Coco says eeek about this contest!

Scroll down to the bottom of a post for your chance to enter an exciting contest involving the name JONAS and the Friends for Life conference.


Much has already been written about the collaboration between Lilly Diabetes and Disney – see here, here, and here for example. Basically, the two organizations have partnered together to develop a website, meal planning resources, and a series of books for families with diabetes.

The series of books will follow Coco, a monkey with diabetes (MWD?). At the Friends for Life conference, I was given the opportunity to meet with representatives from Disney and Lilly Diabetes and also to preview the first book “Coco and Goofy’s Goofy Day.”

Although I suppose I am not the “target market” for these books, I was intrigued. I have previewed other books designed to support families with diabetes and some of the advice and tips given have been downright disturbing. We were told that this partnership was in “the works” for two years, and as a result, I believe that Disney got it right and will continue to get it right in future books in the series.

This first book centers around Coco’s adventures at Goofy’s birthday party. And guess what? Coco eats cake AND ice cream. The book talks about Coco and her mom checking her blood sugar, making a plan, and eating responsibly with or without diabetes. I plan to bring it with me when I visit my family later this month to see what my niece (10) and nephews (9, 5) think. They have grown up going to Disneyland all the time and with Auntie taking medicine to “help her belly work better” so it will be interesting what they think about this collaboration.

Beyond the book, we were able to preview several other projects they are working on together.

First, there is a Birnbaum Guide supposedly containing “Expert Advice for Guests with Type 1 Diabetes.” There is some good advice in there, but I think you might find some more thorough advice from a family who has “been there, done that.”

We were given examples of a dry erase meal planning chart and carb count stickers for lunch boxes all stamped with Disney character images (see this tweet)

There is also a website with “educational article, activities, and stories about living with type 1 diabetes”. You can find it at The content on the opening page is topical and set to change monthly. As I explored the site during the session, I was encouraged to see the names of community members we know and trust among the resources.

I did provide feedback for them on ways to improve the website such as including the ability to comment on the posts from their bloggers. By far, my strongest suggestion was to incorporate information for ADULTS with Type 1 diabetes.

For example, the landing page at family.comย right now talks about vacationing and enjoying road trips with diabetes. How easy would it be to include information about driving (not just being a passenger) with diabetes? Or in the section about schooling – how about a little information about navigating the accommodation process on your college campus or explaining diabetes to your roommates. Maybe they would enjoy reading about Coco?

My “IRL” job involves work in this area, and I have offered my assistance to the Lilly Diabetes/Disney collaboration. I think they truly have an opportunity to stand out in the market by offering a comprehensive picture of life with Type 1 diabetes from childhood through adulthood.


Now on to the CONTEST.

Beginning TODAY, you can visit The Once Upon a Time Contest to enter to win a trip to Friends for Life in 2012!!

Denise Jonas, mother of Type 1 Disney star Nick Jonas, is hosting the contest in which families can share their experiences with diabetes in writing (a story, essay, poem, etc). A panel will select the winner who will join the fun and excitement at Friends for Life 2012. From a (now) three time Friends for Life veteran, I can tell you that this prize is absolutely priceless to any family affected by diabetes. I hope that Lilly Diabetes and Disney are overwhelmed by entries!

(The Jonas involvement is being announced today, so I will try to add links to that as it is shared. Disney hinted at significant media coverage during our meeting. Here is the link to this morning’s press releaseย and a video interview.)

Visit The Once Upon a Time Contest page to ENTER NOW!!

Disclosure: I paid for all expenses (travel, food, lodging) to attend Friends for Life. While there, I attended an informative event about and received an educational takeaway from the Lilly/Disney collaboration. All opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.



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