Meet the YPLC! – Shandi Buck

12711281_10153985709973420_6766430201151313475_o
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: www.diabetes.org/duluth. 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?

 

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/myths/

Understanding Diabetes and the Common Misconceptions

Meet the YPLC! – Sean Finn

Sarahhh

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

image1

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!

Meet the YPLC! – Sarah Rickert-Poppler

Who are you?

I’m Sarah Marie. I am on the finance and strategic partnership committees. I have been involved with the Young Professional Leadership Group (YPLC) for over a year.

 

A little bit about me!

In 2011, I graduated from MSU-Mankato with a major in Corporate Finance and minors in Accounting and Business Administration. Recently, I graduated from Capella University with my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in Corporate Finance. I work as a financial analyst at Prime Therapeutics. Prime Therapeutics is a Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) for Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plans. I love working for a company whose mission is ‘To help people get the medicine they need to feel better and live well.’

In my free time I enjoy working out, training for races, binge watching Netflix, reading, knitting, and hanging out with family and friends.

 

What is your connection to diabetes?

My connection to diabetes goes way back. Since I grew up in a nursing household I knew at a young age about diabetes and its effects on others. I even worked in the healthcare industry world for almost eight years before I truly knew how much diabetes affects a person as well as their family and friends. In 2011, I started dating my husband then boyfriend at the time (Trevor) who is a diabetic. He taught me about diabetes even more than I would have learned in any healthcare setting, and he also taught me how to carb count. I also work with a few Type 1s and they appreciate the respect and knowledge I have of the disease. We all work together in battling this disease, but we still live a very normal and active life!

 

How did you end up joining the YPLC?

I met a former YPLC member at the Tour de Cure event where I was volunteering. Since I have family and friends with the disease I was thrilled to join a group whose mission is to cure diabetes. She put me in contact with Sean Finn to join the newly developed club.

 

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

I hope to make a positive difference in the fight to end diabetes. I do this by volunteering at events and at Camp Needlepoint, raising awareness in the community as well as in the workplace, and lastly, to build new relationships through networking opportunities.

Meet the YPLC! – Kunal Tandon

IMG_0359

Who are you?

I’m Kunal Tandon.  I’m the finance chair of the YPLC and one of the two leads on college connect.

 

A little bit about me!

I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a major in Finance and a minor in Accounting.  I currently work as financial analyst at SMC, which is medical device company located in Somerset, WI.

I’m unfortunately a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan, but thankfully I have the Yankees to offset my misery.  In my spare time, I enjoy playing golf (when the weather cooperates in Minnesota), working out, watching sports, and hanging out with friends.

 

What is your connection to diabetes?

I was diagnosed in March of 2009 with Type 1 diabetes.  Therefore diabetes impacts my life in every aspect.  However, in the grand scheme of things, diabetes is one of the more easier chronic illnesses to manage and it has not stopped from leading an active and healthy lifestyle(touch wood).

 

How did you end up joining the YPLC?

I met Sean Finn, who is one of the co-founders of the YPLC at a house party.  Naturally, as Type 1 diabetic I joined the group shortly after in Feb, 2015.

 

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

To make a positive difference by helping fundraise, and offer advocacy and support in the Minnesota diabetes community.  The YPLC is unique in that it’s run in similar fashion to a big cooperation, but also led by 20 dedicated individuals that share the passion for stopping diabetes as I do.  I look to strengthen these relationships, build new ones from networking, and apply my learnings to the real world.

Meet the YPLC! – Jacob Melson

 

Capture

Who are you?

Hello, my name is Jacob Melson.  I’m brand new to the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Young Professional Leadership Council (YPLC), and a member of the YPLC’s Diabetes Prevention Group.

 

A little bit about me!

For over five years I have worked as the Behavioral Health Epidemiologist at Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Epidemiology Center, which serves the 34 Tribes, four urban programs, and three service units in the Bemidji Indian Health Service Area.  Many of the public health grants and contracts I work on focus on either alcohol and other drug abuse or mental health issues.  When I am not collaborating with Tribes to help them collect and analyze data, I enjoy being active, riding my bicycle, and spending time with family and friends.

 

What is your connection to diabetes?

Diabetes runs in my family.  My late grandpa was a Type 1 Diabetic, and I have been a Type 1 Diabetic for over 25 years.  Although I have struggled with Diabetes most of my life and lived through countless highs and lows, I am grateful for the advances in technology and support of family, friends, and the ADA community. I am feel fortunate to have an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor, which is particularly helpful since I have Hypoglycemia Unawareness.

 

How did you end up joining the YPLC?

I first heard about the YPLC while volunteering at the ADA’s Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes.  I was interested in learning more and potentially being part of the YPLC because I had previously had positive experiences volunteering for and participating in other ADA events, such as Tour de Cure and Camp Needlepoint.  Therefore, I decided to apply to be part of the YPLC and attended my first YPLC meeting in January 2016.

 

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

I hopeful that volunteering with the YPLC is beneficial to both the YPLC and myself.  I am excited that the YPLC is relatively new and that members have the opportunity to influence and shape various ADA and YPLC initiatives.  After volunteering at Camp Needlepoint last summer, I am particularly interested in how Camp Needlepoint could potentially collect and use data, which could benefit the campers and staff.  In addition, I am looking forward to getting to know and collaborate with YPLC members and others, since you can’t have too many Diabetic friends!