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James S. Hirsch

James S. Hirsch, a former reporter for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, is a best-selling author whose most recent book is “WILLIE MAYS: The Life, the Legend”, the first biography of Mays written with his cooperation. Hirsch has also written "CHEATING DESTINY: Living With Diabetes”, “HURRICANE: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin Carter”, "RIOT AND REMEMBRANCE: America's Worst Race Riot and Its Legacy," and "TWO SOULS INDIVISIBLE: The Friendship That Saved Two POWs in Vietnam." Hirsch has an undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a graduate degree from the LBJ School of Public Policy at the University of Texas. He lives in the Boston area with his wife, Sheryl, and their children, Amanda and Garrett. Jim has worked as an editor and contributor to Close Concerns since 2004 and as senior editor and columnist for diaTribe since 2006, where he has contributed dozens of Logbook columns since diaTribe’s inception.

Kerri Sparling

Kerri Sparling has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 29 years, diagnosed in 1986.  She manages her diabetes and lives her life by the mantra “Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me.”

Kerri is a passionate advocate for all-things diabetes. She is the creator and author of Six Until Me, one of the first and most widely-read diabetes patient blogs, reaching a global audience of patients, caregivers, and industry.  Outside of her blog, Kerri is an Animas Hero and her work can be found at diaTribe, Animas, and in diabetes outreach like JDRF’s Countdown magazine, in addition to her extensive diabetes YouTube channel.  Well-versed in social media and its influence on patients, Kerri presents regularly at conferences and works full-time as a writer and consultant.  Her first book, Balancing Diabetes (Spry Publishing), was released in the Spring 2014.

Kerri and her husband, Chris, live in Rhode Island, USA with their daughter.  She can be reached by email at, or on Twitter at @sixuntilme.

Varun Iyengar

Varun Iyengar joined Close Concerns in 2014 after graduating magna cum laude from Amherst College with an honors degree in Neuroscience. At diaTribe, Varun contributes to articles on diabetes technology and digital health. As an Amherst senior, he wrote a thesis characterizing spontaneous hair-cell activity and spike encoding in the zebrafish lateral-line system. During his undergraduate career, Varun was also active in the surrounding community, as a Community Engagement Leader for a middle school tutoring program and as a nurse’s aide in the telemetry ward of a local hospital. He wrote for the Amherst Student and was a member of the Ultimate Frisbee team. Pursuing this passion for sports, Varun also spent one summer working as a copy editor at ESPN.  His free time is often spent reading, on running trails, or cheering for his hometown Portland Trailblazers.