Every year, Expos are planned for many major cities. If you live in a city where a Diabetes Expo is to be held, please consider spending a day of your time to man an exhibit. If you are interested, contact the CSRF and we would be pleased to make arrangements and provide a tabletop display and literature. For more information on Diabetes Expo events, see:
www.diabetes.org – Community Events – Diabetes Expo
Ellen’s report from Seattle, 2008
The event in Seattle this year drew 5,000 people. I first learned that I had Cushing’s after seeing an endocrinologist about my diabetes, so naturally I want to reach other diabetics. If it is true that 3% to 5% of diabetics have Cushing’s, then the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Expo seemed like a great place to reach both patients and health care providers. I was able to obtain a table for no cost. I had nothing to sell, and was not trying to change anyone’s lifestyle – I just wanted to get the word out about Cushing’s.
The picture of the lady on our booth was a great attention-getter! Lots of people came to talk with me. Many said, “What’s Cushing’s Syndrome? I’ve never heard of it.” to which I replied, “I hadn’t either – until I was diagnosed with it”. Some were familiar with Cushing’s, some thought it was possible that they or someone they knew had it, and some just wanted someone to listen to their stories. There was an endocrinologist on the program, who told me how glad she was that I was there.
The Expo was in the same hall with a health fair run by a local TV station, so thousands of people saw the booth. I hope at least a few went away with useful information.
Karen’s Report from Phoenix, 2008
This year’s Expo in Phoenix drew 8,900 people and was a wonderful way to spend a Sat!! There were at least 10 people through our booth who had signs and symptoms of Cushing’s who had no idea what Cushing’s was. One woman said that she had been tested and her 24hr urine and a salivary cortisol were high, but she was told by her primary care, that they were not high enough to be Cushing’s. In the meantime, her symptoms were progressing and I was able to encourage her to seek out an endocrinologist. Another person actually had a tumor on her adrenal, but her doctor never told her what symptoms she might be having due to it and never did any testing! I also couldn’t believe the number of people that I talked to that were taking prednisone for other health issues and weren’t aware of the side effects! It did make me wonder how many cases of type 2 diabetes are actually caused by prednisone. Unfortunately, some patients very much need the anti-inflammatory properties of prednisone, but they should be informed as to the possible side effects. I also talked to the AZ Chapter of Diabetes Educators and they mentioned that they are always looking for speakers at their local meetings. If you are interested in talking about Cushing’s, you might see if there is a chapter where you live!