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Del Mar-based organization to present Diabetes Conference & Health Fair Sept. 26

The 21st annual Taking Care of Your Diabetes conference is set for Sept. 26 at the San Diego Convention Center. The program draws about 2,000 people every year. Courtesy photo

It’s based in the county’s smallest city, but a local organization is having a large impact on the diabetes community here and across the country.

For two decades, Del Mar-based Taking Control of Your Diabetes has educated and empowered thousands of people with diabetes.

“We help people with diabetes live their best life,” said Jennifer Braidwood, the group’s manager of outreach and continuing medical education. “Diabetes doesn’t have to be a death sentence.”

More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, including TCOYD’s founder and director.

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was a teenager, Dr. Steven Edelman went on to study medicine at UC Davis, fulfill his internal medicine training at UCLA, and complete a clinical endocrinology fellowship at the Joslin and Lahey Clinics in Boston, as well as a research fellowship at UC San Diego.

Edelman, who lives in Del Mar, serves as a professor of medicine at UCSD and the director of the Diabetes Care Clinic at the VA Medical Center in San Diego.

“He’s dedicated his medical career to teaching people to learn how to get the most up-to-date, cutting-edge information on diabetes care and management,” Braidwood said.

In 1995, Edelman founded TCOYD, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to educate, inspire, and motivate people with diabetes. Since then, TCOYD has conducted 165 conferences and health fairs in more than 60 different cities across the United States, inspiring more than 200,000 individuals with diabetes to take control of their lives.

“If you can control your disease and you have the right tools to manage it day in and day out, you can live a super-normal life,” Braidwood said. “Through these conferences and what we do here in San Diego and around the country, we teach people how to do that.”

TCOYD scheduled nine conferences across the country this year. From coast to coast, the daylong programs offer important information for patients, as well as valuable resources for providers. The national conferences and health fairs feature exhibits, small group sessions and workshops. The next San Diego conference will be Sept. 26.

“We’re unique in the fact that we’re the only organization of our kind that’s actually bringing patients and providers together within the same space,” Braidwood said. “A few times throughout the day, the doctors and the people with diabetes will interact — they’ll attend some of the same workshops and they’ll have lunch together. It really opens up communication between people who have the disease and the doctors who treat people with the disease.”

In addition to conferences, TCOYD offers a series of lectures in San Diego. Hosted by Edelman, topics cover an array of issues that affect people with diabetes. The evening events are held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on scheduled Wednesdays throughout the year, with the next lecture, “Surviving the Holidays,” slated for Nov. 18 at the Preuss School in La Jolla.

“Diabetes can be complicated. Whether you have Type 1 or Type 2, it’s something you have to deal with every day,” Braidwood said. “We’re important because we give you the tools in order to figure out what you need to do to be able to deal with it everyday.”

The 21st annual San Diego conference is set for Sept. 26 at the San Diego Convention Center. The program draws about 2,000 people every year.

“People walk away from the event with a lot of hope and encouragement to really take control of their condition and live well,” Braidwood said. “It’s a really exciting day.”

Registration opens at 7:30 a.m., with the conference and health fair taking place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The conference costs $30 per person or $25 per person when registering two or more people before noon on Sept. 23. Day-of registration costs $35 per person. The price includes a healthy mid-morning snack, sit-down lunch and dessert. Financial aid is available.

To register, call 800-998-2693 or visit www.tcoydcme.org.

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