Friends For Life Conference 2015
One reason I started my new podcast is because I love to talk to people. It’s always a thrill to sit down with inspiring and interesting people and learn about what make them tick. Recently, I attended the Children with Diabetes Friends For Life conference where I was thrilled to record interviews with several people. They all have type 1 diabetes and they’re all using their unique talents to inspire others.
Chase Pelletier is a 19 year old touring car driver who’s already setting records. Diagnosed at age ten, he’s part of the Drive 4 Diabetes program as well as competing in the F2000 open wheel racing series in Canada, and the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car-A racing series in the U.S. Chase had a driving simulator at the Animas exhibit booth at the conference, which was a big hit with the kids who waited to meet him.
Natalie Irish is a gifted artist who one day decided to paint in a unique and remarkable way. She “kisses” the canvas, using her lips to create her art. When you look at most of these portraits, though, you’d never know a brush wasn’t used. Natalie appeared on Conan O’Brien show with her bright pink insulin pump in 2012. Her portrait of Conan still hangs in his show’s green room.
Sebastien Sasseville was the keynote speaker at Friends For Life. He may not be human. Sasseville reached the summit of Mt. Everest in 2008, but that’s just one accomplishment on his incredible list. He went on to complete 6 Ironman competitions and the mythical Sahara race in Egypt, a 250 km self-supported ultra-marathon. In 2014 Sasseville completed a solo, 7200 km run across Canada. The equivalent of 170 marathons in nine months. I asked him why he pushes himself (and what his mom thought about his trek up Everest!).
I also spoke with Kerri Sparling from SixUntilMe. She’s been on the podcast before, but Kerri is also on the faculty of Friends For Life. She talked about adults at the conference with type 1. That’s a different perspective than we parents have and it’s important to keep in mind as our kids grow up.
These interviews will be available in early to mid-August on the podcast, but I’ll give you a preview now. All of these “heroes” said the same thing, regardless of their journey, they are all inspired by the children with diabetes they meet at appearances like this and talking to these awesome kids means the world to them. Isn’t that great? Stay tuned to Diabetes Connections to hear more!