March TypeOneNation Summit: Visionary Women Talk Career, Balancing T1D, and Women's Health

JDRF’s TypeOneNation Summits offer education, connection, and inspiration to help people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) live their best lives. Our March virtual session honored Women’s History Month with a conversation about T1D issues important to women.

Watch the recorded event now!

Hosted by sports journalist Jordan Ligons Robinson, the event featured incredible women with type 1 diabetes sharing their experiences with balancing career and family, body image, pregnancy, and more.

Check out some of the highlights below:

Breakthrough T1D Research Update

Breakthrough T1D research scientist Cassandra Bazile, Ph.D., opened the session with an update on Breakthrough T1D’s research strategy. She highlighted the work being done by Breakthrough T1D-funded women scientists in disease-modifying therapies. Dr. Bazile also explained the history behind the recent FDA approval of Tzield, the first disease-modifying therapy for T1D.

Breakthrough T1D research scientist Cassandra Basile, Ph.D., discusses type 1 diabetes disease-modifying therapies

T1D’s Impact on Women’s Health Stages

Sarit Polsky, MD, MPH, Director of Pregnancy and Women’s Health Clinic at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, covered several health topics important to women with type 1 diabetes. She talked in-depth about T1D’s impact on the menstrual cycle and menopause. Dr. Polsky also provided tips for a healthy pregnancy with T1D, such as the benefits of wearing a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and target time-in-range.

Dr. Sarit Polsky discusses time-in-range targets for pregnant women with type 1 diabetes.

Balancing it All with T1D

Portia Benbow is the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. Her career allows her to mix her passion for community service with her love of basketball to make a positive impact on her city. Portia talked to Jordan about her T1D diagnosis at age 11 and overcoming self-consciousness about her disease. She attributes her success to surrounding herself with a community of people with (and without) T1D. She also discussed the steps she is taking to prepare for a healthy pregnancy with T1D.

Portia Benbow discusses her work with the Atlanta Hawks and managing type 1 diabetes with a busy career.

T1D on Broadway

Tony-nominated actor Caitlin Kinnunen talked to Jordan about her T1D diagnosis at 8 years old and balancing it with being on stage, singing, and dancing. Caitlin expressed that while T1D is a very individual disease, it’s important to have a support system. “In sharing my story I’ve been able to connect with more and more people who have gone what I have gone through,” she said. “It not only makes it easier, it makes me feel less alone.”

Tony-nominated actress Caitlin Kinnunen talks about balancing type 1 diabetes with a career on stage.






Caitlin also presented a special tribute to Mary Tyler Moore, a pioneer in television and entertainment, an inspiration to women, and a fierce advocate for the T1D community. “Despite the daily burdens of this disease, Mary affected change with professionalism, grace, determination, and unbreakable optimism,” Caitlin said. The Mary Tyler Moore Vision Initiative seeks to preserve and restore vision in people with diabetes, continuing Mary’s vital work as it honors her legacy.

Body Image and Dating with T1D

Kelsey Bascom is an accomplished writer, actor, and T1D advocate. Her web series, Mondays, has amassed over 10 million views on YouTube. Her upcoming movie, Quarter, uses comedy to portray an honest perspective of being a young woman living with T1D. The movie also has more than 30 people living with T1D in the cast and crew!

Kelsey was diagnosed with T1D when she was 17 years old and struggled with body image. She talked to Jordan about her journey from hiding her T1D to, today, proudly showing off her “robot parts” on Instagram to her more than 26,000 followers! Kelsey also talked to Jordan about dating with T1D and the different ways she has introduced her disease to people she dates.

Writer, actress, and T1D advocate Kelsey Bascom discusses overcoming struggles with body image.






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