Sugar Mama's Podcast: Type 1 Diabetes

#66 Touched by Type 1 with founder, Elizabeth Forrest

April 14, 2022 Katie Roseborough Season 1 Episode 66
Sugar Mama's Podcast: Type 1 Diabetes
#66 Touched by Type 1 with founder, Elizabeth Forrest
Show Notes Transcript

This is episode #66 of the Sugar Mama’s Podcast and today I get to chat with the lovely and gracious Elizabeth Forrest who is the founder of Touched by Type One. Touched by Type 1 (TBT1) is a non profit organization that is dedicated to spreading awareness about type 1 diabetes as well as providing a number of amazing resources to the type 1 community with the goal of making life with T1D easier and more enjoyable. My family has personally been involved with a few of TBT1’s programs and I cannot say enough good things about them. Listen in as Elizabeth shares the story of TBT1, how it has grown over the past 20+ years and how you can get involved. Enjoy!

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Katie:

You're listening to episode 66 of the sugar mamas podcast. And today I get to chat with the lovely and gracious Elizabeth Forrest, who is the founder of touched by type one, touched by type one is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to spreading awareness About type one diabetes, as well as providing a number of amazing resources to the type one community, with the goal of making life with T one D easier and more enjoyable. My family has personally been involved with a few of touched by type ones programs. And I can not say enough good things about them. Listen in as Elizabeth shares, the story of touched by. How it has grown over the past 20 plus years and how you can get involved. Enjoy You're listening to the sugar mamas podcast, a show designed for moms and caregivers of type one diabetics here. You'll find a community of like-minded people who are striving daily to keep their kids safe, happy, and healthy in the ever-changing world of type one. I'm your host and fellow T one D mom, Katie Roseboro. Before we get started. I need you to know that nothing you hear on the sugar mamas podcast should be considered medical advice. Please be safe, be smart, and always consult your physician before making changes to the way you manage type one diabetes. Thanks. Hey everybody. I'm here with Elizabeth forest today and Elizabeth, I would love it. If you would start off just introducing yourself and tell us what your involvement is with the type one community.

Elizabeth:

Absolutely. Well, thank you for having me again. I'm Elizabeth Forrest. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes back in 1999 when I was 10 years old. And. I live here in Orlando, Florida. I grew up in Sanford. And when, when I was diagnosed shortly after that, I was attending a middle school, performing arts middle school in Sanford and inspired by my dance class. I came up with the idea to put on a dance show, to raise money and awareness about type one diabetes and my dance teacher at the time. And my school principal. Very enthusiastic and supportive of the idea and said, yes. And 22 years later, we're a full fledged non-profit organization based in Florida, helping people all across the world. And it all started with a dance show, but we do much more than that from an outreach and service and programming perspective.

Katie:

Yes. And I will definitely ask you about all of that. Cause I know you guys do do quite a lot for the type one community. but I just have to ask, I'm curious to know, like as a middle schooler, just being the parents. mom, who, my oldest son is going to be in middle school next year. And I just, I feel like if he came to me and was like, mom, I'm going to put on, you know, what, Maybe not a dance performance. Cause that's not his thing, but you know, whatever it might be, it's going to be this huge effort. What do you think I'd feel like? I would be like, Hm let's sleep on that for a few nights. know what I mean? so it sounds like you had a ton of support from your teachers and the staff at school. What did your parents think? Were they like, okay,

Elizabeth:

Maybe we're on board with it. And it just, it blows my mind when I think about it. And I think back to that time, and at the same time, I was so shy and reserved as a middle schooler, plus a middle schooler with a disease that made me different than everyone else. And no one else in my classes had diabetes. So I was just so different and shy in middle school. So there were so many things going against me. Everyone around me was excited and supportive and said yes. And I don't know that that would happen necessarily now or really with other, I just, I think I got really lucky and had the right people around me.

Katie:

It might've helped you, that you were so shy beforehand because your parents were probably like, oh, you want to do this? Like put yourself out there. And you know, like, let's do whatever we can to support her there. They were probably like, wow, this is a quite a change.

Elizabeth:

Yeah, absolutely.

Katie:

yeah. So what would you, if you had to kind of sum up like the goal of touched by type one and just your mission statement to the listeners who are tuning in, what would you say.

Elizabeth:

Yeah, so touched by type one is focused on spreading awareness about type one diabetes raising funds to find a cure in really at the core. Inspiring people touched by type one to thrive despite type one diabetes. It's we take a very positive approach. You know, we have this disease or we love someone that has this disease and it's horrible. It's it is a challenge. There's nothing fun about it. It gets in the way all the time. It affects our health. It affects our life, but we can choose to be positive about it and come up with a plan and try and do our best. Or we could do something else and, you know, not get the best result, but we, I tried to take a very positive approach to an all on and I'm, that touched by type one, carries that positivity with.

Katie:

Yes, it definitely does. so you already kind of mentioned how it got started as a, you know, a middle school or you started this dance program to raise awareness and raise money for, for the cause. but how have you seen it evolve your diagnosis in 1999? To now to this big organization, that's doing so many wonderful things for the type one community. How has it changed?

Elizabeth:

Yeah. I always say this that I need to create a timeline, like a visual timeline to show it because it's really cool. And I'm obviously very biased about it, but you know, 1999 I get diagnosed and I'm in middle school. We come up with this show, my. Peers in the class are really excited about it. my sisters are really little at the time. They're excited about it, help backstage, things like that. And, you know, continue in middle school, go to high school. And now my high school is involved now having it at the high school, go on to college in Gainesville, the university of Florida still kept doing dancing for diabetes and would come home to, to produce the actual. Prepare it from there. And, and so every year we had more and more people join us, whether they were dancing or they were volunteering, or they were attending the show. And so more and more people just naturally started being around it. And we of course met a ton of people throughout that process that had a connection to type one diabetes, whether it was their themselves or someone else. And people were naturally being attracted to such a positive movement that was happening despite such a terrible thing. And, and so it was growing on its own. And when I came back, graduated from USF and I came back home afterwards to start my next chapter, I had taken a few classes at the end of my last year in Gainesville, focused on non-profit organizations. And so I figured out how to incorporate it officially as its own 5 0 1 C3 non-profit and then realized that we were doing little things here and there outside of. Show itself. And so really just explored that. And because we were an official nonprofit, we formed a board and we had committees and we had more moving pieces and parts and people that were really passionate about it. And so even to this day, if there's an idea out there, We run with it and we try to figure out how to make it happen. so all the people that have been involved over the last many years, since 2011, really it's really, when we took off as an official organization, we started putting these programs together that met the needs that we were discovering were in our community that existed. And so whether it's. I say this to every phone. It's my favorite program. They're all my favorite. So one of the programs we started after the official dance show is our dance program, our dance classes, and they're held in the fall. They're free for kids and now teens with type one diabetes, and they're held in our dance studio. That's based in Altamont Springs and we attend either in-person or by zoom one, one of the positives that came from COVID, you can in 2020, it was all by. In 2021, we did do a hybrid and able to have kids and teens involved from really all over, which is so exciting, but it has that camp atmosphere where you're in a room you're or you're connected virtually with people. You're very similar, you know, the beeps and the sounds and the juice boxes. It's all normal. It's not weird in any way. And you don't have to explain it. You don't have to explain what's going on or say it again to someone it's just, it is what it is. And everyone can relate to one another. They can also, as kids. Bounce ideas off each other, give tips and tricks, things like that. And the other really nice part is the parents. If they're in the waiting room right there, they can connect and they can start to build their network too, and have that support group in a sense. So that program officially started. In 2011 and a few of the little girls at the time started in that class are still very involved as teenagers and they volunteer and they do things in that capacity with us, but it's been neat to see these kids grow and build their confidence and have these lifelong friendships like a summer camp would provide. So the fall dance program is a fantastic program for that, and it's free and it's for kids here in central Florida, the same time, any kid contend from all over,

Katie:

Yeah. I wanna, I just want to stop you just for a second, because I want people to know that, I mean, I've posted about it on social media, but Sarah actually was a part of that dance program this past. Year. So she we're a couple hours away from Orlando, but so she was able to participate virtually and, and she was, she, none of us really knew what to expect, but I mean, I I've talked about two on, on different platforms, how dance is like. You know, is a much a part of our diabetes journey as like anything else would be like pumps and insulin and all that. Cause Sarah started dancing like the week after she got diagnosed. we were just kind of like out, down in the dumps and my sister texted me and was. Because it was the COVID year or still COVID year 2020, or definitely COVID year. my sister texted me and was like, not Ellie that's my niece. Ellie is the only little girl in this dance class. Like, can you please sign Sarah up? Like she just cause you know, everybody stopped doing stuff in 2020 because they didn't want to do anything in person. And so it was like, okay, fine. Like if she's the only one, then I feel comfortable with that. And, you know, cause obviously diabetes was so fresh and so new. Well, anyway, Sarah just fell in love with it and kept on dancing. She's dancing again. This year, she's loving it She's taking more classes. And so when she heard that there was like a diabetes dance program and then performance, that could be done virtually and was really not very far away from us Like we could actually go and participate in the actual event in November.

Elizabeth:

November.

Katie:

was like, Yes. absolutely. So, and it was funny because a lot of times, unfortunately it was some of the virtual classes, like were, they were kind of glitchy and I'm not, you know, it was probably a. It was not, you it's me. It's not, you it's me. it was probably my other sons that were like streaming something on their devices or like taking up all the bandwidth or whatever. But, you know, there were some days where, we just had to like sign off and you guys were gracious enough to email us like the video of the finished dance. And so Sarah and I would practice like, so I learned the whole dance to, I told Sarah was going to embarrass her and get out on stage and do it with her.

Elizabeth:

that's fantastic.

Katie:

I know, anyway, she had a great time and I want people to know that like I said, we didn't know what to expect. so when I got online, you know, you send the email like, oh, it's going to be at the, what is it? The Phillips center, the Walt Disney. Yeah. So it's the Walt Disney Phillips center for performing arts. And I like click on the link to see the theater and I'm like, oh my gosh, this is like, This is like the Walt Disney theater. This is like the theater in Orlando. This is huge and really, really nice. And I showed Sarah and she was kind of like, you know, did a big, like gulp, like didn't realize she's going to be on this giant stage. And, and we went and it was just, it was fan tastic. It was re to really, and truly the best dance performance I have ever seen. And it was also a very well-oiled machine. I want to compliment you on your strategy for getting that thing. I mean, I mean, one dance after the other seamless, like one dance would finish the next one would immediately come out and it would start. I've never seen anything. Like it, it was a very well-oiled machine, so Well, done.

Elizabeth:

Well, I, I thank you for that. That's I appreciate that a lot, you know, growing up in the dance world, my, I have two younger sisters and we all went to the same dance studio and took dance classes over many, many years. And you go to a lot of recitals and, you know, love recitals grew up on them, but they're long and they're slow. And, and so we've learned a lot over a lot of years that, you know, there's an entertainment value we want to provide. We want people to come back, not people that enjoy it. Have a great night and, and feel so full of just happiness. And, and so that's really the drive of making that night so special for people with and without type one diabetes. So thank you.

Katie:

before we started recording that my two sons, you. know, I mean, what boy really wants to sit through a dance program. so they were like kind of dragging their feet and huffing and puffing about it, but they were like eyes wide the entire time. Like, this is amazing. So they left and they were like, you know, that was actually really good. And I'm like, yeah, I was.

Elizabeth:

it was 2013. I had just started, probably two months into dating my now husband. And I was like, oh, by the way, I do this thing on the side, it's it supports diabetes. And it's a charity project of mine. And, really tried to like, not build it up or anything. and, and I was like, can you come to it? And so he attended, and at that time we were at the high school still and he, he doesn't have sisters or anything like that. So he's never been to a dance performance and he sits in the front row. With my family and afterwards he's like, oh my goodness. That was awesome. And just blown away. And, and I, and I knew he wasn't just saying that because we were two months into dating, you could just tell he was really into it. So, yeah, my, my dad, my uncle, obviously, I've been to every, every dancing for diabetes and love it. And not just because it's me.

Katie:

Yeah. You know, it's, it's, it's really great. It's really great. And I, and I also just felt So comfortable. you know, cause we weren't doing the dance classes in person and so. We drive to Orlando and I have to like, literally just open the car door and let Sarah out in these people like shuffle her in and I'm like, do you guys need me to leave me to do anything anyway? And they were like, no, no, we're good. And so it just was so nice to know that you guys have obviously been doing this for a while. You have amazing staff on hand, that's, going to have. Nobody is unsafe when they, I did not, I did not feel like Sarah was in any danger whatsoever, going there. People were going to be on top of her numbers and making her feel safe and.

Elizabeth:

it's definitely one of the best parts of that program is we have such great volunteers and the night of the show we have. At all times, two nurses available backstage in the room with the kids. So they are never without supervision. Obviously there's a teacher, there's volunteers, then there's also nurses there. So it's, it's just, we have such a great support system.

Katie:

Yeah. Yeah, you do. well, okay. We've talked about the dancing. Well, in touched by type one, used to be called dancing for diabetes, right?

Elizabeth:

Yes. So when we officially incorporated into a nonprofit, we were dancing for diabetes and at the time it made sense because that was the major piece of who we were. But once we incorporated, we started developing all these. Side programs that started small and have just grown. They're just huge programs now. and so in going into 2020, preparing for 2020, not knowing what would happen in the world, but going into 2020, we were actually had prepped the last six months of the year prior to rebrand as touched by type one, because. Title did a better job of explaining who and what we are dancing for diabetes makes you think diabetes. And in many scenarios makes you think little girls or something like that. And didn't really know that they would have a connection or would have a way to be involved. And so this kind of opened our doors to, to better explain who we. And dancing for diabetes remains the name of our major fundraising awareness event during the year in November. And we, and we came up with the name because a few years prior, we had started our annual conference, which is also based in Orlando. it started in the spring. It's now going to be a fall event. It's August 27th this year. And we titled that touched by type one, because we wanted a conference that would be available for anyone and everyone, because diabetes specifically type one, diabetes is such a family disease. It doesn't just affect the person diagnosed. It affects the whole family. And so we have individual tracks for parents, adults, kids, teens, we even have a Spanish track. So everything is in Spanish because that's the. tool that is needed, especially in Florida, we have an educators track. So educators, whether it be school bus drivers, teachers, teachers, aides, whoever works in a school system, public private charter can attend and get the tools and resources. They need to better understand the disease that affects so many of their students and the whole conference is free. we put it on in Orlando. It's a wonderful event. It's a one day conference. We have experts come in from all over the country and speak on so many different, wonderful topics. Exercise, nutrition, pregnancy insurance, getting ready for college safe at school. I mean you name it. We've. And we have the best speakers. and so we titled that touched by type one so that it would make sense that it's for everyone touched by type one. And so when we were thinking about rebranding, we thought, well, there's our name right there. And so we rebranded into that name in 2020, and all of our programs continued and including.

Katie:

Yeah, Okay. What don't you said August 27th. It's coming up

Elizabeth:

Yeah, it's Saturday and this, this year yet. And we, last one we had in person was 2019 and, in 2020, there were so much unknown going on. So we actually, didn't put anything on in 2020 from, from the conference perspective or in 2021. But what we did is we developed monthly zoom sessions with those exact speakers that would typically travel to Orlando. So we did zooms with them every month, which was really nice and fun. And, we still got to hear from really great, great experts in different fields related to diabetes, which was neat.

Katie:

Gosh, 2020 certainly pushed everybody out of their comfort zone, trying to figure out how to make life go on in the

Elizabeth:

Yes,

Katie:

virtual space.

Elizabeth:

Absolutely.

Katie:

Another touched by type one program that our family has, fortunate enough to, partake in or, or partake in. Isn't really the word, but gifted with is the D box program. Could you explain to listeners what the D box program is? I just want to take a quick minute to thank all of those people who have supported the show through buy me a cough. I love sharing content on this podcast every week in the hopes of encouraging and empowering families like yours that are living with type one diabetes, it is truly an honor and a blessing. I appreciate each and every one of you for tuning in spreading the word, writing reviews, engaging with me on social media and sending me just the sweetest emails. If you or your family has been positively impacted by this show, would you consider supporting it through, buy me a coffee, buy me a coffee is a no strings attached way to make a donation to the sugar mamas podcast to help support the things that make it come to life each and every week. Things like pod page, where I host the show's website, descript. Which is the program I use to edit and produce the show Buzzsprout, which is where the podcast is published and hosted and squad cast, which is the platform I'm currently using to record episodes with guests. Listen to what one recent buy me a coffee supporter had to say, I am forever grateful to you and your podcast, your insight gives direction to a path that feels out of my control. Wow. That is just amazing. If you'd like to check out, buy me a coffee and see for yourself, head on over to buy me a coffee.com forward slash sugar mama. I will leave a link in the show notes. Now back to my conversation with Elizabeth forest. Could you explain to listeners what the D box program is?

Elizabeth:

Oh, the D box is such a brilliant idea and a wonderful, you said it best gift. So. Anyone can request a D box for free and we will ship it to your home. We, the organization touched by type one pay for that cost and we have wonderful sponsors and vendors that contribute items, materials, information to produce that box. So basically if you've been diagnosed with type one diabetes in the last year, and we're very flexible in that you just go to our website, you request a box and it comes to your home in about one to two. it's a word volunteer operation. So it's based on our volunteers that can come in and get them ready and ship them out. so the D box itself has, brochures. It has pamphlets. It has sample, insulin pumps. It has sample glucose tabs. It has fun things like sunglasses and bouncy balls. I mean, it has. Fun stuff. It has information and literature, but it's basically a starter kit give you all the tools and resources or information on where to go and find that information. For those that are newly diagnosed because everyone has a different diagnosis story. Everyone has varying levels of information they receive once they're diagnosed. And so to kind of level that playing field and provide more access to everyone, we put it all in. And we ship it out and, and that way it's there when you need it. Some people it's way too much in the beginning, what you receive at a hospital or a medical providers too much. It's too overwhelming. It's a life changing when you're diagnosed with diabetes and there's a lot that goes with that. So this box is there and when you need it, and we actually, because of such high demand over the last several years, once we launched this program, we, we now offer an electronic I guess it's a. I forget what we call it now, but it's an electronic, debox where we send you. With all the information on what's in it and,, information and resources. So you get all the information, you just don't get the things. And we were able to do that. We did that because so many requests were coming in on an international level and we, as a nonprofit, we just can't do that. And so we, wanted to put it online for everyone to access. So even if you rediagnosed, you've had it for 10 years. Getting the electronic D box is a great option for you as well, because you never know. I mean, I, this is your 20 going on your 23 for me with type one diabetes and there's things I still learn. And in science changes and technology evolves. And so it's nice to see what's new what's out there. What's working, to, to manage this awful disease

Katie:

Yeah. It was really helpful to us because, it gave us a lot of information on what the different pumps that were out there. And, just because, you know, again, Timeframe. Like we weren't, you know, I was told that normally at our hospital, there's like a, I don't know what they call it like a pump day where all the vendors come and the reps come and set up tables and you can walk around and ask questions while we didn't get to do any of that. So, and I know there's like online resources and stuff, but it was nice to have the brochures that came in the D box to kind of look through Sarah could see pictures and actually, you know, hold a brochure rather than like scrolling through something online. So,

Elizabeth:

Yeah.

Katie:

Yeah. And she, she loved it. I mean, kids don't the sending something through the mail, I feel like is a lost art or pastime or, you know,

Elizabeth:

Yes.

Katie:

happen very often. I mean, we get packages all the time, but it's like sunscreen that I ordered off of Amazon. So for a kid to get a package in the mail, that's

Elizabeth:

It's exciting. Yeah.

Katie:

And once again, her brothers who really are wonderful children, but they were like, are you kidding me? Like Sarah gets all this cool stuff. And you know, of course they even made the comment of like, I wish I had diabetes and I'm like,

Elizabeth:

No, you don't. Yeah. Well, what's cool about the box. I mean, there's so much greatness about it, but we do have an adult version. There's a kid version. So there's things in the kid's box. That's more geared towards children. There's like a books and there. Summer camp information, things like that. And we also have a box completely in Spanish. We translated all the materials for a lot of these companies and in those that provided their own. So it's really a great resource for anyone and everyone that might need it. And it's just such a needed tool now more than ever for most people.

Katie:

All right. Well, let's talk about, gosh, you

Elizabeth:

about.

Katie:

so many wonderful things. I'm curious to know more about. the type one at school. You have a type one at school program. so

Elizabeth:

Um, so

Katie:

district, our, Um, county.

Elizabeth:

yeah,

Katie:

seems to be a disconnect with, um, type one education and the ability of schools to manage type one. I don't know. It just seemed like the school, my daughter's at there's no nurse. They threw them into a tailspin when she got diagnosed. Well, number one, cause it was a pandemic year and everything was crazy anyway, But, so what, what. does type, type, one at school offered

Elizabeth:

Um, to just snap. Yeah. So type one at school, you know, school systems, whether they're public, private, or charter, they are just so limited with their time with the funding they get. And a lot of times what we found is that students find out a few days before school starts here are the kids in your class. And this one has type one diabetes and that's all they learn. They don't know. And some schools obviously have more resources in, in can provide more information, but the teachers aren't really supported in what they need to do. And we live in an era where everyone has to be very careful about what they do and, and for good reason. So there's just, there's just so many factors going into. Students being safe at school. And then a lot of times it falls on the parents to be able to make sure that happens. And sometimes that forces parents to be the crazy parents. And sometimes it doesn't. So we, we just saw so many instances where the school system just needed more information or at least to know that there was an organization to support them as well as the family. Type one at school is free, just like all of our other programs. And we used to do them in person, but just another positive of COVID COVID taught us that we couldn't just make it virtual distributed all across the country, which is what now we're doing. We have a CDE, we, and we have a nurse who are part of this program. lead it and they are sessions now where they are going over the basics of type one diabetes, you know, what is type one diabetes. How is it different from other disease? How is it treated? How has it cared for signs and symptoms to look for? Not only in the student, but possible other students that could have diabetes now, what to do when things go wrong, if they explain all the devices and their importance and how they're used, what to do in emergency situations, whether that emergency is a medical emergency or even. Uh, school lockdown. What do you do if there's no, juice boxes or glucose tabs in the classroom? so there's, there's just a lot of information that our wonderful team has put together to be able to distribute an electronic format to anyone that's interested. So whether you're a teacher, you're an administrator. And in any capacity in education, go onto our website and request the information and we will send it and it can be distributed to all the faculty and staff or a small group. We did one session just with school bus drivers, which was really cool. and that's back when we were doing them in person and we'll still do them in person for those that would like in the greater central Florida region. We can't go everywhere. So, but it's, it's a great program and we have endocrinologists involved in developing the material as well. And it's, it's just so wonderful to be able to provide this information and to be able to still be that resource. If anyone in that school has a question or wants to run something by us and, and, and get that support that they need as well.

Katie:

Yeah. Do you

Elizabeth:

Yeah.

Katie:

about, I'm just curious, I'm getting ready to record an episode on the 5 0 4 plan. Do you guys does that covered in the type one?

Elizabeth:

Yeah, we do touch on that and other resources and documents and tools that students and families can, and then educators can work from to better support the child. Absolutely. It's part of our program.

Katie:

Yeah, That's great. I mean, you know, finally when the school

Elizabeth:

That's cool.

Katie:

ready to have someone come in and kind of educate them. Well, I guess let me back up. It just took a very long time to like find somebody to come in and because it's a charter school, so that complicated things a little bit, it was like connected to the, the, you know, the county, but not really connected. I don't know. It was just so confusing. So. They were like, they were struggling to find somebody to come in and do the education. And so, um, it just, that just took a while. but do people, are schools like actually using this in place of having a nurse from the endocrinologist office come in or a nurse from the school district come in.

Elizabeth:

You know, I don't know what they're doing on their end, but I know it's certainly not replacing any of the existing programs or resources they have. So this is just complimentary to, but in many scenarios, it's the only resource they have as well. So it's nice to be able to. provide more insight to everything else that they've received, or at the same time being the, the first explanation of all that is diabetes. So it just varies on who it is and or what, where they're coming from.

Katie:

Wonderful. Alright. Would you tell us a little bit about, I know you guys have some fundraising efforts too. tell us about those other, other than the dancing for diabetes. Of course. That's your big event, but.

Elizabeth:

Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's really important to me and to the organization that we provide all this information and this programming and the tools and resources to anyone, and everyone touched by type one diabetes. That is, that is the core goal every single day with what we do. Um, and so in order to do that, to cover the costs of these things, uh, we have to fundraise just like any other nonprofit organization. So obviously dancing for diabetes. Is a huge piece of that. That's our big event for the year that does a really good job of almost covering everything. Um, but we have small fundraisers throughout the year. You can donate on our website. We have a golf tournament coming up, April 2nd in Orlando, as well as the first one we're doing. We're all very excited about that. Um, but there's these to do bowl for cause pre COVID. I was such a fun family day too. So we'll bring that back eventually. And, um, there's small things here and there. A lot of people will. Fundraisers on their own. That support touched by type one, which is really fun. There's a great family. We're now connected with where the daughter makes bracelets. And so she sells them to people at school or friends, but not, and then donate, sends a check over to us based on what she collected. so kids get creative and that's, you know, that's another big piece of this is way back when, when I was 10, someone said yes to an idea from middle school and. Wanted to encourage that and pay that forward in the same way to where we have a junior board of directors where there some of the kids in teams that have been involved with our dance program, for example, um, and the other programs that we have, but it started in the dance program where they get together and they come up with ideas and, and things that they can do or ways they can help spread awareness or help other people. And when our board of directors meets the kids, the junior board, they meet separately in another room. And at the end of the board of directors meetings, the junior board will come in and present their ideas. And what they talked about to the board, which you know, is a group of professionals, all adults that have had practice speaking with other people, managing people, leading projects, all those sorts of things that adults have. It's nice to be able to give the kids, the teens, the opportunity to have that and to do something a little different and, and use this as a platform, in a sense for them and personal potential future professional ways too. So that's a fun part. Another component that we have is.

Katie:

Most of those kids you said are involved with the dance program or?

Elizabeth:

that's how they started. Yeah. And so now there, we, they get really involved with a lot of our outreach events that we do. Um, that's another thing is we do monthly sort of get togethers for kids and teens and adults as well. And all that information is on our website, but, um, just last weekend, the teens got together and had a paint night. And so there's some there's arts and crafts nights too, that the kids have, and we'll make. The little kit for your child to do at home. If they can't physically be with us and the little 10 by zoom and be with the kids, um, but assemble it at their house. So there's lots of fun, creative things we do throughout the year to, to get everyone together.

Katie:

Yeah, well, that that's wonderful. I love that. I, I'm sure y'all are. a lot gentler on the junior board of directors than like somebody from shark tank would be like when they, when they, come in there, give you all their ideas and thoughts and dreams. I'm sure you're a lot nicer than somebody on the reality television show.

Elizabeth:

absolutely.

Katie:

Well, I know you guys do fundraising efforts to support touched by type one and cover all those costs. but you guys also support some research efforts, in, in Florida, correct? I, I, when we went to the dancing for diabetes showcase, that was spoken about after intermission and that was actually want to reach out to somebody to talk to them from going to have to tell me, cause I, the name of. The exact name is slipping my mind at the moment, but tell, tell listeners about the research efforts that you support.

Elizabeth:

absolutely. Yeah. So the diabetes research Institute is based in Miami and they're part of a, a group of scientists that are solely focused on a biological cure for type one diabetes. And they have a lot of and, and people they work with in the research field, all across the globe. Focused on, on finding a cure for type one diabetes. And I've down the facility myself, several times, met many of the scientists, myself, spoken with them, ask questions, looked at the cure for diabetes and a Petri dish and all that fun stuff. and I'm very inspired by their work and have been for many years. and before I made the decision that the organization would financially support. This research-based organization. I did a lot of research to see who was out there and where the dollars we raise could go the far list. and to me, it was hands down the diabetes research Institute. So there are all these wonderful organizations in the country globally that do a lot of good for diabetes, whether it's awareness, programming, research, I really wanted to focus on one that was solely focused on research. I know that with my team, we can provide information and resources and programming to children and adults connected to type one diabetes. But what I can't do is go into the research lab myself and find that cure. And so I wanted someone to do that the DRI has been that and they make such great progress and I support everything they do, and very optimistic about the great work they do. And they have a personal connection. To type one diabetes. The top leadership is personally connected to type one diabetes, and it was founded

Katie:

Um,

Elizabeth:

ago by of people with type one diabetes. So there's just, it connects everything that's important to me. And it checks all the boxes and what my goals are for finding your care.

Katie:

Yeah, definitely. It's not just like a cold university. That's like, oh, we need to research something. Let's research type one diabetes. It's like, it started from people that really, and truly wanted to cure. And I, so what stood out to me was. cause I kind of looked into it a little bit more after I heard you guys speak on it at the showcase. Was that when you say biological cure, like that means that, you know, they're, they're finding a way to get the body to produce insulin again, like, you know, whatever that might be stem cell transplants, but they, they want to do it in a way that would not require somebody to be on immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their life. Which when I read that, I'm like, I can get behind that. Like I will.

Elizabeth:

right. want to find the cure. That's going to cure it and not cause other problems in your body as well, not completely reject whatever your body is now taking into for that care. So I just, I love their approach. I love the work they're doing and all the areas they're looking into to make sure it is the right thing. They're not rushing it. They're working hard, they're working fast, but not jumping on the first result that comes in either, which is great.

Katie:

I know. I might have to, I might have to send you an email. Maybe you could give me a name of somebody I could reach out to, to, cause I would love to have somebody on from there and just to chat about it. It's very fast.

Elizabeth:

Of course, please do.

Katie:

Yeah. Okay. Well, before we wrap up, well, definitely if there's anything else that you would like to add that we didn't talk about, please, please let us know. but definitely also tell the listeners where they can find you on social media and the internet.

Elizabeth:

Yeah. Check us out. We're on Facebook. We're on Instagram. We have a lot of posts, informative as well. we're touched by type one on both. our website is touched by type one.org, lots of information and resources there, but we are, to do as much good as we can for as many people that want us and need us. And so we're here whenever that might be. Yeah,

Katie:

Well, thank you. Yes, everybody. Go, go check them out. It's awesome. Well, thank you so much, Elizabeth. Thank you for your time. Thank you for coming on. I really appreciate it.

Elizabeth:

of course. Thanks for having me.

Katie:

You're welcome. That's it for our show today. A huge thank you again to Elizabeth for coming on and telling listeners about touched by type one. If you are in or near the Orlando area in August of this year, August 27th, to be exact of 2022, definitely register for the touched by type one annual conference that will be held on Saturday, August 27th. It is a one day free event for anyone with T one D or anyone who loves someone with type one, be sure to check out the links in the show notes that will lead you to all the places you can find touched by type one. On the web and on social media, plus you'll also find links on how you can support the show through buy me a coffee or by writing a review until next week, stay calm and bolus on by.