Cheryl Alkon is a seasoned writer and the author of the book Balancing Pregnancy With Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby. The book has been called “Hands down, the best book on type 1 diabetes and pregnancy, covering all the major issues that women with type 1 face. It provides excellent tips and secrets for achieving the best management” by Gary Scheiner, the author of Think Like A Pancreas. Since 2010, the book has helped countless women around the world conceive, grow and deliver healthy babies while also dealing with diabetes.
Cheryl covers diabetes and other health and medical topics for various print and online clients. She lives in Massachusetts with her family and holds an undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and a graduate degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has lived with type 1 diabetes for more than four decades, since being diagnosed in 1977 at age seven.
Cherise Shockley joined The diaTribe Foundation in 2019 as the organization’s first Community Manager. Cherise was diagnosed with Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults in June 2004. She is the founder of Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (#dsma), creator of the Blue Fridays initiative and Women of Color (WOC) Diabetes. Cherise is a subject matter expert in diabetes social media, online communities, and peer support. She is a wife, mother, and veteran. She received her degree in Mass Communications and Media Studies with a minor in Digital Audience from Arizona State University.
Adam Brown joined diaTribe in 2010 as a Summer Associate, became Managing Editor in 2011, and served as Senior Editor through 2019. Adam brings almost two decades of personal experience living with diabetes to all of his work at diaTribe, especially in testing out new technology like glucose meters, CGMs, insulin pumps, automated insulin delivery, and mobile apps. He writes an acclaimed column for diaTribe, Adam's Corner, which has brought useful diabetes tips to over 1 million people since 2013. Adam's first book, Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me, was published in May 2017 and received immediate praise for its actionable advice on food, mindset, exercise, and sleep. To date, over 180,000 copies of Bright Spots & Landmines have been sold/downloaded. Adam has also brought a patient perspective to numerous public venues, including FDA and NIH meetings, scientific and industry conferences, and patient events. He graduated summa cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, pursuing concentrations in marketing and health care management & policy. He is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology, ultimately towards becoming a licensed therapist focused on diabetes and mental health.
Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. She also helped develop Sprout, a WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), as well as Seasoned, their senior version. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health, happiness, and real food at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.
Kerri Sparling has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1986, diagnosed at the age of seven. She manages her diabetes and lives her life by the mantra “Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me.”
Kerri is an internationally recognized diabetes advocate. She is the creator and author of Six Until Me, established in 2005 and one of the most widely-read and long running diabetes patient blogs. Kerri is also a highly-rated speaker and has presented the patient perspective to audiences around the world. She works to raise awareness for diabetes, patient advocacy, and the influence of social media on health outcomes. Her first book, Balancing Diabetes (Spry Publishing), looks at type 1 diabetes in the context of “real life.” Her next series of books will be published in Spring 2019.
Katie Bacon is a writer and editor based in Boston. Her daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in August, 2012, when she was six. Katie’s writing about diabetes has appeared on TheAtlantic.com and ASweetLife. Katie has also written for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and other publications.
Director of Institutional Giving
Julie is thrilled to bring her combined 12+ years of leadership at the American Diabetes Association and 23 years of patient experience to The diaTribe Foundation. Julie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after her junior year at Washington & Jefferson College. After graduation, she provided public affairs and PR counsel to clients like the Eisenhower Presidential Museum, The National Center for Victims of Crime and Americans for Alaska. She eventually earned a position at Burson Marsteller, where she consulted a Fortune 500 company on government and community affairs. In 2006, Julie accepted her first staff position with the American Diabetes Association as Market Director in Richmond, VA. She oversaw some of the country’s most successful ADA campaigns during her tenure in Philadelphia, as Director of Development and as Executive Director in Western PA and Eastern Ohio. Julie and her husband, Steve, reside outside Pittsburgh, PA with their eight year old daughter, Vivian.
Senior Associate, The diaTribe Foundation
Julia joined the diaTribe Foundation in 2020 after graduating with a degree in Political Science and International Relations from Carleton College. Throughout her studies, Julia developed an interest in the social determinants of health that often result in inequitable geographic, economic, and identity-based health outcomes. Eager to explore these themes internationally, Julia worked on HIV/AIDS behavior change communications as an intern in Uganda, and studied the health impact of globalization and politics in India. She later interned at a management consulting firm, where she supported market research strategies for health-oriented consumer products. In her senior thesis, Julia explored the intersection of health and the political climate— identifying a relationship between reproductive health access and right-wing nationalism domestically. In her free time, Julia worked as a Student Advisor for the Carleton Career Center and was part of the Division III women’s soccer and ultimate frisbee teams.
Associate, The diaTribe Foundation
Natalie joined the diaTribe Foundation in 2021. Natalie graduated cum laude from Carleton College in 2020 with a degree in Political Science and International Relations. As an undergrad, Natalie worked in Carleton’s Office of Health Promotion where she enjoyed educating herself and her peers on health topics that promoted the well-being of the campus community. While at Carleton, she developed an interest in health policy and learning how to create and continuously improve the strategies that affect communities’ health outcomes. Natalie is especially passionate about understanding how to mitigate the disproportionate, negative effects of environmental factors on the well-being of underserved populations. She also spent time in Nicaragua visiting health clinics and schools and speaking with clinicians to understand how they assess community needs and keep children healthy. In her free time, Natalie enjoys baking, bike riding, yoga, and tracking down the best local ice cream shops.
Associate, The diaTribe Foundation
Devanshi joined The diaTribe Foundation in 2021 after graduating from Wellesley College with a double major in Neuroscience and Women’s & Gender Studies. As an undergraduate, she interned at a reproductive health organization in the Philippines where she developed an interest in learning about health systems and mitigating inequities in healthcare access and delivery. Eager to explore these issues further, she later interned with the Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones team at Physicians for Human Rights where she researched the impact of COVID-19 on women’s healthcare workers and the differential access to care for survivors of gender-based violence in conflict zones. At Wellesley, Devanshi was the president of her campus global health organization and led workshops on privilege and oppression to foster inclusivity on campus as a Community Inclusion Facilitator. In her free time, she enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, road tripping, and cooking with friends.