November 6, 2011

Top 10 influences in the online diabetes community


An influential person is someone whose actions and opinions strongly influence the course of events. In diabetes,  this is a person who walks the walk and talks the talk.

 The advent of blogs and communities on the Internet have cultivated this viral explosion of diabetes catharsis: emotionally and practically.

 A report of the Top 10 influences in the online diabetes community was compiled by SharecareNow. SharecareNow facilitates meaningful online conversations about health and wellness among patients. SharecareNow directs you to the most active people to give you easy to understand, reliable and consistent information on diabetes. 

The list is pretty respectable. By all means – if you’re looking to get good information, consistent posts and sizeable reach (exposure) these are your people.

 1 – Amy Tenderich, a type 1 diabetic since May 2003, has made a virtuous mark on the diabetes community throughout her tenure. Her contributions include the ever-popular blog DiabetesMine,  where she is the founder and an editor-in-chief. Another triumph in Amy’s repertoire is the DiabetesMine Design Challenge having made significant strides in changing medical devices for people with diabetes. Actions speak louder than words which is why you should see the 2011 DiabetesMine Design Challenge commercial to understand the importance of this annual challenge. Amy has also co-authored the book Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes, and Amy is a patient advocate, as well as a founding member, of Diabetic Connect, a company of Alliance Health Networks where  Amy is a the Vice President and Chief Patient Advocate .

 2 – Kerri Sparling, who has lived with type 1 diabetes since 1986, epitomizes how to live your life despite diabetes. Her blog, Six Until Me, says so much about life before you get into the content of the site. The profound words, diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me say so much about life with diabetes. She also serves as an advisor of the Diabetes Hands Foundation and is a member of the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy Advisory Board. Kerri is not only an asset to the diabetes online community but she is the sure thing for the diabetes community in general.

 3 – Kelly Close has lived with type 1 diabetes since she was 18. Kelly is the editor-in-chief of diaTribe, a monthly online newsletter focused on research and product news for people with diabetes. Kelly is the president of Close Concerns, Inc., a healthcare information firm centered on diabetes and obesity.   Kelly offers a unique perspective on the life experiences of diabetes and the business of diabetes. Throughout her pursuits she remains an advocate for diabetes patients. She sits on the advisory boards of dLife and the Children With Diabetes Foundation. Kelly also serves as an advisor of the Diabetes Hands Foundation.

 4 – Manny Hernandez, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2002, sought to develop the support system he lacked upon his diagnosis. A few years later  and were born. Along the way Manny  developed Ask Manny, a site about  a Venezuelan in the Bay Area blogging about social media, non-profits, diabetes, health 2.0  and more. Inspirational? You bet! And, of course, you expect a non-profit to be part of the generous nature Manny exudes and so we come to the Diabetes Hands Foundation. The Diabetes Hands Foundation is an organization built upon the vision of a world where people touched by diabetes and their loved ones do not feel alone and connect to raise awareness of diabetes.

 5 – Leighann Calentin is the mother of a daughter who was diagnosed with type1 diabetes in 2008. Leighann started D-Mom Blog about parenting a child with type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, Leighann created a social network for parents of children with diabetes called D-Mom and D-Dad Connection.

 6 – Riva Greenberg, a veteran of type 1 diabetes with 39 years under her belt, is a Huffington Post blogger. It is said that influential people deliver a positive message that is well received. Riva is committed to help others live an exceptional life, not despite having diabetes, but because of it. Her motive speaks volumes to those who want influence in their diabetes journey. In addition to this her enriching blogs – Riva has written two books: 50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life: And the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It and The ABCs Of Loving Yourself With Diabetes. Riva also serves as an advisor of the Diabetes Hands Foundation. Checkout Riva’s website: Diabetes Stories where she continues to spread her message of living your best life with diabetes!

 7 – Kelly Kunik, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 8, blogs at Daibetealiciousness. Along with the therapeutic humor her disposition offers in her diabetes discourse – Kelly is a member of the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy Advisory Board, she is on an advisory board for Roche Pharmaceuticals, and a motivational speaker. The ‘About’ page on Kelly’s site has K2 at the top of the page. K2 is not just the second highest mountain on Earth. K2 is a volcano that spits hot fire of truth with diabetes derision.

 8 – Elizabeth Woolley was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1993. Elizabeth is the writer for Type 2 Diabetes Guidance on and the creator and editor for Elizabeth challenges readers, ”We diabetics need to do some DIY duty.” I love how she encourages readers to take a little time everyday to learn more and get control over this disease. Check-out the site if you are compelled to rise to her challenge!

 9 – Kim Vlasnik, a type 1 diabetic since the age of 6, blogs at Texting My Pancreas. Kim is a member of the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy Advisory Board  and  blazed a trail in the diabetes community when she launched the “You Can Do This” Project.  I highly recommend watching the videos that have already been uploaded. You will find plenty more than 10 influences online for diabetes. I think the tally is somewhere upwards of 90 videos. The message resounds with anybody who’s ever felt defeated by diabetes. Props to Kim for pioneering an esteem-building project for the ages!

 10 – Scott Johnson has had type 1 diabetes since 1980.  In 2004 he began his blog, Scott’s Diabetes, where he writes about his struggles, his successes and everything in-between. Scott iis a member of the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy Advisory Board, as well as a co-host of the weekly Diabetes Social Media Advocates DSMA Live blog talk radio show.

 This was a brief introduction of everybody who made the Top 10 Influences in the online community of diabetes. By no stretch of the imagination is this list ‘all inclusive’. However these are many of the movers and the shakers in the online diabetes community.