#27 Dexcom CEO Kevin Sayer Answers Your Questions
When the news broke that Dexcom and Google entered into a business agreement that would allow Dexcom to have access to Google technology that will produce smaller, cheaper continuous glucose monitors… word spread quickly on the Internets. I posted the press release highlights on Arden’s Day and the blog exploded with page views, Facebook ‘likes’ and comments from excited CGM users.
There hasn’t been a more popular topic on my type 1 diabetes blog since Kris Freeman allowed me to use a shirtless photo of him from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi to illustrate that a person with low body fat could successfully wear an insulin pump and CGM. If you’re wondering what a four time Olympian looks like with his shirt off. Go ahead and click over to see Kris wearing his OmniPod on his chest and Dexcom sensor on his side… this page will remain open.
Anyway, when I saw how excited you all were about the Dexcom/Google announcement I contacted Dexcom and setup this podcast episode with their CEO, Kevin Sayer. Not wanting to waste the moment, I asked on the Arden’s Day Facebookpage if anyone had a question for Kevin, as it turned out, you had a lot of questions and I was able to get to almost all of them during this conversation because Kevin was kind enough to stay on 30 minutes longer than we scheduled. I think you’ll find this episode of the Juicebox Podcast a CGM users dream come true, Kevin was an open book who dished about things that I thought for sure he’d decline to speak about. Huge thanks to Kevin for his time and candor!
You can listen to the Juicebox Podcast here:
Bookbags, folders, calculators, and summer reading assignments: For kids with diabetes and their parents, these typical back-to-school preparations are just the beginning. By now you’ve probably already met with your child’s diabetes care provider and school personnel. But there are other important steps you can take to make sure your child stays safe at school:
1. Make sure you have a current Diabetes Medical Management Plan (DMMP)
Work with your diabetes care provider to create this plan that spells out your child’s school diabetes care regimen, if you haven’t already. “What are the child’s typical symptoms of hypoglycemia? What snacks does he or she use to treat it? Can the child give his or her own injections?” Download a sample plan. Meet with the school nurse or health care aide to to review the DMMP and understand how it will be implemented.
2. Write up a 504 Plan or Individualized Education Program (IEP)
These plans take the information in the DMMP and explain the school’s specific responsibilities. They are developed to protect your child’s rights under relevant federal laws. One thing the plan addresses is who else should be trained to provide diabetes care tasks for your child when the school nurse is not available. Younger or newly diagnosed children will generally need more help. Your list should include the school bus driver, the teacher, anyone responsible at after-school activities or field trips. Find more about 504 plans and download a sample plan and learn more about IEPs.
3. Don’t forget the lows
Be sure to have a “low box” containing snacks and glucagon with your child, in the classroom, and in the nurse’s office, based on what you’ve outlined in your care plan. Provide your child with sources of quick-acting glucose, like tabs or juice or whatever he or she uses to treat low blood sugar.
4. Build up your child’s confidence
Giving kids a little more independence at home—like teaching them to check their own blood glucose, if they’re ready for it—will give them the confidence that they can take care of themselves when you’re not with them, too.
5. Listen—and reassure
The start of school is an emotional time for everyone. Reassure your child that you’ve met with the school and they are safe.
New Hampshire native and Olympic cross-country skier Kris Freeman is changing the face of Type 1 diabetes, one race at a time. At only 34 years old, Kris has an impressive number of accomplishments under his belt, including competing in the last four winter Olympics and winning 17 national championships.
On August 15, Kris participated in The Great Adventure Challenge at Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton, Maine. The triathlon involves 2.5 miles of kayaking, 16 miles of mountain biking and concludes with a 2-mile hike up and down Shawnee Peak, challenging participants to a grueling 1300-foot change in elevation. This year, Kris set a new course record, finishing in just over one hour and 49 minutes.
Kris’s love of and talent for skiing was apparent at a very young age – he was skiing before he could walk. His passion persisted and, at age 19, Kris decided to walk away from a full scholarship at the University of Vermont to pursue his dream of becoming an Olympic cross-country skier.
Two months into training, Kris’s life changed forever after a routine blood test revealed twice the normal level of glucose. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and doctors insisted that his Olympic dream was over. No one with Type 1 diabetes had ever competed in an Olympic endurance sport.
However, Kris’s determination proved stronger than his disease, and two years later he made it to the Olympics.
Kris’s road to success has been facilitated in part by cutting-edge technology. Kris believes that this is by far the best time in history to live with diabetes, thanks to innovators like Dexcom that have empowered people to track and manage their disease. Kris uses the Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring system, an invaluable tool to track his blood glucose levels. This is crucial, as blood sugar can spike due to adrenaline and stress while training and competing.
An advocate for people living with Type 1 diabetes, Kris has visited over 150 summer camps to speak to children with diabetes and inspire them to run with their dreams. His goal is simple: “I want to talk to them about what they can do, which is anything, in my opinion.”