Episode 068 - Diabetics Doing Interviews with Podcast Legends with Vinnie Tortorich

Last summer, I was very fortunate to be introduced to Vinnie Tortorich, who I had admittedly never heard of, but in our two conversations (on back-to-back days) I learned a great deal. Vinnie has been podcasting for much of the last decade, and I was fortunate enough to appear on Episode 933 of the Fitness Confidential Podcast.

Vinnie isn't a T1D, but he has worked and trained with some of the best sports & nutrition minds in the industry, and has a unique perspective that I think can add a lot of value to our listeners. Be sure to let me know what you think of this striking interview with an awesome character of the podcast world. 

I'm very grateful to Vinnie for carving out 4 hours over two days to spend with me, it was a great time that I won't forget. 

Episode 067 - Diabetics Doing Medtronic Diabetes with Chief Patient Officer Louis Dias

Back in October, I was very fortunate to be able to visit the Medtronic Diabetes campus in Los Angeles California. While I was there I was able to spend some time with Chief Patient Officer Louis Dias, and interview him for the podcast. 

We discuss his responsibilities as Chief Patient Officer, and why that position is very unique and innovative to Medtronic. We also talk about how when Louis accepted the position, he immersed himself in Medtronic technology because he's not a T1D or T2D and wanted to learn more about the patients he and the company serves. 

We also talk about many of the global initiatives Medtronic is spearheading to help patients have more affordable opportunities to get Medtronic products. 

I think the most rewarding part of the interview for me was how seriously Louis and Medtronic take patient feedback. They are really working hard for their patients, and that was really great to see. 

I've learned a lot in my first year as a Medtronic Ambassador but the time I spent at Medtronic HQ tops the list. I'd spent 10 years as a Medtronic patient and it was great to see all the work that goes on behind the scenes. I'm very grateful to Louis and his team for taking the time to make this happen. 

Episode 066 - Diabetics Doing Comedy with Craig Rowin

Earlier this summer, a few of my improv friends who are T1D mentioned they heard Craig Rowin (@craigrowin on Instagram) on the Improv4Humans podcast talk about his recent T1D Diagnosis. (Disclaimer: Lots of adult content on this episode of Improv4Humans so only listen if you're 18+, Craig's story starts at 12:55).

With actual proof that the world is super super small, Sarah from the Diabetics Doing Things team reached out to Craig in LA and he agreed to do an interview. 

Craig and I talk about his diagnosis in his early 30's, adjusting to life with T1D, and then proceed to riff and do bits for the rest of the interview. Craig was super kind to devote time to do the interview and I'm really grateful to be able to publish this very funny interview. 


Episode 065 - Diabetics Doing College Football with Anders Hill and Kyle Castner

This episode is very special because I'm joined by two young men who are setting an incredible example for T1Ds everywhere. Anders Hill (@andershill12 on Instagram ) and Kyle Castner (@thekylecastner on Instagram) join the podcast to talk about their upcoming Columbia Football season, which just ended a few weeks ago. 

Together with the rest of their teammates, the Columbia Football team reached new heights as a program, and finished with an 8-2 record, good enough for second in the Ivy League. Quarterback Anders Hill was named Second-Team All-Ivy, while setting the school record for completion percentage while leading the team in overall offense. 

Outside of Football, both young men have found in each other a resource for dealing with their Type-1 Diabetes. Anders was diagnosed in High School and Kyle has been living with T1D nearly all his life. They have an amazing perspective as athletes and teammates, and talk about how important having a good support system is to success as a T1D. 

I'm grateful they were to find time to do an interview, and I want to give a special shout out to Columbia Football for being so great to work with on this. 

Episode 064 - Diabetics Doing Bikini Competitions 3 with Hollie Smith

Hollie Smith (@Hollie_Louisee on Instagram) joins the podcast to share her T1D journey, as well as her competitive fitness and bodybuilding background. Hollie and her younger sister both have T1D, and were diagnosed at 17 and 8 years old respectively. 

Hollie's platform is built on facing your Diabetes vs. running away from the problem. It's a view that many share, but can be difficult on a day to day basis. From the moment she tested her blood sugar on her sister's meter and self diagnosed her T1D, Hollie credits T1D for bringing her relationship with her sister much closer and giving them someone who truly understands what you're going through. 

I feel the same way about the Diabetes Online Community, and I'm grateful that I now have such a strong community of people who I can share my journey with. 

Hollie takes us through a program she went through called DAFNE, or "Dosage Adjustment For Normal Eating" and shares that the best part of it was being in a room full of T1Ds who were all trying to learn tips, tricks and tactics to improving their day to day blood glucose levels. 

I get a lot of questions from people about tactics, approaches and programming around exercise, and Hollie takes us through how she prepares for competition. It's helpful to have so many great resources available to us, and I'm glad she was able to share them. 

Hollie is a great resource, so be sure to reach out to her with any questions, and she's also overcoming an injury so be sure to wish her well! 

Episode 063 - Diabetics Doing Advocacy with Christine Fallabel

Christine Fallabel (@cfallabel on Instagram) joins the podcast from Denver Colorado to talk about her diagnosis in the year 2000 on a family vacation and how a passion for the Type-1 Diabetes community spurred her towards a career in Diabetes advocacy. 

Christine is currently the Director of State Government Affairs and Advocacy at the American Diabetes Association, so she spends a lot of her time working with the individual issues of T1Ds across the United States and has a lot of great perspective on the work the ADA and others are doing for T1Ds.

Christine and I talk about the mental wear and tear of a life with Diabetes, even if you don't necessarily "struggle" with it.  She is a staunch supporter of Diabetes camps, and she and I joke about how there should be a Diabetes camp for adults. 

Christine is an awesome resource and has personally helped me out with a few introductions and I'm super grateful we have such a great advocate in our T1D family.

Episode 062 - Craig Kasper Takeover! Interview with Rob Howe

I'm super excited to introduce part 2 of the Bravest Life x Diabetics Doing Things collab with my friend Craig Kasper (@CraigKasper on Instagram). Craig takes over the podcast to interview me, Rob Howe, about my diagnosis with T1D, my travels around the world chasing my dream of playing basketball and the origin story of DDT. 

Craig does a fantastic job of owning the Diabetics Doing Things podcast format, and really making it his own. From starting at diagnosis to finishing the episode with the one question every guest has to answer, Craig and I cover a range of topics INCLUDING what I would consider my favorite interview to date. 

Give it a listen, and be sure to tell Craig what an awesome job he did. 

Episode 061 - Diabetics Doing Mastering Diabetes Through Insulin Absorption with Robby Barbaro

Robby (@mindfuldiabeticrobby on Instagram) Barbaro joins the podcast to share his lifestyle and his journey as a T1D. 

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is in no way an endorsement of the interviewee, it is intended to create awareness of the different lifestyles T1Ds have available to them and give the leaders of those lifestyles a platform for open dialogue. 

Robby is the youngest of three brothers, two of which have Type-1 Diabetes. Robby’s family was in the process of relocating to Florida when Robby’s symptoms of T1D began to surface. Because his brother already had T1D, his mother told him via phone to test his blood sugar on his brother’s meter where he discovered his blood glucose was over 400. 

Since then, Robby was a successful competitive tennis player, was very active and disciplined in his approach to perfecting his craft which translated into what he now does with his coaching program Mastering Diabetes

Robby is committed to healing Type-1 Diabetes, and uses the example of Roger Bannister breaking the 4 minute mile after so many people said it was impossible, and then after he broke it, people starting breaking the four minute mile every day. 

Robby’s journey into the raw food world began with Gabriel Cousins which led him to meet Dr. Cyrus who became his partner in Mastering Diabetes. After nearly 10 years of mastering his diet and filtering out all the things that would be considered detrimental, and he now believes that the cure for T1D is not limited to just diet, but would require some other form of healing or stimulus. 

Robby’s program is very interesting, and I appreciate his willingness to leave no stone unturned until he finds a solution for T1D. I also believe there are many false stories out there about “healing” T1D, but when you really talk to the people who are doing the hard work and research around insulin absorption and natural healing methods, they are not convinced there is a “cure” formula, but they are committed to continuing to test until they find it. 

Robby says it best, “I’m just just trying to live healthfully, and obviously manage Type 1 Diabetes. I do it every single day, I do it quite well, and I’m trying to heal in a healthy way.” 

I’d encourage you to listen to his perspective and then go do some research yourself on some of the amazing discoveries some of the so-called “health extremists” (which is a label I hate) are doing for the T1D community. I hope they have a breakthrough and we’ll celebrate it all together. 

Episode 060 - Diabetics Doing Worldwide Adventures & Commitment with Oren Liebermann

Oren Liebermann (@orenliebermannnews on Instagram) joins the podcast from Jerusalem to talk about his incredible diagnosis story and the events that immediately followed, and shaped his outlook on T1D and the mindset he committed to in order to truly live beyond. 

You’d never know it from talking with him, because he’s so down to earth, but Oren is an Emmy award winning journalist, author of a fantastic Diabetic book titled “The Insulin Express” and a CNN correspondent in Israel. 

Oren’s story is particularly profound. He and his wife were traveling on a worldwide adventure across the world, and while they were in Nepal and doing a lot of hiking, Oren started to experience some of the classic symptoms (dry mouth, extreme thirst, weight loss, fatigue) but chalked it up to a lot of hiking, travel and dry climate. But what transpired was a very dramatic story of going from doctor to doctor, in different cities across Nepal and ultimately Oren getting diagnosed with T1D at the age of 31 and having to go back to the US. 

While he was back home, he and his wife had a choice to make. They could either cancel the rest of their journey, or choose that Diabetes was not going to define what they did and continue on the journey. Which is exactly what they did. 

Their journey wasn’t without hurdles, but Oren and his wife managed to finish their trip and learn a little more about themselves in the process. 

Oren is a fantastic interview, and his story is so great and we’re lucky to have someone like him as a recent addition to our T1D family. 

Episode 059 - Diabetics Doing Raising a T1D with Kristina and Greg Dooley featuring Isa

This is first episode of its kind. Not only am I interviewing two parents of a Type 1, in Kristina and Greg Dooley, but I also get to interview Isa herself, the girl behind the @inspiredbyisabella account on Instagram. 

Isa and I talk about what she likes about Instagram (Sid Sharma, Mary Lucas & Libby Russell, just to name a few) but also some things that people have said about her pump and even though she got a little shy I think it gave a really poignant look at what it’s like to be a kid living your life with Diabetes (hint: it’s not always easy). 

Isa asked me if I had a name for my pump, and I didn’t have one, but I told her I’d come up with one. So my pump’s name is (drumroll please) Wilford (for Wilford Brimley tha gawd). 

Once Isa runs off to play, Kristina and Greg take me through Isa’s diagnosis story, why raising triplets is hard enough, but it can get especially challenging when one has T1D and challenges new parents of T1D children have to deal with on a daily basis and why they’re the true heroes. 

Kristina and Greg are a real inspiration not only for T1D parents, but also for T1Ds. I found our conversation to be particularly enlightening, and if we all looked at the world with the empathy and perspective they do, I think we’ll all be in a better place. 

Episode 058 - Diabetics Doing Fashion, Dance and Entrepreneurship with Kyrra Richards of Myabetic

Kyrra (@kyrrarichards on Instagram) Richards, founder of @Myabetic joins the podcast to talk about her journey as a Diabetic Fashionista, her background as a professional dancer and how she has pushed forward as an entrepreneur and #GirlBoss as the leader of Myabetic

Kyrra’s diagnosis at age 24 was a bit unique compared to many, because she was traveling on a military tour in Afghanistan as a dancer. During her trip, traveling back and forth from base to base, Kyrra experienced the typical symptoms many T1Ds go through but because of the grueling dance schedule and hot, dry climate she didn’t think there was too much to worry about. After her return from Afghanistan, Kyrra thought she had injured her bladder from resisting going to the restroom, so she went to her family physician who told her she didn’t have a bladder problem, she just had Type-1 Diabetes. 

Kyrra and I have a great conversation about the various tours we’ve been on as athletes, and then she gives us a unique behind the scenes look at the early days of Myabetic, where the inspiration came from and how they’ve grown since. 

It’s so interesting to me that the idea of Myabetic stemmed from wanting to feel good about your Diabetes, because it aligns with what I truly believe about living in a T1D renaissance, and I think Kyrra and Myabetic are a big part of why it’s now cool to be a T1D. 

Episode 057 - Diabetics Doing The Diabulimia Hotline with Erin Akers

Erin (@thediabeticdragon on Instagram) Akers joins the podcast from Seattle Washington, at the recommendation of Rebecca Ryan (Episode

Erin was one of the rare stories where she was diagnosed two weeks after her brothers diagnosis with Type-1. As such, her symptoms were caught very early, and her blood sugar was around 250. 

Erin’s Diabetes advocacy began around her relationship with food, and spurred her to start the Diabulimia Helpline

Erin talks about the advantages of growing up with someone else with T1D alongside you and how important it is to have peer support in your T1D journey. We also dig deep into some of the amazing stories behind the Diabulimia Helpline and how it has grown into an incredible resource for T1Ds and their relationship with food, insulin and T1D in general.