In 2010 the Turner Family became a part of the T1D family on their daughter’s birthday. After learning everything they needed to learn to care for her, they realized that there needed to be a place where she could meet other T1Ds her age. Type 1 Diabetes (or condition as she likes to call it) is not well known and people who are Type 1 often do not want to openly share about their disease. Unless the person is wearing an insulin pump, there are no obvious signs that he/she is diabetic. This can lead to isolation and loneliness, especially with young diabetics. This situation led them to consider other people in their situation and it sparked an idea. In March of 2011 the Turner family decided that since there were no local JDRF, ADA, or other Type 1 community groups in the Grand Valley of Colorado, that they would start one. Summer Turner, a stay at home mom, took this vision on as a part time job and began to reach out to the medical professionals in Colorado. She contacted JDRF and was trained as a local mentor. She made connections with local Certified Diabetic Educators, Community Hospital, and the Department of Nursing at Colorado Mesa University where she gained support of professionals who would back her vision. She reached out to other parents and created a council. From there, Diabetes Counts Network was birthed and began serving the young Type 1 community in Grand Junction, CO. We have the Turner Family to thank for the vision and foundation of the Diabetes Counts Network. Today we are reaching families across the Western Slope of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming and helping to make an impact in the lives of young people with T1D.
Diabetes Counts is a grassroots organization made up of parents of children with T1D and medical professionals enriching the lives of our young Type 1 community through fun and educational events, peer support, mentoring and access to information and resources.
Terri Thompson, RN,CDE
Terri Thompson, RN, CDE, has worked with people with diabetes for 12 years. She is also a Certified Pump Trainer for Medtronic, Tandem, Animas, and Omnipod. Her experience in educating people with diabetes motivates her to help strengthen and support families who deal with the daily challenges of T1D.
Chandra is the mom of a child with Type 1 Diabetes. She has been our camp coordinator for two years. Her creative abilities and imagination make our camp fun and unique every year.
Cerise Moran Hock
Cerise Moran Hock is a native Coloradan. She holds an MSOL in Organizational Leadership and Project Management from Regis University and a B.S. in Mathematics and Statistics from Colorado Mesa University. Cerise has worked with various nonprofits and has experience as a high school math teacher and curriculum developer. Cerise was diagnosed with T1D when she was two years old.
Sandy Paulson, RD,CDE
Sandy Paulson RD, CDE is the Director of Nutrition & Diabetes at Community Hospital, she has been in this position for the past 5 years and has worked in the field of nutrition and diabetes for the past 20 years. Sandy enjoys working with Diabetes Counts and feels this group is an important asset to the community.
Don began his professional career as a case manager at an agency that provided services and funding for people with developmental disabilities, especially those with autism, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy.
He graduated from McNeese State University with a Master of Arts degree in Psychology in 1995 and worked at a local hospital as an Employee Assistance Program counselor – specializing in marriage counseling and children/adolescents. In 2001, Don and his family moved to Grand Junction, Colorado.
Since the move, he has worked in a variety of settings, most notably with the state of Colorado as a counselor with the Division of Youth Services at Grand Mesa Youth Services Center, specializing in trauma therapy. In addition to counseling, he taught a Social Emotional Learning curriculum called PEACE for Kids in the Grand Mesa Youth Services Center school.
In addition to sitting on the DCN board, Don also facilitates breakout sessions at our annual family camp.