Beyond Type 1’s Meet Up in NYC – Join the Community

5/31/18
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Beyond Type 1 creates opportunities for the diabetes community to connect in all kinds of ways: through the Beyond Type 1 app, on social media and in real life. Whether you’ve been living with diabetes for 2.5 months or 25 years, there’s something about being in the company of other people who get it.

Maybe you’ve seen the Beyond Type 1 programs like Bike Beyond (including the launch day in Brooklyn) or the TCS New York City Marathon Beyond Type Run team (and the epic viewing party!) and wanted to get in on the action, or maybe you’ve heard about local events, but aren’t sure what they’re all about.

We caught up with an amazing group at a recent Beyond Type 1 Meet-up at Slate in Manhattan, and these guys can answer all of your questions – and more!

“While Beyond Type 1 has successfully leveraged the power of social media to create the largest online T1D community in the world, the value in personal interactions for people with Type 1 diabetes is so important,” said the night’s organizer, Tracey McCarter.

Dena K. (@denabetic), a nurse practitioner who has had Type 1 for 27 years, agreed that “it’s more fun to interact in real life,” compared to only via social media.

“My favorite thing in New York City is being on a subway, or at a restaurant, or at the gym, and someone going, Oh my God, me too! and sticking out their arm and being super excited that they can see my Dexcom or my pump,” she said.

When asked why she looks forward to Beyond Type 1 events, Tracey’s daughter, Charli, said, “I get to meet new people with Type 1 diabetes, but I also get to see friends like Lauren [Bongiorno, who will be leading sessions during upcoming North American Slipstream Weekends].”

Tracey said, “Charli, who is almost 14 and was diagnosed at age 4, has benefited from the T1D ‘big sisters’ or mentors that I’ve been able to find for her, since even as close as we are to Charli, her Dad, actual big sister and I do not know what being Type 1 truly feels like.”

Another mom, Angela, said she and her husband came into Manhattan from Norwalk, Connecticut (which is no small feat on a Tuesday night!), to connect with other parents —  as well as people who are living with Type 1 like her son, Matteo, who was diagnosed with Type 1 five years ago at age 3.

“It’s hard to find people that understand what you’re talking about,” said Angela, who looks forward to these opportunities that allow her to connect with other parents, and also “to help others understand more about your loved ones.”

“Everybody has been diagnosed at different points,” said Colleen, before starting a free-throw arcade game with a friend she had met at a previous Meet-up.

“I was only diagnosed two years ago … so it’s kind of crazy and really new. Everybody has a different story to tell.”

Including her friend and fellow competitor, Dena N.

“I don’t have a community of friends in New York that can relate to me when it comes to diabetes, so I branched out and came and it was a lot of fun,” Dena said, “I actually met Colleen at the last one and we’ve been to a bunch of events, now we’re going to Slipstream together.”

A similar Meet-up held earlier this year “actually motivated me to start taking better care of myself, because people were talking about looping, which I’d never even heard of before, and I saw everybody wearing pumps and not being afraid to show it,” she laughed, “When it’s something that people my age enjoy, like coming out for a cocktail and a few bites to eat, it makes it less stressful.”

Philip, whose post was featured in the #LiveBeyond Instagram campaign the day of the Meet-up, also shared his reaction to engaging with a previously undiscovered community.

“Just by chance, I don’t have close friends that are diabetics,” he said, “This is my first experience in a long time of seeing other people around my age and in similar parts of life.”

And we know you’re wondering, so here’s your answer: Yes, friends and family without diabetes are welcome: Philip brought his friend and roommate, Matt, along to Slate for a few rounds of ping-pong. He talked about how their friendship has evolved after 23 years with Type 1.

“We played golf last weekend, and we finished the first nine holes and I needed some food. He was like, don’t do anything, stay there, and he ran into the clubhouse to grab some juice and granola bars. He just knew instinctively what to do.”

Cali, who was diagnosed just five months ago, thought of spending the evening with about 20 other PWDs as a step toward accepting her recent diagnosis.

“It was a huge shock for me — and it still is,” she said, “I was very depressed for awhile and didn’t feel comfortable speaking about it. I was instantly and warmly welcomed by Tracey, who made sure that I met her family and other women my age. I can’t say how happy I am to have gone to this event, and I’m super excited to get involved and make new connections, and even friends!”

Tracey echoed that positive energy with some advice for others who’d like to host their own event: “I encourage others to do Beyond Type 1 Meet-ups in their areas to help create bonds within the Type 1 community. A Meet-up can be anywhere that works for you: in someone’s home, a potluck in the park, or at a friendly local restaurant that will provide some space and a cash bar.”

We hope you can join us for an event — or host one of your own — in your area soon!


Check out Beyond Type 1 events.