RaeLynn is an American country singer and songwriter signed to Warner Bros. Records, who made a name for herself after finishing third on Team Blake on the second season of the television show “The Voice.” Since then, RaeLynn has sold over 1 million digital copies of her music. RaeLynn works hard to manage her diabetes by watching her diet, exercising, and checking her blood sugar regularly, as well as taking the medication prescribed by her doctor. Today, RaeLynn has partnered with Novo Nordisk, a global health care company dedicated to diabetes care, to raise awareness of the importance of properly managing blood sugar levels. She wants to demonstrate to others living with diabetes that the condition should not hinder them from following their dreams but instead can be integrated into their lives and ambitions.
Mountain Climber Will Cross has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1976 when he was diagnosed at the age of nine. Will was told that it was unlikely he would live to be 30 years old because of diabetes. In the 40 years since, he became passionate about high-altitude mountaineering and has ascended the highest peaks on all seven continents and walked to both the North and South Poles. Cross led expeditions to 15 unmapped and unexplored mountains in Greenland, Patagonia, Mountains of the Moon, the Sahara Desert, and the Thar Desert of India. Cross is a member of the National Speakers Association and has been featured by CNN, BBC, The Today Show, Discovery Channel, Voice of America, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, Explorers Journal, and GQ. Will seeks to get the message out that if he can control his diabetes in these conditions, no one should feel hindered by diabetes. Will’s participation is part of Tandem Diabetes Care’s Live Life in Full Color speaker series.
Jay Hewitt is an athlete, attorney and keynote speaker. He is the only person with type 1 diabetes to qualify for the U.S. National Long Distance Triathlon Team, racing three years for Team USA at the World Championships in Denmark, Sweden and Australia. He raced 14 ultra distance and Ironman triathlons - a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race and 26.2-marathon mile run—140 miles in one day, all while injecting insulin and managing his blood sugar. At the same time, he balanced work and life practicing law and presenting appeals to state and federal courts around he country. Jay has been featured on the cover of Diabetes Health, Diabetes Forecast, and many other national publications, and profiled in television documentaries on CNBC, WGN and Lifetime TV. He speaks nationally to business groups and the public about health and wellness, overcoming obstacles and achieving goals, and is the author of the newly-released motivational book Finish Line Vision. He is married with three children and lives in Greenville, S.C.
Kendall Simmons was born and raised in Ripley, MS. He graduated from Ripley High School and earned an athletic scholarship to Auburn University in 1997. He started almost every game on the offensive line as a freshman through his senior campaign. During that time he earned All SEC, All American and other honors as an Auburn Tiger. Kendall played eight years after being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers® as the 30th overall pick in 2002. Following his first season, Simmons was selected as the team’s rookie of the year. Shortly before his second season began in 2003, Simmons was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and was not sure if he would be able to continue his football career. With the help of team doctors and a strong support network, Simmons returned to the field that same year. He learned to manage his diabetes, regained his strength and flourished on the football field. The following season Simmons started all 16 regular season games and all four playoff games with the Pittsburgh Steelers® During the 2005 season the team also won Super Bowl® XL over the Seattle Seahawks®. Simmons now dedicates his time to diabetes care, raising awareness, properly managing blood glucose levels and to demonstrating that diabetes can be successfully integrated into your life and ambitions.
In 1989, Douglas Cairns was a Royal Air Force jet pilot and instructor at the age of 25 when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and consequently lost his flying career. In 2000 he regained the freedom to fly in the USA as a licensed private pilot, and in 2003 Douglas went on to complete Diabetes World Flight, a round-the-world flight. Since 2009 Douglas has run “Flying With Diabetes”, an initiative to raise positive awareness for pilots with diabetes, by setting solo and group aviation world records including “Diabetes Polar Flight” in 2011 to the North Pole and landing on the polar ice. Douglas is a co-founder of “Pilots With Diabetes”, an aviation policy advocacy group for pilots with insulin-treated diabetes. Douglas is passionate about raising positive awareness of diabetes and gives regular talks to conferences and meetings, highlighting that diabetes need not limit the scope of people's dreams and ambitions.
Born into a family of cooks, Doreen Colondres’ family kitchen was the epicenter of her childhood. She developed a passion for local, fresh food and merging classic flavors with new ingredients. When life took her to Miami, Doreen found she was never far from the kitchen, cooking for friends and entertaining. In fact, Doreen wanted to convince the world that “The Kitchen Doesn’t Bite” and launched her website of the same name. A leading figure in today’s “Cocina Latina” movement and an expert in a range of Hispanic cooking, Doreen is determined to revolutionize the way the world approaches food, cooking, and eating habits. As a fresh food advocate with a passion to educate, Doreen’s easy approach and vibrant personality have helped her become a “people’s chef.” When Doreen isn’t experimenting in the kitchen, she’s either traveling abroad consulting for international companies, or is on-air hosting cooking shows on Fox’s Utilisima Network. Her mission is to show others that Hispanic food is flavorful and diverse, and that cooking can be relaxing, healthy, and most importantly fun!
Amanda Jo is a country/Americana singer, songwriter, and entertainer from Nashville, Tennessee. She has been living well with Type 1 Diabetes for the past 17 years. She currently performs 200 shows a year across the United States in the duo Truckstop Honey. She has opened up for such national acts as Maddie and Tae, Chris Janson, Tyler Farr, and Marshall Tucker Band. Fueled by a love for music and a passion for people, Amanda Jo is an advocate for people with diabetes both on and off the stage. She recently recorded “Needle Free” with American Idol contestant Adam Lasher, supporting research for a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. You can find out more information about her on her website, www.amandajocountry.com.
Billy Lee is a country/Americana singer, songwriter, entertainer, and guitar player extraordinaire from Nashville, Tennessee. He currently performs over 200 shows a year across the United States in the duo Truckstop Honey. He has opened for such acts as John Mellencamp, David Allan Coe, Marshall Tucker Band, and Steve Wariner. He is also a proud Type 3 Diabetic. When he started dating his girlfriend Amanda Jo, he learned as much as he could about diabetes. The more he learned about diabetes, the more passionate he became in helping and encouraging those living well with it everyday. He co-wrote the song "Needle Free," which was recorded by Amanda Jo and American Idol contestant Adam Lasher, supporting research for a cure for type 1 diabetes. You can download the song for free at www.needlefreesong.com.
Courtney Duckworth is two-time Boston Marathoner, spokesperson for Abbott Global, and a professional cheerleader who has lived with type 1 diabetes for over 14 years. She is also the author of The Marathon We Live: Training for a Personal Best in Life with Type 1 Diabetes. Partial proceeds from the book support the Every Step Counts Scholarship Program she created to reward young adults for their efforts to live their healthiest lives with T1D. In August, she will attend the University of Virginia School of Medicine to continue her mission to give back to the medical community.
Colt Scott, age 23, competed last fall on the second season of the Netflix series Ultimate Beastmaster. Colt represented himself as the self-proclaimed “Diabadass” to show that despite his condition, he — and others just like him — are capable of greatness. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was only 18 months old, Colt understands the struggle of maintaining a healthy blood sugar day in and day out. He believes that this mentality of overcoming this obstacle gave him an edge when it came down to defeating “the Beast.” His goal was to prove that even though the world may see you in a position of disadvantage, you have the power to turn that into an advantage.
Denotes special guest with diabetes
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