Afterthoughts – DSMA Live ‘Rents | Lee Ann Thill

On February 26, 2013 by Lorraine

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 12.57.51 PMWe were honored to have Lee Ann Thill (did you know the “h” is silent?) as our guest on DSMA Live ‘Rents this past Monday.

Before we spoke with Lee Ann, we went over some news:

Have you heard about puppies being cured? I thought WebMD had a good article on the research including comments from Dr. Camillo Ricordi, director of the Diabetes Research Institute.

Bennet gave us an update on the Spare A Rose campaign of last week. It sounds like it was a great success! Thanks for all those who participated.

Now, back to Lee Ann. She is an art therapist, diabetes advocate, founder of Diabetes Art Day, creator of the WDD Post Card Exchange, and now creator/moderator of the VIAL Project.

We learned that the start of Diabetes Art Day in 2010 was at the suggestion of DSMA founder, Cherise Shockley. The first year there was a page on Lee Ann’s blog where people could add links to their creations. The participation was great – much more than Lee Ann expected. It became an annual event and Lee Ann created a dedicated web site so anyone could post – not just those with blogs. It’s beautiful. Check it out. Starting in 2013, Diabetes Art day will be the first Monday in February. Creatures and robots made out of diabetes supplies are among her favorites.

WDDPE was born from informal discussions regarding the diabetes symbol problem (blue circle, gray ribbon, blue ribbon…). Lee Ann wanted to increase the recognition of the the blue circle. An art therapist post card exchange that Lee Ann participated in and the excitement she used to feel when getting mail from fellow diabetes campers were the inspiration.

It’s a huge coordination each year so lets show our support. Bennet offered his organizational expertise to help create an automated process. It’s logistically complicated to match people by their preferences and try to give them the world experience. She really puts her heart into it. The exchange takes place each November and you can register through the WWWPE website.

This July will be Lee Ann’s third time at FFL. During the focus group day there is a diabetes open studio to make diabetes art than Lee Ann organizes and facilitates. The event is low key. You can hang out and meet new people or see old friends. There will be a separate session for siblings this year as part of the kids programming.

Finally, Lee Ann told us about her VIAL project. It’s a social networking website for people 13 and older. If you have type one diabetes and any food or body issues, this is a place for you to share and be heard. Any creative art can be posted and shared – written, visual, whatever people are comfortable with sharing. Lee Ann spoke more with Cherise about it and you can read that interview here.

This week is National Eating Disorders Week. Lee Ann encourages people to write a post about food issues or body image issues. Raise awareness and create a positive environment to allow people to share without risk of feeling like they would be judged.

For the whole show, please listen in. It’s a great one!

We’ll be back on the air live next Monday with Bennet and his daughter Kelley talking about their Drinking with Diabetes project. Hope to see to then!!

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