Monday, April 09, 2007

Invitation to 3 "Meet the Author" Online Chats

There are many authors out there, and many authors have written about diabetes, but only a handful of authors write from actual, personal experience of living with the disease. When the self-help variety are removed from the equation, the number of books by authors with diabetes falls dramatically. Thats why I am especially pleased to announce a series of online chats with three prominent authors who just so happen to have type 1 diabetes. This is your opportunity to "meet the author" and share your experiences about living with diabetes, ask questions, or simply tell them what you enjoyed about their writing!

This will be a series of online chats held from late April through early June. The chats will be held in the DiabetesTalkFest.com chatroom. I previously noted that the site's operators had a registration process, but I now stand corrected. While there is a registration process for the message board, there is no prior registration procress needed for the chatroom at DiabetesTalkFest.com. However, the message board has a bunch of very informed people who are active and opinionated about their diabetes care, so you still may find registation a worthwhile process!

Chat with James S. Hirsch

The first chat will be with James S. Hirsch, author of "Cheating Destiny: Living With Diabetes, America's Biggest Epidemic" on Tuesday, April 24, 2007 at 9:00 PM EST. James Hirsch, a former reporter for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, is a best-selling author whose latest book, "Cheating Destiny" was published in late 2006. It is Jim's fourth book.

Jim has lived with type 1 diabetes himself since age 15; his brother, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 6, is now a nationally prominent diabetes doctor in Seattle. And in the course of researching "Cheating Destiny," Hirsch diagnosed his son, then 3 years old, with type 1 diabetes, too.

While a diagnosis of diabetes in a child is traumatic for any parent, in some ways, Mr. Hirsch knows better than most parents what lies in his son's future: a lifetime of finger pricks, insulin injections -- and the ever-present risk of disability. Consequently, he brings a powerful, emotional perspective about this condition that goes beyond simply being a well-researched book.

Jim is also a principal of Close Concerns, a consultancy and publishing company that specializes in the business of diabetes. His work includes writing a column for a new patient newsletter on diabetes, called diaTribe. Jim has an undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a graduate degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. He currently lives in the Boston area with his wife, Sheryl, and their children, Amanda and Garrett.

Chat with Deb Butterfield

The next chat is with an author who, for many people with diabetes, needs no introduction, Deb Butterfield, author of the book "Showdown with Diabetes". Deb founded the Insulin-Free World Foundation in 1996, and until she adopted her second daughter in 2005, Deb operated the DiabetesPortal family of websites, a group of diabetes-centric websites that was an interactive online diabetes community. The sites included a popular chatroom called DiabetesStation, a quarterly publication called Insulin-Free TIMES and a news page called DiabetesDailyNews just to name a few. Collectively, the websites at DiabetesPortal.com received approximately 3.5 million hits and 350,000 impressions per month.

Deb was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1970 at the age of 10. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Colorado, Deb worked for an executive search firm in New York City before starting her own consulting practice specializing in recruiting and strategic planning for financial brokerage firms in New York and London. But from 1992 to 1994, Deb's career was interrupted by the secondary complications of diabetes and a failed kidney and pancreas transplant. She had a successful kidney and pancreas transplant in 1994.

Deb was the 1998 recipient of the prestigious Scripps Whittier Confidence Award given annually to a person deemed to have made a significant contribution to improving the quality of life for people with diabetes. In June 2001, Deb was the first non-surgeon/researcher to be elected to the council of the International Pancreas and Islet Transplantation Association. In October 2001, she was likewise elected to the council of the Cell Transplant Society.

Deb currently lives in the St. Louis area with her husband Tom and her two daughters. The date for this program is still being finalized, but will most likely occur in early May.

Chat with Lisa Roney

Last, but certainly not least, is a chat with an author who broke new ground when her autobiography "Sweet Invisible Body: Reflections on a Life With Diabetes" was first published in August 1999. I'm speaking of none other than Lisa Roney. As some D-Bloggers may recall, Kerri interviewed Lisa back in February. I've had the pleasure of exchanging periodic e-mails with Lisa since 2005.

Lisa, who grew up in Tennessee, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1972 at age 11. Since then, diabetes has turned her life into an ongoing balancing act. She began her book after deciding that society had denied diabetes its stature as a serious illness. As she told Kerri in February, "There were books written by the deaf, the blind, those with cancer ... but nothing about diabetes."

Lisa told The New York Times reporter "As I tried to learn to understand myself, it was natural for me to look to books and there was not much out there. All kinds of other ailments have figured in literature and cultural studies, But for some reason, diabetes was not included."

"Sweet Invisible Body" was the one of the first books published during a relatively short timeframe earlier this decade regarding life with diabetes. (Deb Butterfield's "Showdown with Diabetes" was also among the books reviewed by The New York Times back in 2000, as was Andie Dominick's "Needles: A Memoir of Growing Up With Diabetes".) Since August 2003, Lisa Roney has been a professor who is on a tenure track at the University of Central Florida.

Lisa has told me that since her book was first published, she has since become a convert to the pump. She adds that her pump has made life much more "normal". Although she says "It's still a pain, and there are always issues with MiniMed, but I do love the pump. I sometimes even lose track of time now, and though that's not something that most people would think of as an accomplishment, I do!"

As with the "Meet the Author" session with Deb Butterfield, the date for the program with Lisa Roney is still being finalized, but I will be sure to update everyone as soon as I've confirmed dates and times. Consider this your personal invitation to meet these phenomental authors. I hope to see you there!!

2 comments:

gina said...

FYI, you dont have to sign up for the chat room. Only the message board.

Scott said...

Thanks for the clarification Gina, I thought it applied to the chatroom as well!