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Simonpalooza: The Hangover Edition

Wow what a fabulous weekend! I’m still excited and tired all at the same time and I totally miss everyone

I can’t even begin to describe how fantastic it was to see all these DOC members from all over the country come to Kansas City to meet Simon, who has literally been working massive overtime (90 hours a week sometimes) so he could come to the States and visit.

I am extremely fortunate that I was able to attend this event and it will stay with me to my end of days.   We had diabetics of all types, their loved ones and even Becca, the superdog (we could only air-pet her tho, since she is a hard working service dog for Heather).  I truly wish more people could have attended, it was fantastic!

Some of us gathered together Friday evening at the home of Jess and Josh, who were kind enough to welcome us into their home.  Jess had been really wrangling this event, herding us cats into a semblance of order, and she definitely has my thanks for that!

I also want to thank Jon, Type Awesome to Babs,  who got us all a killer hotel rate.  Managing to squeeze this in while caring for  Babs, who has been undergoing treatment for cancer and is truly an inspiration.  And speaking of Babs, a bunch of us went to visit her in the hospital Saturday morning not too long before she was discharged, sporting our Simonpalooza “I’m with the Band” limited edition t-shirts that Kelly and Victoria created for us.  They both joined us for dinner and the after-dinner festivities Saturday evening and breakfast Sunday morning.  I am also grateful that she is well on the way to recovery and is cancer-free!  Way to go Babs!

I also met Melissa for the first time, who I knew from TuDiabetes and after I became an admin there (she’s the lead admin), we chatted quite a bit about things and has always been a good friend.    It was great to actually meet her, her husband and their little one!  She is just adorable!  I really value the advice you gave me this weekend, Mel, as I always have.

Actually, this weekend I got a lot of good advice and support from my friends this weekend, thank you all.  You know who you are. If you don’t, let me know so I can plan a road trip to come kick your butt.

There have been so many fantastic posts and vlogs so far, that I don’t think I could do the event any more justice than has already been done by posts like these and those yet to come

From Kim: What You Do Matters
                      Simon’s Arrival
From Jess: 48 Hours of Awesome
                      We Are All With the Band
From Mike: Setting the Stage
From Allison at Diabetes Mine: The Best Offline Diabetes Meet-Ups Yet?!
From Sara: You Make a Difference
                       You Can Do This: The Simonpalooza Edition
And a special one from Babs: Posting Palooza

And Simon himself?  What a great individual!  Reading his story is one thing, but hearing it in his own words was something else again.  He spoke candidly about what had happened and how he had found his way.  He says he couldn’t have made it without all of us and I don’t think we’d be what we are without him.

He reminded us why we do what we do, why we speak out, why we talk about the things that are fantastic, the things that are frustrating and the things that no one else wants to discuss.  Thank you,  Simon for coming all this way and giving all of us the opportunity to meet you.  Oh, and you’re a crazy Aussie flying 9600 miles to meet a bunch of strangers crazy enough to travel for hours to meet you.  That’s why we love you, jut sayin’.    And thanks to everyone else who made the journey and made this such a wonderful experience that I’m sure we will always remember.

I’ll close with a quote from Simon that best sums it up:

If you can reach just one person…


©2011 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and
  • You’ve somehow managed to pull a whole lot of the incredible experiences and emotions into a well done blog post.  I too am glad to have been a part of it, and it was totally worth the expense, travel time, and time away from family (that last one is always the hardest).  

    It was also really great to meet your kids.  I’m so glad they came to dinner.  🙂

    • well, tote the family along next time!  Always fantastic to see you my friend

  • Thanks for all the links Scott. I really enjoyed meeting your kids as well. 

    Counting the days until my next visit!

    • There’s a countdown?  Did I get the memo on that?

      heheh, always a treat to see you and master of the video you are

  • Mike Hoskins

    Wonderful post, Scott. You brought it all together in this recap, and that end-quote so hits it on the mark. It was great seeing you again, and look forward to the chance for that to happen again.

    • Thanks Mike, I’m looking forward to it as well!

  • fantastic post, scott! seems i can’t read anything simonpalooza related and not cry! it was a life-changing experience.

  • Kerri at

    Awesome post, and very handy, linky recap for those of us who couldn’t make the meet-up.  🙂  Thanks for posting, Scott!!

  • shannon

    thanks for posting the links to other blogs and sharing your own thoughts about the weekend. fantastic!