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Chelcie Rice on the power of resilience through community

May 11, 2019 by Scott Johnson

In today’s video, we hear from Chelcie Rice, an advocate, and a speaker that uses stand-up to connect with people and tell his story of having type 1 diabetes. He talks about the importance of resilience through communities and representation of all people in these communities, online and otherwise.

Summary

  • Chelcie’s diagnosis story
  • Chelcie using stand-up to start opening up about diabetes
  • Connecting with advocates living with different health conditions
  • How people of color need more representation in the diabetes community

Resources

Video

Transcript

Scott Johnson: Have you ever felt like you didn’t have a seat at the table when it comes to discussions about you and your diabetes care? Well, stick with us because today’s guest has a powerful message for you. What’s up Monster Tamers? Welcome to another episode of “Live, with Scott!

Scott Johnson: Thanks so much for tuning in. My name is Scott Johnson, I’ve been living with diabetes since I was five years old, and the diabetes social media space, that’s you, by the way, has been an important part of my wellbeing for a long, long time. Thanks so much for helping me along.

Scott Johnson: As your host today, I am thrilled to connect you with my friend Chelcie because he has got some powerful messages to share within the story of his journey, and I can’t wait for you to hear them.

Scott Johnson: But first, this week’s winner. Congratulations to my friend Marianna, who just won some cool mySugr swag and a copy of Rachael’s Yoga For Diabetes book. Mariana, we sent you a message on Facebook to coordinate details. Everyone else, stay tuned for your chance to win, and while we get going, please share a quick hello in the comments and let me know where you’re watching from.

Scott Johnson: Today’s episode is sponsored by the mySugr Bundle. Get unlimited strips, automatic supply refills, personalized support, and more all for just $49 per month. Learn more at mySugr.com/facebooklive.

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Scott Johnson: Now for more on this week’s guest, Chelcie Rice is a powerful diabetes advocate, I’m sorry, I just love that intro picture that Chelcie sent over. Chelcie is a powerful diabetes advocate, a comedian, a speaker who talks about, who talks with us today about the power of resilience through community and inclusion within those communities. All right, let’s dive right in.
All right. Hey Chelcie, good to connect with you again. Thanks for coming on the show.

Chelcie Rice: Thank you for having me, brother. It’s good to see you.

Scott Johnson: Likewise. Likewise. It always feels like too long between seeing you.

Chelcie Rice: Yeah. It’s like we, you and I going through so much dude, the last time, it was like been over a year, right?

Scott Johnson: At least.

Chelcie Rice: Two years since we’ve seen each other, so yeah it’s, we’re all growing and going in crazy directions, man. yeah, so it always good to catch up with you brother.

Scott Johnson: Yeah. Likewise, and thank you. I know a bit about you, but I’m hoping that today we can introduce the treat that you are to the world, to a whole new audience, and can you do them the pleasure of telling them a bit about who is Mr. Chelcie Rice?

Chelcie Rice: Yeah. I’m originally from a little town in Northeast Georgia called Toccoa. Lived in Athens, Georgia for a little while, moved to Atlanta back in ’92. Lived there for like 20 years. Right now I’m based in Pensacola, Florida.

Chelcie Rice: Yeah, it’s, I’ve been … I’ve been a lot of places really. It’s like I’ve done a lot of things. I started out just basically just a crazy kid going to college, majoring in music. Then eventually I became a standup comedian, not professionally per se, but I started doing comedy back around 2003. I wasn’t young at the time, I was like in my thirties, but it was always something people told me I should try, and … but prior to that, around 1988, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes.

Chelcie Rice: Crazily, I was going through, had the different symptoms and this that and the other. My roommate noticed I was having frequent urination and stuff, and so he set up an appointment with me, unbeknownst to me with a urologist, and so I was diagnosed by a urologist. Got put in the hospital for like a week or so, getting re-hydrated and educated stuff like that. Like I said, so that was the ’80s, so it was a little bit, a bit of a learning curve back then because we didn’t remotely have the type of technology that we have now.

Chelcie Rice: I was just really just learning what I could from books and whatever they gave to me. It was kind of different. As I said, I’ve been living in Atlanta doing comedy, working, trying to go to school, this that and the other and recently moved here to Florida, still getting my feet accustomed to the cultural change from Atlanta to Pensacola. But all in all, it’s been pretty cool.

Scott Johnson: Yeah. One of the… Well, I mean one of the things that bring us together on today’s chat is talking about the power of community and that’s how you and I got to know each other, is through the online community.

Chelcie Rice: Yeah.

Scott Johnson: I’d like to talk a little bit about, like your life with diabetes before you found the online space, and what that was like. I know for, for me, my daily life with diabetes was very isolating and I felt very alone and-

Chelcie Rice: Right.

Scott Johnson: Tell me a little bit … tell us a little bit about what life was like for you with diabetes before the online space.

Chelcie Rice: Yeah, so like I said, I was diagnosed back in the late ’80s. There was no real community that I could really reach out to. I think one of the doctors had suggested I go to a kind of a … what we know today as a meetup with other people who are diagnosed. I was 25 years old when was diagnosed, and so he suggested I go to these, some of these meetings and I go, I went to one meeting and everybody in the meeting was like a senior citizen, so I was like a fish out of water. I didn’t know really how I was to relate to these people. That threw me off and I didn’t really do anything else like that. There wasn’t really a community that I could really reach out to, I didn’t even know anybody else personally that was diabetic that I could talk to about what I was going through, ask them for ideas and suggestions or anything of that nature.

Chelcie Rice: That was, like I said, the late ’80s, and in the ’90s it was pretty much the same thing. I would just pretty much, in my opinion, I was pretty much on my own. I just had to really rely on my own resources, finding books or whatever, because the whole initial idea of going to those meetup groups threw me off. I never really thought about going to anymore, even when I left Athens and moved to Atlanta and still, this was prior to that what we know as the internet or social media.

Chelcie Rice: Even in the days of MySpace, I didn’t really think about, because at the time MySpace didn’t really have like groups that they could, that you could relate on there. It was just really just about a whole ton of people just connecting one way or the other.

Scott Johnson: Yeah.

Chelcie Rice: And so, around 2008 or so was when I remember really diving into Facebook. I just started just… because I had been on Facebook for a while, but never even just opened it up. I went to Facebook after MySpace kind of like died off.

Scott Johnson: Yeah.

Chelcie Rice: I was on Facebook and just opened my way around and just looking around. Then eventually I started looking for diabetes groups or whatever, to see if anything like that existed. Plus I would start posting some of the stuff that I would experience with my diabetes, and I think some of those early algorithms started channeling stuff to me and I was starting to see all of these different groups popping up.

Chelcie Rice: I started connecting with people like Cherise Shockley and got to know her and then eventually got to know you, then I got to know Christel and just this all back and forth, just meeting all these different people in the diabetes online community. It was just astounding to me how quickly I built up this network, that people would understand what I was going through.

Scott Johnson: Yeah.

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Chelcie Rice: That’s when it really started to dawn on me that this community that I discovered, was encouraging me to really, excuse me, to take better care of myself, to look at different studies, look at different things that I could find out about diabetes, excuse me. It, if nothing more, it made me see like what they’re doing it, why can’t I do it?

Scott Johnson: Yeah.

Chelcie Rice: It made a little bit of a challenge. I kind of like … pushed forward and got better in my treatment and learned more. So that’s when I started getting the idea, the notion of becoming an advocate through that community. That’s one of the things I talk about a lot of times, it’s like you’ve been newly diagnosed, find a community. It’s really vital because here’s the thing about diabetes that a lot of people newly diagnosed don’t understand is the majority of your treatment is going to be on you.

Scott Johnson: Right.

Chelcie Rice: Because … excuse me, the doctors and educators can only tell you so much. They can only encourage you so much because you’re only going to see them one day or two out of the three months that you should really be going to the doctor. The rest of it is on you. You have to be able, you’re going to be spending more time one on one between you and your diabetes. So you can fill those gaps with the community to one of those days when you have burnouts.

Chelcie Rice: See, there was a time when I didn’t even know what diabetes burnout was. I thought I was, just going through one of my phases. So, learning that helped me to know that I’ve got people out there that I can actually talk to, rant to, ask questions, because what it does, it empowered me to not just take the doctor’s word for it. Sometimes I can actually just question what the doctor tells me that I, that I, that I have the right to question something that he tells me. It’s like, well, what about this? Okay, well have you heard about this? That back and forth with a doctor, I think, and most times doctor’s are going to respect you a lot better when you show them that you’re actually in this to win it.

Scott Johnson: It allowed you to have a much more empowered conversation with your healthcare provider, which is really, I mean that’s really strong.

Chelcie Rice: Yeah. That all came from the community because I didn’t think I could really do that.

Scott Johnson: Yeah.

Chelcie Rice: I didn’t think I could have, if I’m unhappy with a doctor, that I’m within my rights say, you know what, I don’t want to see you no more, I’m going to go find somebody else. Get in that comfort zone was like, well, I’ve had him, so X amount of years or so, so I’ll just continue to go, see him and take his word for it. I’m not saying don’t take your doctor’s advice, but don’t be afraid to let him know that you’ve been studying, that you’ve been researching and trying to find ways to, to better, to feel better about yourself, to be better about treating your diabetes because nine times out of 10 they can’t do anything but respect it.

Scott Johnson: Yeah. I think it’s there was a couple, it was a lot of things that you mentioned in there that are really, really powerful. One thing that, that has always struck me about the community is seeing so many different perspectives and also, if like, the different perspectives show me so many different angles of solutions and possibilities out there for me. Right?

Chelcie Rice: Then also you talked about seeing that, like learning about diabetes burnout and seeing that like, it’s not just me, this is actually a very normal part of living with diabetes and I don’t have to feel a certain way about it, but it’s a normal thing. Along with that, here are how other people are dealing with diabetes burnout and coming through that. That’s incredible stuff.

Chelcie Rice: That’s basically what the community has done for me, the, basically the power of community has done for me. I think it actually can help a lot of people because if you go to some of these diabetes groups on Facebook, you’ll see a lot of people on there that’ll ask some questions that to you and I will seem pretty, how do you not know that? That’s, this is just rudimentary kind of stuff, this is little league stuff and in diabetes knowledge. That’s the kind of stuff they teach you when you’re first diagnosed.

Chelcie Rice: These people are asking questions that they should have known and it’s like, okay, well probably these people aren’t being educated properly. They had the questions that they didn’t feel comfortable asking a medical professional about it. They felt more at ease just going online to a group of strangers, people that never even met and just asking that way. There’s a lot of people out there that are looking for community. Now mind you, there are some groups that are truly geared towards getting peoples questions answered and helping them out on issues that they may be concerned about, but then there’s some that just there for ranting.

Scott Johnson: Yeah.

Chelcie Rice: Many of them on there are just ready, they’re just going in on something their friends may have said to them or something that the doctor said they really burned them the wrong way, just made them feel bad. Stuff of that nature. They just want to get it off their chest and there’s a place for that, believe me, there’s definitely a place for that because sometimes you just get to the point where you just get it all out.

Scott Johnson: And we have nowhere else for that. There’s no other, usually, they realize there’s no other people that can understand that like a group of other people living with diabetes and, hearing those same things. Yeah.

Chelcie Rice: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly.

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Scott Johnson: Can you, can you talk a little bit about your, you mentioned that a turning point from a, and I think this is really powerful, right? At the start of this you’re just, you’re consuming and enjoying the content and being a part of these communities, but you mentioned like at some point you felt called to not only be a part of the community, but to then become a voice in that community and something I feel really strongly about, like it is, we need everyone’s voice in this great song of community because there are people out there who my voice doesn’t fit them, but your voice does.

Chelcie Rice: Right.

Scott Johnson: We need to the great diversity of voices out there. Can you talk to me a little bit about like that turning point for you and was it scary or like what did it feel like to start adding your voice into the mix at a stronger level?

Chelcie Rice: What happened was, when I was doing stand-up comedy, there were some friends of mine that ran a local comedy room in Atlanta and one of the things they would do to try and I guess generate money or just try and get their name out there, is they would pitch to people who had little … little groups or whatever like. Like one of them was an animal shelter and they pitched to him like, “Hey, if you want to do a fundraiser, sometime just come here, we’ll put it on a comedy show and you can invite all these people to come out and they’ll pay whatever. Then you use that money to fund your organization or whatever.”

Chelcie Rice: I started thinking like, well, I could do that for diabetes. Maybe raise some money for the ADA or whatever. Sometimes what I would do is, I told this was like I did something pretty lazy because I, what I would do is I’d sign up to do a walk. I figured I could do it this, raise money by a comedy show that way I don’t have to go around bothering people like, give me a dollar, give me this, that I just a comedy show and I don’t have to go around bothering people.

Chelcie Rice: So that’s what I would do. Many times, I did that, oftentimes I would meet a lot of people with diabetes, even when I was like, I wasn’t doing a diabetes show. If I was like emceeing a comedy show and I do some jokes about my diabetes, I’d meet people after the show. There was one lady came up to me after the show and said that she was really, she was like proud of me, she was surprised that I would talk about my diabetes, go on stage like that, but she never talked about hers.

Chelcie Rice: You have people come up to you and show you their pump, talk about how long they’ve had it and stuff and it was pretty amazing. So that’s when I started thinking like, well, maybe I could do a little bit more, and talk about it more, because it’s obviously I’m reaching the people just even with telling jokes. Then it just dawned on me that I could actually maybe do something. At first, I didn’t think I could really be much of a voice because like I said, all I am is a comedian.

Chelcie Rice: I don’t really know exactly what I could do because I see all these other people, medical professionals and you know, athletes and all these other people, doing all these major things because who’s going to listen to me? But I met comedian Robert Schimmel, some years ago and he was living with cancer and he would talk about his cancer on stage. I was working at the comedy club at the time and though, and so when I used to do a part of my job was pick the comics up at the hotel, bring them to the club and then take them back to the hotel when the show was over.

Chelcie Rice: I got a chance to spend time with him in the car, taking it back to the hotel. I was talking about my diabetes and I was asking questions about how do you go about talking about your condition on stage, and I always question whether I should do it or not. He told me, “You got to do it because you never know who you’re gonna reach.”

Chelcie Rice: That’s part of the reason why he was doing it because he, part of the people, a lot of the people that he met when he was getting his chemo and stuff. He would make jokes with people that were in chemo and he would make them feel a little better about dealing with that because he was right there with them going through the same thing. He would show them that it’s okay to find some humor in spite of your condition. That’s what I do.

Scott Johnson: Chelcie, good. I got goosebumps here man like that is so powerful.

Chelcie Rice: Well see, here’s the thing for me, because like around 2005, that’s when I first had my bout with diabetic retinopathy. First, it happened in my left eye, then it happened in my right, through surgery I got most of the vision back in my left eye but not in my right because the retina had detached. So, there was a lot of, obviously there’s a lot of tragedy in my living with, but there’s a lot of power in being able to find some humor in, whether it be making jokes about my doctor visits or going to the eye doctor or because I do jokes about, I let people know that I don’t have much vision in my right eye, so if you want to shake my hand after the show, you got to come at me from the front. Don’t come at it from this side because I might pop you in the eye or something.

Chelcie Rice: Because that literally happened, a guy complimented after the show and I said, “Thanks, man.” I wasn’t paying attention. It was dark in there. And he said, all of a sudden he said, “For real?” And I looked down and he was trying to shake my hand but I never saw it. And this dude was like you. He was like the big dude getting ready to take me out over the fact that I didn’t see his hand. I had to talk my way out of that.

Chelcie Rice: So, there’s power in that. I mean, I’m not saying it’s for everybody. A lot of people are quite sensitive. A lot of people who get sensitive some of the jokes they see online about diabetes. Back during that whole Starbucks Unicorn frappe thing, a lot of the memes and stuff are pretty ridiculous. So a lot of people are really sensitive to that. Me, obviously because I deal in jokes, I can take it or leave it, but I can see how somebody else would be upset. So I don’t really do all the jokes about other people’s complications. I don’t do like these silly jokes about losing a toe or foot and all, or weight gain and all that kind of stuff. That’s just not me.

Chelcie Rice: I make jokes about my own experience. Because I know my experience and nobody can tell me about my experience or tell me what it was like or whatever, because I know I was there. So that’s my power, that’s the power that I took in spite of what’s happened to me. That’s when the whole advocacy thing started, it was like, well, maybe I can reach people in a way using humor to let people know that it’s okay to find the humor. To find a voice, you don’t have to sit back and just beat yourself up and be fine like that you’re alone because you have a community and you have a voice and you can actually use your experience to broaden your voice. So, that’s basically how it happened for me.

Scott Johnson: I would like to add onto that and extend what you just said and to say that, that stuff out there needs your voice. Like they need that connection and that experience that you have to share. Let them know that they’re not alone and that their experience with diabetes doesn’t make them strange, or broken, or less than, or any of those things. I think that I have, I have watched you evolve and become a strong voice in the community and it’s a stronger community because of your voice. I appreciate all you, having you out there.

Chelcie Rice: I appreciate it.

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Scott Johnson: It’s also brought you to some events, you were at a Healthy Voices Event.

Chelcie Rice: Yeah, I was Healthy Voices last weekend, it’s basically a conference, for advocates of chronic illnesses. There were people representing the HIV community, the irritable bowel syndrome community, autism, all of these different advocates. These people just like me and you, they were just regular people who took it upon themselves to want to. Some of them were affected by this chronic illness and some of them were caregivers. So it was a phenomenal, every time I, this is the second time I’ve been there, I actually spoke on a panel this year, but you can’t feel but empowered that you leave that conference because you get to the point where you say, “Am I, what am I doing? How am I, I mean nobody’s listening to me and I’m just a dot, dot, dot. Or fill in the blank.”

Chelcie Rice: But you go to Healthy Voices and you meet all these other people who are going through the same thing you are questioning their abilities, and you empower each other by being there. It’s like, it’s a total recharge. You get back from there and it’s like, all right, let’s hit the ground running. What we’re going to do, let’s do something, let’s shoot some videos, blog, whatever, whatever it is I do, I’m going to do it. It’s a phenomenal conference, I mean, it’s, I wouldn’t be surprised if it grows to the point where they may want to start doing it twice a year because as a word grows, I mean that this was their fifth time.

Chelcie Rice: It was like 140 of us there. It’s definitely growing that then, that was the 140 that they chose. You can imagine what it’d be like if they had like, there were a lot able to get more people. I would suggest to anybody that’s an advocate and would look like, wants to go to a conference and meet other advocates because it’s also a well-needed refresher for people like us that are out there doing it.

Scott Johnson: I can, I can imagine. Also something that I can imagine also happens is that, we hear in the diabetes space and we think about, okay, there’s, what can we learn from other people living with diabetes type 1, type 2, LADA, gestational, all the different types of diabetes but I imagine that you were also surprised by how much, how many different similarities there were in the experiences of just simply chronic illness, doesn’t matter what types it was. Right?

Chelcie Rice: Right. Yeah I mean, just the thing, just talking to people, find out what they go through. I mean you think that we’re the ones that catch a lot of grief dealing with health care professionals and insurance companies, all of these people are just going through the same thing. One of the major things that we have in common with folks like the HIV community, stigmas.

Scott Johnson: Yeah.

Chelcie Rice: The social stigma of what people think all the service about people with aids and HIV and having to squash that narrative.

Scott Johnson: Yeah.

Chelcie Rice: So we can actually be heard, and just like with diabetes, we have to fight with the media when it comes the way they portray us on television as being overweight and lazy or that you did it to yourself because of this, that and the other kind of thing. All that stuff gets in the way of our message because there are people out there to just think, well, I’ve got diabetes, I just have to deal with it, I’ll just keep it to myself when they don’t have to. There’s no reason and there’s no shame in saying that you have it and that you want to survive and not have to deal with all these hardships, whether it be affording your insulin or just affording proper healthcare.

Chelcie Rice: We just dust, one of the things that we work towards is trying to get people to open up about it because the people out there that have diabetes don’t even know they have it, there are people that have diabetes that know they have that aren’t actually asking questions and actually being open with the doctors about trying to get help. So there are these people that need us, you know you’re definitely needed.

Scott Johnson: Yeah. Yeah. For sure. One of the last things that I want to spend a little bit of time on is talking about inclusion in diabetes groups and organizations. Let’s dive into that a little bit.

Chelcie Rice: Yeah. What led me to question that sometimes is because I spent a lot of time on social media and it’s a known, commonly known fact that diabetes affects the larger portion of people of color than it does have what they consider not Hispanic Whites.

Scott Johnson: Yeah.

Chelcie Rice: So when I look at these diabetes organizations or groups, or support groups or whatever, and I like, on Instagram, if I can go scroll your Instagram feed at least five or six times, five or six thumb swipes and I don’t see a person of color, it makes me, it makes me wonder, exactly, okay, well what’s going on here? I’m not saying that they should just go out and as you round up black people and start putting their pictures on there, it’s like, it just seems to me that when you’ve got a larger portion of people of color being affected to this, that your actions should, you should be reaching out to these people in some way, form or fashion to get them involved in the things that you’re, that you’re promoting.

Chelcie Rice: If you’re promoting the different bike rides, different function, things that to get the community involved with, whatever. Why aren’t you reaching out to these, these communities?

Scott Johnson: Have a seat at the table, right?

Chelcie Rice: Yeah. Because you’ve got, you’ve got organizations that are seeking out college-age diabetics, but how about let’s try, let’s reach out also to the HBC news and get them involved. Try and this, almost like, we’re going out to recruit more advocates in a sense. There are more than a few groups that I’ve seen on social media that have this what I consider an opportunity. I don’t necessarily want to call it a problem.

Chelcie Rice: I want to call it an opportunity for them to basically able to grow and reach out to a larger community. A lot of times I have to explain the issue by using an analogy, I say, “If you’re a female and you looked at one of these groups and the scrolling through pictures and all you saw were pictures of men, how comfortable would you feel with thinking that, okay, well they’re speaking to me or that’s something that I could be included in?”

Scott Johnson: It doesn’t fit.

Chelcie Rice: Exactly. So that’s how simple it is. It’s been, at the same time, it’s a double-edged sword because obviously, we’re all walking around today with the whole world in our pockets.

Chelcie Rice: So, it makes sense that people of color, would actually start using these tools that they have right there in their hand to start looking for groups that could actually help them. Say if they happen to have diabetes, or irritable bowel syndrome, things, different chronic illnesses. Because this goes across the board, it’s not just with diabetes, it goes in general with all different chronic illnesses. Because this is something that I spoke about at Healthy Voices.

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Chelcie Rice: A lot of people came up to me after the panel and said that they’re going through the same thing with their outreach that, you got guys that are trying to speak to men about health care, going to the doctor or hypertension or high blood pressure, but there’s like hardly any black men at these meetings. So, it goes across the board, that I wasn’t even thinking about it until I started talking to people.

Chelcie Rice: You’ve got an opportunity to reach a broader spectrum. That’s one of the things I said is, you take a look at your representation on social media or however you actually present yourself and ask yourself, does it actually reflect the scope of the people that you’re trying to reach and, excuse me. If you look at that, your present, how you present yourself and you don’t show Native Americans or Pacific Americans or just Hispanic, African Americans. You got an opportunity here before it actually becomes a problem, because it only makes sense that you should actually start reaching to people that, the larger number that affects.

Scott Johnson: Totally. Yeah.

Chelcie Rice: So that’s one of the things I try to, my point that I tried to get across because like I said, I make it to be an opportunity and not so much to, like I’m pointing the finger at people and you need to do this and you need to do that. It’s something that a lot of people aren’t taking your time to realize. They aren’t looking at the grand scale of things here. I think it could, I think it only benefits each and every one of us if people stopped to take a closer look at how they’re being presented, how they present themselves online.

Scott Johnson: And I would again acknowledge and extend what you’re saying by going beyond presenting, presenting ourselves, making it more than presenting, but saying, “Who’s at the table? Who’s at the table? just inside the companies, right?” It shouldn’t be just an external reflection on social media, but it should be the whole picture. Right? Like if every, if the diabetes space is trying to take care of people with diabetes, then people with diabetes should have seats at the tables all around. All around.

Chelcie Rice: Yeah. I tell people all the time if you don’t see a seat at the table, then bring a folding chair just make a place at the table. Don’t wait for somebody to invite you just go and bum rush the room if you’ve got to. Just bust in, look, I want to be a part of this and I think I got something to say and I think I got something to add. You can’t, don’t just sit around and wait for something to happen. We make it happen, you know?

Scott Johnson: I love that. I love that so much. Yeah. That is amazing. I love that.

Chelcie Rice: That was not mine though, I think that was actually, Shirley Chisholm’s but-

Scott Johnson: Perfect.

Chelcie Rice: Take it for what it is. But you know, that’s what I did, I mean I didn’t really know if I would fit in, if I hadn’t been a contributor, I just went in and just went with what I had and make it work.

Scott Johnson: Yeah. Everybody I feel strongly that everybody has, we each have our voice, our story, our experience with diabetes to contribute. Like when we think about what we were finding way back when we were diagnosed and were looking for information or whatever, we didn’t find other people’s stories and thanks to everyone out there who are sharing their story with people who are looking for information today. They’re finding people who can fit their lived experience with diabetes as Kerri Sparling would say.

Scott Johnson: You are making a difference and you do have something to bring in. You’re much more than, I wanted to, you know you were talking about oh I’m not sure, I’m just a comedian and I don’t know if I can, you are so much more than that Chelcie. You bring so much to the space and I value who you are and what you bring so much and I’m so glad you’re part of the community.

Chelcie Rice: I appreciate that man. Appreciate it a lot. You’re a large part of that because like I said, I credit everybody that I’ve come in contact within the diabetes online community as being my, that’s my, all you guys are my backbone man. Because I reached out to you all the time for whatever. It might be a dumb question or whatever because like, you and I know a bunch of really powerful people out there and so yeah. I give all credit to the community

Scott Johnson: As do I, it’s, we’re all a part of a big family and we’re nothing without our brothers and sisters. With that, is there anything else that you want to talk about that I maybe haven’t asked about yet?

Chelcie Rice: No, not really. As I said, I guess the main message is, get out there and just make some noise because we need the voices right now. If you have diabetes and you actually struggled with things such as insulin prices or dealing with the insurance, take a look at the news, take a look at what’s happening now. All that came because a bunch of folks like us started making some noise.

Chelcie Rice: It wasn’t happening when we didn’t have platforms like social media to put our voices out there. You didn’t hear this stuff back in the ’80s or the ’90s. Now we have the ability to have a voice and this thing is just as powerful as network television. So start using that voice. If you’ve got questions there are people out there, they’re willing to help you. So, and definitely, if you thinking about becoming an advocate, do it. If you’re not living with diabetes or whatever it is then maybe you’re affected by it, that you may be a caregiver, that you know somebody that has it, get out and do it because advocates are way more power than you think.

Chelcie Rice: You know advocates are way more powerful because the grassroots people are out there just knocking down some barriers right now and I just got to keep that momentum going, got to keep it going.

Scott Johnson: Absolutely. Well, Chelcie, thank you so much for coming on the show. We’ll include all your social handles and everything like that and get connected and folks, anyone out there in Pensacola or nearby within driving distance. If you need a good comedy act, you’re looking at the man right here, so get connected with him.

Chelcie Rice: Yes do. Just holler at me.

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Scott Johnson: That’s right. That’s right. All right, thanks for coming on the show Chelcie we’ll get…

Chelcie Rice: Good to see you brother.

Scott Johnson: You too. All right there you have it. What did you think about that chat with Chelcie? Let us know in the comments and as a special thanks to all of you watching, I have a fun mySugr tote bag with some goodies inside like a pop socket, a few stickers and I even tracked down another autographed copy of Adam Brown’s Bright Spots & Landmines book that I want to give away. To enter and leave a comment below and before next week’s show, I’ll randomly pick a lucky winner or two and announce them during the start of next week’s broadcast.

Scott Johnson: All right, once again, today’s episode is sponsored by the mySugr bundle. Get unlimited strips, automatic supply refills, personalized support, and more all for just $49 per month. Learn more at mySugr.com/facebooklive.

Scott Johnson: Be sure to tune in next week where I am going to sit down with world-renowned clinical psychologists and certified diabetes educator, Dr. Bill Polonsky to talk about mental and emotional health with diabetes. In fact, we are both and all going to be in Raleigh, North Carolina for the amazing TCOYD Health Conference and Fair. Check their event calendar for upcoming events near you!

Jen: Wooh!

Scott Johnson: Thank you so much for joining today. Please like this video. Share it with your friends. Have another amazing day. Jen.

Jen: Wooh!

Scott Johnson: Thank you and we’ll see you guys next week.


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