Gina Capone is a long-time diabetes advocate and social media entrepreneur, having created and contributed to numerous diabetes websites, blogs and other social community forums over the last decade. In 2000 she co-foundedDiabetesTalkFest.com, a site dedicated to hosting live chats with clinical and research professionals in the field of diabetes, where she moderates the weekly discussions and authors the DiabetesTalkFest blog. She also serves as the community manager of Juvenation.org, the JDRF type 1 social website for people with diabetes and their families, and is an expert patient blogger on Health Central.
Her newest venture is the creation of this comprehensive online diabetes directory called The Diabetes Resource — Your Friendly Guide to a Prickly Topic, which pools all of the diabetes resources on the internet, from support groups and camps to management and research information.
1. How old were you when you were diagnosed with diabetes and how long have you lived with diabetes? I was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 25 in November of 2000.
2. You are the founder of The Diabetes Resource, what was the initial inspiration about starting this website? And as someone who also writes and is very active in the diabetes community, do you ever feel like you are in diabetes up to your ears? (or maybe it’s just me?). After my diagnosis 10 years ago, I remember leaving my doctor’s office feeling really confused and in need of answers. I went to the web and started searching for information but I had no idea about what to look for. There was no starting place for me to go to. I wanted to create a place that would point people in the right direction. I built TDR to help people connect, share and learn.
Sometimes I feel a bit of diabetes overload with all of the information out there. But, I try not to lose focus of why I started it and I know that I can get support whenever I need it. If it gets to a point where I can’t handle it anymore I take a break.
3. What is the biggest challenge to living with diabetes as a woman? What, if any, has been positive about living with diabetes? The biggest challenge at this point is trying to start a family. Getting my blood sugars in baby range and keeping my stress level down are huge challenges. And those challenges have been taking a toll on me mentally.
4. What has been the greatest piece of advice you’ve received about living with diabetes? Take it one day at time and don’t let the numbers control your life.