Divabetic: Bettering Lives, One Feather Boa at a Time
When you think "diabetes management," do you think pink feather boas? Do you think music and makeovers? Do you picture intimate discussions, peals of laughter, and some good, old-fashioned pow-wowing?
Walking into Gotham Hall in New York City for the Novo Nordisk Presents: Divabetic – Makeover Your Diabetes event, I was greeted by the sounds of excited chatter and women with big smiles, accompanied by even bigger feather boas.
My interest was peaked. Instead of tables cramped with meters and cookbooks, there were kiosks that both people with and without diabetes could get excited about. Look at all those makeover tables! And the waiters with their trays of delicious goodies (with the carbohydrate content carefully advertised)! How about those gorgeous models – hey, is that one wearing an insulin pump?
Divabetic was inspired by Luther Vandross and created in 2004 by his personal assistant, Max Szadek. Divabetic provides a way to find answers, feel inspired, and learn new ways to live well with diabetes. A community-based organization which provides diabetes education and encouragement to women living with, at risk of, of affected by diabetes, Divabetic is one of those events you have to see to believe.
I had the pleasure of meeting Max and his grin was contagious. "This is amazing!" I said. "The positive message here is overwhelming." He confirmed by flashing a smile and waving his hands in front of him, towards the beauty bazaar. "All this. I'm so proud."
Max asserted that the positive responses from attendees have been overwhelming for the New York launch. "There's a critical need to teach people about diabetes management in a new way, without the ho hum presentation," he offered, also adding that he's excited to have Novo Nordisk and Divabetic teaming up for another five events planned across the country this year.
About two weeks ago, our international STAR TREK organization received an inquiry from one of its chapter leaders about the availability of a "mental health counselor". From his initial complaint, it sounds as if a number of our organization-level leaders don't have the necessary "people skills" to address members who may, or may not, have come "out of the closet" about ongoing mental health issues, that some of those members would benefit from...