Member Spotlights feature interviews with fellow Connect members. Learn more about members you’ve connected with and some you haven’t met yet. Nominate a member you think should share the spotlight.
ROSEMARY: What brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect?
@ihatediabetes: I started coming to Mayo Clinic’s campus in Rochester, Minnesota, to seek answers for my son when he was three years old. That was in 1994, and he was developing very slowly. Many Mayo Clinic doctors examined him and ordered various tests. Finally, the doctors diagnosed my son with Williams Syndrome. They told me that he was their first Asian patient to be diagnosed with this condition. Afterward, I continued to bring him to Mayo Clinic for medical care. During that time I was both mom and caregiver: my son was the patient.
I eventually developed chronic conditions like sleep apnea and type 2 diabetes. That's when I became a Mayo Clinic patient, too. I came to Mayo Clinic Connect shortly after reading a story about Connect on social media.
ROSEMARY: What motivates you to take part in the community?
@ihatediabetes: I really love interacting with other patients and caregivers about our experiences and issues. I think I have a unique perspective, because I am both a patient and caregiver. I am also participating in the programs at The Mayo Clinic Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center. I have been eating better and exercising. For the past several months, I have been running one 5K race per month. I have been sharing about my 5K training and races on Mayo Clinic Connect. I like to encourage other people to get out there and run, because it's made such a big difference in my life. I am trying to be a source of support, encouragement and information to others.
ROSEMARY: What about Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?
@ihatediabetes: I believe that we are all trying to help each other. I also have confidence that the community director and moderators are watching over our online community. So, that makes me feel safe. Safety is very important for people to feel so they can share with the online community.
ROSEMARY: What groups do you participate in?
ROSEMARY: Who has been a special connection for you on Connect?
@ihatediabetes: I have a special connection with caregivers. These are the people that take patients to doctor appointments, among many other things. The patients may have cancer, dementia, mental illness, developmental disability or other medical conditions. The caregivers are parents, spouses, adult children, relatives and friends. I feel that caregivers are unsung heroes. I also know what it's like to be caregiver to my son. That's probably why I feel so connected to other caregivers.
ROSEMARY: What surprised you the most about Connect?
@ihatediabetes: I was most surprised when I when I noted that a member might be in life-threatening distress, which I reported to the community director to ensure this member's safety.
ROSEMARY: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?
@ihatediabetes: I enjoy going to the coffee shop and finding a Bible passage to post on my Facebook page. I also love cooking supper for my family. I am energized by trying to finish 5K races, even when it's cold outside. The picture accompanying this interview shows me right before I left home for the Reindeer Run in Minneapolis last December. I had to really bundle up.
ROSEMARY: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.
@ihatediabetes: I enjoy hiking and snowshoeing in Minnesota State Parks. I am a Minnesota Master Naturalist.
ROSEMARY: Do you have a favorite quote, life motto or personal mantra?
@ihatediabetes: "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
ROSEMARY: What food can you simply not resist?
@ihatediabetes: I love going for dim sum with my family on weekends. Dim sum is a traditional Chinese food. In a dim sum restaurant, the guests sit at round tables. Food servers push carts containing various types of dumplings around the restaurant. The dumplings can have pork, shrimp, crab, taro or other ingredients, and be steamed or fried. The guests point to dumplings on the carts and the servers put those dumplings on the table for sampling. Guests can choose from a selection of teas to have with the meal. It's fun to have dim sum with a large group of relatives and friends.
ROSEMARY: What do you love about where you live or vacation?
@ihatediabetes: I really love living in Minnesota. I live in a quiet, friendly suburban city with good shopping options. It is outside of St. Paul and a convenient drive to either Minneapolis or Rochester. It takes me about 1 1/2 hours to drive to Rochester for medical appointments.