Advocating For Your Diabetes Needs

  • Melissa Lee
  • Martin Wood, MSLIS, AHIP Florida State University College of Medicine


Diabetes is expensive. The costs of diabetes-related therapies, drugs, and accoutrements keep many people from taking care of themselves as well as they could. Getting these expensive medications, and the devices to deliver them such as insulin pumps and insulin pens, along with blood glucose monitoring equipment such as meters, strips, and continues glucose monitor systems, can be a test of one’s ability to advocate for themselves, even with health insurance coverage. In this article, we provide some experience-driven tips to guide people living with diabetes on how they can advocate for themselves before and after visiting with their healthcare provider.

Author Biographies

Melissa Lee
Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of ten in 1990, Melissa Lee is an advocate, a writer, and a technology enthusiast. She is known primarily for her diabetes technology writing as past Tech Editor for the diabetes online magazine ASweetLife and on her own blog Sweetly Voiced, for her singing as the creator of the diabetes-themed music video parody series #DParodies, and for her voice as an outspoken patient advocate. Throughout 2015, Melissa led Diabetes Hands Foundation as its Interim Executive Director after having served on their Board of Directors for over two years. In 2016, she joined Bigfoot Biomedical as its Director of Community Relations, leading their social media, communications, and public relations, as they work to bring innovative insulin delivery solutions to market to ease the burden of insulin-requiring diabetes. She lives in the heart of Silicon Valley with her husband Kevin (one of the core developers of Nightscout, now a software engineer at Bigfoot) and their two children.
Martin Wood, MSLIS, AHIP, Florida State University College of Medicine

Martin Wood, MSLIS, AHIP is the Director of the Charlotte Edwards Maguire Medical Library at Florida State University. With a diverse background in libraries, technology, education, government, and business, Martin is a leader of digital medical libraries, and an advocate for information at the point of need. He is also an outspoken advocate for people with diabetes, Editor in Chief of The PLAID Journal, and author of Diabetically Speaking, a popular diabetes blog.


Moving Forward