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DiabetesSisters Recognizes 2017 Brandy Barnes Scholarship Awardees
(March 15, 2017)
DiabetesSisters Recognizes 2017 Brandy Barnes Scholarship Awardees

Eight outstanding volunteer leaders of PODS (Part of DiabetesSisters) Meetups have been selected as recipients of the 2017 Brandy Barnes Scholarship from DiabetesSisters, the only national nonprofit focused exclusively on improving the quality of life and health of women with all types of diabetes.

The Brandy Barnes Scholarship was designed by the Board of Directors to support continuing patient education and expanded knowledge for PODS Leaders. Scholarship monies are allocated to alleviate the cost of registration, transportation, and/or lodging to diabetes-related conferences in the United States. Recipients will represent DiabetesSisters at the conferences they attend with the scholarships, as well as provide the women in their local meetup groups relevant information and resources to help them live better lives with diabetes. As Diane Bajalia, 2017 awardee from Florida, describes it: "I grow as a person with diabetes and as a PODS Leader with every conference I attend. When I share new information with PODS members it generates discussion, sparks rejuvenation in our group, and strengthens our passion for staying healthy and focused while managing a chronic disease."

PODS Meetups are a signature program of DiabetesSisters: small group meetings that offer an open, respectful environment for women with diabetes and prediabetes to focus on their own health; opportunities to share experience, information, and support with other women who live with diabetes and prediabetes; and include women with all types of diabetes or prediabetes, regardless of whether they were diagnosed yesterday or 40+ years ago.

The eight awardees of the 2017 scholarships are the following:

  • Sarah MacLeod, DiabetesSisters of Boston, South Shore, and Braintree, MA
  • Theresa Hastings, DiabetesSisters of Denver Metro Area, CO
  • Diane Bajalia, DiabetesSisters of Jacksonville, FL
  • Karen Rose Tank, DiabetesSisters of Princeton, NJ
  • Natalie Sera, DiabetesSisters of Reno, NV
  • Donna Tucker, DiabetesSisters of Raleigh, NC
  • Cindy Campaniello, DiabetesSisters of Rochester, NY
  • Gayle McKenna, DiabetesSisters of Ventura County/San Fernando County, CA

Brandy Barnes, scholarship namesake and founder of DiabetesSisters, was diagnosed with diabetes at age 15, and several years later realized that there were virtually no specific resources for women with diabetes, particularly when they were going through pregnancy. Barnes founded DiabetesSisters in 2008 and served as the organization's CEO until 2015. “Along with the Board of Directors, I am excited to award these 8 extraordinary women leaders with resources to better their lives, and those of other women, from a diabetes perspective," said Anna Norton, CEO of DiabetesSisters. “We are grateful to the support of Dexcom One Step Ahead Foundation for the funding to provide our leaders with additional education and training."

The 2017 Brandy Barnes Scholarship was funded as part of a grant to DiabetesSisters from the Dexcom One Step Ahead Foundation: A Dexcom Employees Foundation.

About DiabetesSisters:
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, DiabetesSisters is the only organization worldwide focusing exclusively on women with diabetes. Our mission is to improve the health and quality of life of women living with and at risk of developing diabetes, and to advocate on their behalf. DiabetesSisters has a 10,000-member peer network that unites women with diabetes for the purpose of support, education, and advocacy. Signature programs include monthly small group meetings (PODS Meetups); DiabetesSisters conferences throughout the U.S.; the Life Class Webinar Series, and online blogs, forums, and expert resources. For more information, visit

About The Dexcom One Step Ahead Foundation: A Dexcom Employees Foundation
The Dexcom One Step Ahead Foundation: A Dexcom Employees Foundation works to support the missions and purposes of tax-exempt organizations that provide services and programs to people living with diabetes and their caregivers in the United States. Run by its own Board of Directors, comprising Dexcom employees and external participants, the Foundation will provide monetary grants to organizations designated by the IRS as 501(c)3 Public Charities so that these organizations can assist people living with diabetes – as well as their caregivers – to better understand their medical condition, to manage their diabetes more effectively, and to live healthier lifestyles.

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