-registering to avoid lines on the day of the event.

Transportation Options: Download our free Metro Transit pass to ride any bus or light rail to the event. Check the Diabetes EXPO website for a charter bus coming to the EXPO from your area.

Thank you for the support of our Sponsors: Novo Nordisk, Inc, The Diabetes Education Program, Delta Dental, Minnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation, Metro Transit, and the YMCA.

For more information about the EXPO, visit

Medifast MN’s Guide to Eating Healthy at the MN State Fair

PrintThe Great Minnesota Get-Together can be an extremely fun outing for the family, but also a nightmare for those trying to stay healthy.

Don’t let the unhealthy food get to you by following Medifast MN’s guide to healthy eating!

Filled with a map and other tips, it is a great way to make sure your family stays healthy while having fun.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is an extremely serious complication of type 1 diabetes that can lead to coma or even death if left untreated. About 1 of every 3 young people diagnosed with diabetes have DKA when they are diagnosed. Symptoms of DKA include dehydration, nausea and blurred vision. No one should have to lose their life from undiagnosed diabetes. See your doctor if you have symptoms.T1_DKA_Infographic_SignsandSymptoms_8.5x11

Meet the YPLC! – Shandi Buck

Who are you?

Hello, my name is Shandi Buck. I am a part of the marketing team for the YPLC. I have been involved with the ADA since the fall of last year.

A little about me

I currently live in Inver Grove Heights. I am originally from Rochester, MN. I graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Communications and Journalism this January. I am currently obtaining my second degree in advertising at the Art Institutes International Minnesota. In my free time, I am supporting my brothers playing hockey and going to concerts with friends. I also enjoy volunteering my time at my local church back in Rochester.

What is your connection to diabetes?

My dad has type 2 diabetes. This is something that first intrigued me to learn more about ADA. I obtained an internship this past fall as a communications/special events intern. It was an amazing experience.

How did you end up joining the YPLC?

As I was leaving my internship with the ADA, I did want to stay connected with the people and the cause it supports. Molly Duerr referred me to Sean and the rest is history.

What do you hope to take away from your work at the YPLC?

I hope to gain some new friends. I love working with people from different backgrounds so it will be very rewarding to meet new people. I also want to make a positive difference in the fight to end diabetes. I cannot wait to help out at more events and give some of my time back.

Meet the YPLC! – Shawnda Johnson

Who are you?

I’m Shawnda!


A little bit about me!
I love biking, art, reading & science. I hope to pursue a masters and PhD in public health in the future.


What is your connection to diabetes?
I was diagnosed with Type I in 2005.


How did you end up joining the YPLC?
I went to the U of M with Kunal & started a diabetes student group with him. He reached out to me & thought it would be a great opportunity, which it has!


What do you hope to take away from your work at the YPLC?
I’d love to gain more experience in community outreach and education. I love educating people on health and disease and want to find more creative opportunities to do so. Also, it’s always comforting to meet other people my age with diabetes. Sometimes you can feel a bit isolated with it. It’s great being around people who have similar experiences.

2016 Duluth Walk Ambassador: Megan Wilson

MeganMy name is Megan Wilson. If you saw me on the street, at the gym, or in the workplace, you’d assume I live a fairly normal life. What you wouldn’t necessarily see is that I live my life with diabetes. Diabetes, however, is a reality that I am faced with every day.

The day before I started second grade was one that changed my life forever—I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. My simple childhood as I knew it was turned upside down. Learning to live with this new disease is something I will never forget. To say I am not a fan of needles would be an understatement. During the first 3 years of living with diabetes, the only shot I had the courage to do was a practice one on an orange, while I relied on my parents and teachers to help me with my own shots. My next big adventure with diabetes came at the age of 10.

My parents signed me up to attend 1 week at Camp Needlepoint, a camp for children and teenagers with diabetes. It was there that I saw others my age and my counselors doing shots. My courage grew and I was able to do my first shot that week. This was a big deal for 10 year old Megan and the encouragement of friends and camp staff is something I remember to this day. The following 6 summers I looked forward to camp and I spent another 7 summers on staff as a counselor (including multiple summers at Camp Sioux in North Dakota). Camp was a pivotal experience for me in my life with diabetes. It taught me that I wasn’t alone. For one week each summer I could escape the life where I felt out of place and be in a place where diabetes wasn’t something that set me apart. I was able to grow confidence and independence in managing my diabetes.

Now at age 30, I am married, have 2 adorable dogs, and work as a full time real estate agent. In my free time, you can find me running, hiking, mountain and road biking, shooting landscape photography, coaching youth basketball, and spending time with my family and friends. In the midst of the ups and downs of life, I must choose daily to be intentional about monitoring my diabetes. Sometimes high and low blood sugars prove to be a challenge but I have learned to adjust, keep a positive attitude, and make the best of whatever this disease throws my way (although it is by no means easy).

In 2013 I decided to commit to participating in the Duluth Step Out Walk to STOP Diabetes with my mom since that year marked 20 years of living with diabetes. I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve seen firsthand the impact of this even, the sponsorship provide for kids so they can attend the life changing Camp Needlepoint, the money devoted to research towards a cure, and the thankfulness of people living with diabetes like myself when we see a community supporting a cause that affects our everyday lives.

I invite you to be a part of this quest to find a cure and in the meantime, support those living with the disease. Join a team or sign up as an individual and start spreading the word about diabetes and help be a part of a cure! On behalf of myself and the millions of other people living with diabetes out there—THANK YOU for your investment in our lives and our futures! With your help we can reach the Walk’s goal of $67,000!

Register online at: We hope to see you on April 9th!

– Megan Wilson

Meet the YPLC! – Joe Kinney

Who are You?

I am Joseph Kinney, part of the marketing committee in the Young Professional Leadership Council. I joined the YPLC in summer of 2015.


A little bit about me!

I graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2014 and am currently employed at the University of Minnesota working in the school College of Biological Science, teaching student laboratories. I spend a lot of my free time playing guitar and classical piano, and currently play in two different bands.


What is your connection to diabetes?

I have friends with type I diabetes, and in 2013 began working at Camp Needlepoint as a camp counselor. I continued to return to camp as a counselor through 2015. I joined the YPLC in 2015, and am currently helping lead YPLC’s involvement with Camp Needlepoint.


How did you end up joining the YPLC?

My friend and roommate at the time had invited me to work at Camp Needlepoint, and when I felt I had to continue my work I had started at camp in a different way, I was excited when he later asked me to join the YPLC, and agreed to join.


What do you hope to take away?

The YPLC has gives me an opportunity to be part of a group that helps develop me on a personal level,  and I hope my involvement in the YPLC can make a beneficial impact on my friends and all those with diabetes, as well as strengthen and create new connections.

Myths and Misconceptions About Diabetes

“You must have eaten too much sugar as a child!”

“Do you have the bad kind of diabetes?”

“Oh you can’t eat that…”

“You clearly don’t exercise or eat right.”


There are so many myths and misconceptions revolving around diabetes! We must take the time to educate others so they can understand the truth about this disease. It’s essential to take these opportunities to increase awareness and help focus public attention about diabetes.


Please take a moment to read these articles and ask yourself, “What can I do to spread awareness and education about the facts?

Understanding Diabetes and the Common Misconceptions

Meet the YPLC! – Sean Finn


Who are you?

My name is Sean Finn, and I’m the chair of the Young Professional Leadership Council.


A little bit about me!

Since the age of 12, I have been involved with the ADA. I would not be where I am today without my big diabetes family that I found when I went to Camp Needlepoint. Diabetes is not an easy thing to live with it, but it sure helps to have friends and family that support you!


What is your connection to diabetes?

I have been a T1D for 15 and a half years. My little brother and I were both diagnosed within weeks of each other. I actually was diagnosed over the phone, and hours after a family vacation. Since age nine I have been committed to fighting against diabetes.


How did you end up joining the YPLC?

Well back when I graduated from UMD in 2013, I met Dave Becker when I was a marketing intern at the ADA office. That summer I knew I was not able to counsel at Camp Needlepoint, so I reached out to the camp director Becky Barnett to ask how I could get involved with the ADA in other ways. She suggested I talk to Mr. Becker about his idea of developing a young professional group. After camp was over Dave and I met for coffee, and the rest is history! We like to say this idea all started in a coffee shop!


What do you hope to take away from your work at the YPLC?

My hopes of takeaways are that we can build and develop a young professional group that positively impacts our mission to stop diabetes, and also develop our team professionally.

Meet the YPLC! – Tony Gand


Who are you?
My name is Tony Gand and I have been with the YPLC since it first began. I have been involved with ADA for the past 6 years.
A little bit about me!
I currently live in Eden Prairie and work as a Pharmaceutical Sales representative selling long acting insulin. I will be getting married this September!
What is your connection to diabetes?
One of my closest friends I grew up with is a Type 1 diabetic. She asked me to come be a counselor at Camp Needlepoint one summer and I have been involved ever since! Now I have many close friends with diabetes and would do anything to help them!
How did you end up joining the YPLC?
My very good friend Sean Finn who I went to Jr High, High-school and College at the University of Minnesota Duluth asked me after he and Dave Becker came up with the idea.
What do you hope to take away from your work at the YPLC?
I want to grow professionally but most of all I want to help educate and raise concern about diabetes!