I'm originally from Pennsylvania, but have lived in San Francisco since 1996, and consider it home now. I was diagnosed with type I diabetes in 1978, when there was no structured way for people with diabetes to connect. My parents tracked down another family with a diabetic child my age, and every few months we would drive 2 hours to visit them so that I could have a peer. And do you know what? I did not like that kid AT ALL. But she was my entire diabetic peer group up until I went to college, so there we were. Look how different it is to have diabetes now! Bye-bye, rotten kid. Now I've got thousands of potential diabetic friends to share with, all right here. In college I studied biology and considered going into medicine, but opted for life experience before making such a commitment. In 1996 I moved to San Francisco and made my way into public health, by way of much volunteering and networking. At the time there was strong focus on HIV/AIDS-related work in SF, and I became a research assistant in the SF AIDS Office within the Public Health Department. Soon thereafter I decided to go back to school for epidemiology in order to progress into a career studying infectious disease, which I did in 2000, at Stanford University. Epidemiology turned out not to be quite the right fit for me. I got the degree, but the actual work was too solitary. Lots of numerical data, not much human interaction. ... So of course the logical next step was to become a ballroom dance teacher. ALL human interaction! I worked for a dance studio from 2005 to 2008, and then for myself from 2008 to the present. I love it, and I still teach, perform and compete in ballroom dance to this day. All through this story I still had diabetes, of course, and it has always been a main theme in my life, even as I've tried to focus my attention elsewhere. In 2010 I decided to go ahead and DO something with it. That decision eventually led me to Diabetes Hands Foundation, and I could not be more thrilled that it did! My position here combines perfectly my passion for public health and advocacy, my love of personal human contact, and my long- and hard-earned knowledge of diabetes.