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Wednesday
Mar182015

The Diabetes UnConference

The Diabetes Unconference happened this past weekend and I am not sure how to write about it with any sort of clarity. Since I left Las Vegas I have been thinking about the weekend nonstop. It was incredible but difficult to put into words.

Why was it so incredible? Here are a few of the reasons. 

1. I was a facilitator and able to help Christel in her vision of what the UnConference could be. And the rest of the facilitator team was amazing!

2. Most of the participants were people who I did not know which meant meeting a bunch of awesome new people!

3. Some friends I have only met online were there and we were able to give irl hugs!

4. Seeing old friends is always great and especially when they introduce you to new friends they met. And vice versa!

5. The safe space we all created and respected that allowed everyone to feel valued, respected, and welcomed. This gave people the comfort level they needed to share and listen and react and laugh and cry and swear and whatever else they needed to do.

6. No judgement.

7. Sitting at a table with someone who had never sat at a table with even one other PWD and now had 7 other people toasting to celebrate!

8. Being reminded that I am not alone and never will be again.

9. Almost 2000 years of people living with diabetes in the same room!

10. Vegas baby!

I wonder if any other patient group has done something like this before? I was honestly a little freaked out about how it would all turn out. Who would come? How does an UnConference work? Will people connect and share? Will they like it? 

Everything I hoped for it to be feels like an insult to what it actually was. 

Thank you to everyone who attended, the sponsors, the facilitors, Christel, and everyone who encouraged someone to attend.

I cannot wait until next years UnConference. 

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Reader Comments (11)

I cannot wait until next year either. As with most things, it worked because of the people. Thanks for helping facilitate. See you next year at the Unconference!

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterStephenS

And an excellent facilitator you were! Loved meeting you, and, well, everyone else too!! To next year!!!!

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSusan C

Wonderful weekend, wonderful recap! I'm also struggling with how to put down "on paper" what being there was really like. I'm bummed that you and I didn't get a chance to chat, but I finally got a hug! Thank you for all your hard work to make this happen. You and the whole team rocked it!

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKate

It was a hug that was 8 years in the making. The whole weekend was one BIG HUG. One I will never forget.

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLandileigh

As a D-noob, it was exactly what I needed. Glad to have met you!

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterElena

It was great meeting everyone. I had an incredible experience with a fantastic group of PWD. I'm looking forward to next year!

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Love! Thanks for the summary, thanks so much for being a facilitator, thanks so much for being YOU! Was a highlight to get to meet you and hug you in person after years of only "knowing" you online. You ROCK!!!!

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRhonda B

G-Money, it was an honor and a privilege to co-facilitate with you.

I loved the many new perspectives and angles that I hadn't thought of before, and that so many people were comfortable sharing their feelings. It was a really special weekend, that's for sure!

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterScott K. Johnson

I don't know where I was when this was taken. Maybe Mike Lawson ca photo shop me in. I am so in the picture in spirit it doesn't matter. LYMI.

March 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBennet

So glad to have finally met you in person, George:-)

March 19, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLaddie

so beautiful. so happy for you. so awesome you all shared those experiences. so yay. <333

March 19, 2015 | Unregistered Commentershannon

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