Brenda Cabrera is a native of Colorado and recently moved back to the state after being gone for 29 years. She works as a residency coordinator for the University of Colorado School of Medicine and enjoys having her office in the Salud Family Health Center in Fort Morgan. Brenda is a graduate of Western Colorado University and she enjoys yoga, crafting and hanging out with her hubby and fur babies. She was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes in 2007 and credits a low carb diet and intermittent fasting with keeping her A1C under control.
Scott is an experienced patient advocate who has worked with a wide range of stakeholders across the healthcare environment to help them establish effective communication with the patient community. His expertise in the diabetes social media space is recognized worldwide. Today he is the Patient Success Manager, US for mySugr and continues to run his award-winning blog “Scott's Diabetes” as time allows. Scott is also a member of the Children with Diabetes faculty where he develops educational curriculums and content for the Friends for Life annual conference and regional events. He served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for the Diabetes Hands Foundation and was a founding member of Partnering for Diabetes Change, a coalition of people living with diabetes and industry representatives working to support culturally diverse and underserved communities. He is interested in how these types of interactions, including peer-to-peer support, impact patient outcomes and routinely presents his work.
Minnie Rodriguez is originally from Brownsville, Texas, and is 7th of 8 siblings. She grew up traveling with her parents who were a migrant family and followed crops between S. Texas and the Colorado/Nebraska areas. She and her husband have made Phillips County, Colorado their home and have 3 children and 4 grandchildren. Living with diabetes has been a learning experience and we continue to try and make changes that will benefit our family as a whole.
Kerri Sparling is a writer, poet, and speaker who has dedicated her life to the power of the patient narrative. Since 2005, she has been a leading voice in the patient advocacy space, sharing her personal story of over 34 years with type 1 diabetes and helping share stories from others in the patient community. Kerri has worked to bolster the influence of patient stories in the healthcare space, from academic journals to keynote presentations around the world. She is best known for her work as a patient storyteller at SixUntilMe.com, and as author of Balancing Diabetes (2014) and the poetry anthology, Rage Bolus (2020).
With a background in journalism and public relations, Marilee Johnson lives in Sterling, CO, where she is currently the tourism director for Logan County. She was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1989 as a 28-year-old. She uses a Tandem insulin pump and Dexcom CGM, and supports low-carb eating as a way to successfully manage blood sugars. Marilee has a spouse, two children and three grandsons.
Chelcie Rice is a T1 diabetic for over 30 yrs. He is also a stand up comedian, speaker, writer and diabetes advocate. Earlier this year he introduced his podcast The Soul of Diabetes aimed at the members of the BIPOC community who live with diabetes.
Cherise was diagnosed with LADA in June 2004. She is the creator of the Blue Fridays initiative and WOCDiabetes and the founder of the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (#dsma). Cherise is the Community Manager at The diaTribe Foundation and a subject matter expert in diabetes social media, online communities, and peer support. In addition, she is a wife, mother, veteran, digital communication enthusiast, citizen researcher, and change agent.
My name is Jonna Stromberger. I live in the northeastern corner of the state in a rural town called Iliff. Along with my husband Brad, we own and operate a large farming operation. We have three daughters who keep me busy through their love of showing pigs all over the state and throughout the nation. Brooke is a junior at Iowa State, Alli is a senior at Caliche High School, and Bailey is a 6th grader at Caliche Elementary. Type 1 diabetes has been a part of our lives since Alli was 5 years old. I am passionate about raising diabetes awareness and educating rural communities on accessing healthcare.