bolus maximus logo

[podcast src=”” width=”100%” scrolling=”no” class=”podcast-class” frameborder=”0″ placement=”top” primary_content_url=”″ libsyn_item_id=”15642509″ height=”90″ theme=”custom” custom_color=”3e9ccc” player_use_thumbnail=”use_thumbnail” use_download_link=”use_download_link” download_link_text=”Download” /]Have you heard of Bolus Maximus? Behind that great name are two men with type 1 looking to bring new resources to the community talk about the tough stuff.
This week, Stacey talks to Brandon Denson and Matt Tarro. They share their stories and what they hope to achieve with Bolus Maximus.

Check out Stacey’s book: The World’s Worst Diabetes Mom!

Previous episode with Brandon Denson (from 2016!) 

In Tell Me Something Good, we have a few artists in our audience and some good news for the podcast.

Join the Diabetes Connections Facebook Group!

This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.

Sign up for our newsletter here


Use this link to get one free download and one free month of Audible, available to Diabetes Connections listeners!

Get the App and listen to Diabetes Connections wherever you go!

Click here for iPhone      Click here for Android

Episode Transcription (Beta)

Stacey Simms  0:00

Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop created for people with diabetes by people who have diabetes and by Dexcom, take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom.


Announcer  0:22

This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.


Stacey Simms  0:27

This week, the name caught my attention, but it’s the people behind Bolus Maximus, who are looking to bring new resources and talk about the tough stuff.


Brandon Denson  0:37

Type 1 diabetes or the diabetes community in general, is a very, very tight knit community. But there’s still a lot of work to be done. One of the main things that is going to separate us is that we’re not focused on pulling you out from where you are. We’re more focused on coming to get you from where you stand.


Stacey Simms  0:58

That’s Brandon Denson. And he and Matthew Tarro, the creators of Bolus Maximus shared their stories and what they hope to achieve here

in Tell me something good. We have a few artists in our audience. And hey, a big honor for the podcast. This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.

Welcome to another week of the show. I’m so glad to have along. I’m your host, Stacey Simms, and we aim to educate and inspire about type 1 diabetes by sharing stories of connection. I have to tell you I’m taping this episode a little bit more in advance than I usually do. Because as you’re listening, it’s last week, we took my daughter to college, as I’m taping it is this week, and the plan is to take more time than usual. I mean, nothing is usual this year. But as I shared in a previous episode, we’re far from this college. This is an 11 hour road trip we normally would have flown but with things being how they We are driving, and we have to stay because every college is doing this a little bit differently.

Her college is testing the students upon arrival for sequestered in a hotel. And then when they get their negative COVID test back, they can move in and you have two hours. I think that’s the window to move her into the dorm. So I’m kind of thankful she’s a sophomore this year. I was so nervous last year when we moved her and not just about she was leaving, but are we gonna have time? Are we gonna do everything right? And what about making up her bed and she didn’t need any of that. But you only recognize that in hindsight, so if you haven’t moved your freshman college student in yet and you are doing that, as you’re listening, some point in the future really will be okay. They really don’t need you there. You really don’t need to do a lot.

My husband did move some of their furniture around. I mean, it was very limited what they could do, he did help with that. So he is the one moving them in this year. I will not be going for that two hour window. But we’re all going together. I will report back I’m sure if you follow me on social media. I’ll be talking about it as well. I don’t have any words of wisdom about schools this year, Benny, who’s my son was type one, he is going to start the school year virtually because his whole district is going virtual. And you know, we’ll see what happens. I am optimistic that next semester will be in person. But I don’t know why I’m optimistic. There’s no signs that point anything changing, demonstrably. But I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

All right, a lot to talk about this week, I reached out to the guys behind Bolus Maximus, because how could you not with a name like that? I saw them on Instagram. I thought What are they doing? And I found out and I’m going to share that with you in just a couple of minutes. And this is an effort that is really much needed in our community and I think these are the guys to get it done.

Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop, getting diabetes supplies is a pain. Not only the ordering and the picking up but also the arguing with insurance over what they say you need and what you really need. Make it easy with One Drop. They offer personalized tester plans plus you get a Bluetooth glucose meter test strips lancets and your own certified diabetes coach. Subscribe today to get test strips For less than $20 a month, delivered right to your door no prescriptions or co pays required. One less thing to worry about. not that surprising when you learn that the founder of One Drop lives with type one fake get it One Drop gorgeous gear supplies delivered to your door 24 seven access to your certified diabetes coach, learn more, go to Diabetes and click on the One Drop logo.


A couple of weeks ago I attended I guess attended in quotes the virtual friends for life conference. And one of the topics that came up just in the conversation we were having in the equivalent of the hallway, right? We’re just talking to other parents and other people with type one diabetes was men with type one and dads have kids with type one. How come there aren’t more forums and places for those people to talk amongst themselves. And you know we kind of batted that around for a little while you know guys don’t want to talk and you know they keep it to themselves or they want action. They don’t want to talk about feelings and we’ve had the the dads and diabetes podcasters on the show. I think they are a great resource. There’s lots of episodes I’ve done with men, certainly who live with type one, but just a place to like knock issues around and forums to do that.

Well, that’s what Bolus Maximus is all about. And yes, we will talk about that name and how it came to be. And if you haven’t guessed you might be right there several reasons and things behind that name, which was fun to kind of tease out of them. So who’s behind that? Well, Brandon Denson is one of the pair here. And Brandon has been on the show before he was diagnosed with type one as a high school senior, and he really wants to play college football. He joined the Michigan State football team. He earned a full scholarship there. He’s a walk on and he earned that scholarship to play at Michigan State. He’s played professionally and he has also been on American Ninja Warrior. Again, I’ll link up our past episode with Brandon. The other half of this pair is Matt Tarro. He was diagnosed with type one in 2002. his sophomore year in high school and he will share that story in the interview. He works at tandem diabetes and one of the things that comes up when you Google Matt of like Google, everybody I talked to because I’m very nosy. One of the things that comes up is this column he wrote for beyond type one called the guy’s guide to type 1 diabetes. And I will link that up as well, because as I said, There just isn’t a lot of stuff. bullous Maximus has weekly discussions, they say talking about the tough stuff. And I should mention, it really isn’t just for guys, I know that they’re trying to walk this line here. I think they’re doing a very good job of it, that these resources are mostly for men. But there are many chats where women are welcome because they really want to hear all perspectives. I will let them explain more. Here’s Brandon and Matt and Bolus Maximus,

Brandon and Matt, thank you so much for joining me. Welcome to the show.


Unknown Speaker  6:41

Thank you. Thanks for having us. Yeah, appreciate it. Stacey. Thanks.


Stacey Simms  6:44

Alright, so I’ve talked to Brandon before, but I haven’t met Matt. And before we jump in and talk about Bolus Maximus, which by the way is fantastic. Let me just ask you, Matt, What’s your story?


Matt Tarro  6:57

Thanks this Yeah, I appreciate that. Thanks again, for for having us on today. So I was born in a small state of Rhode Island, East Coast. And I’ve migrated out to the west coast now after years of working in digital advertising. I started it, you know, Time Warner and ended at Snapchat. So wow spent, I spent a career in digital marketing and advertising. And now I work at Tandem in San Diego. So I’ve been out here for the last 10 months and for the release of control IQ. And so it’s been awesome to be here and working in that space now, doing something that I truly enjoy. And we’d like to do. When were you diagnosed with type one I was diagnosed is a sophomore in high school. And 2002 and I was 16 years old, living in Rhode Island, going to high school, swimming, you know, doing the normal stuff that I was. I played a couple sports growing up but I really just focused on swimming. So while I was playing When I was diagnosed during that season,


Stacey Simms  8:02

we’re able to turn around and get back into the season.


Matt Tarro  8:05

Yeah, yeah. And that was something that was Yeah, that was really cool. There’s another guy who was diabetic on the team. So I felt kind of comfortable getting back in there. And 16


Stacey Simms  8:13

were you driving? Did you do remember wondering if that kind of stuff was going to continue for you? I mean, it sounds like you went right back to things pretty easily.


Matt Tarro  8:23

Yeah, I did. Mostly because I felt like there was a need to do it. I think the delivery when I was diagnosed from my parents and the educators was that this is your disease. You can choose to live with it or not. I did tune out I mean, I don’t want to sound like oh, yeah, took care of that. It was really easy. But we never really easy it just really no, true. So I came from medical family and my background. I wasn’t going to go to medical school. But my background, you know, in my family’s background was was medicine. So For me, I heard that every day at the dinner table it was always around my house. And it wasn’t specifically diabetes, but it made it easier to deal with such a difficult thing. And yeah, then I then I started getting used to it.


Stacey Simms  9:16

Yeah, and Brandon, we as I said, we talked we talked for an episode a while back and you were diagnosed as a high school senior. Gosh, and then you but you went on to play football in college and then professionally, how are you doing these days? How are you keeping busy during an active physically during a time when we’re all supposed to pretty much be staying in and staying by yourself? Yeah, it’s been


Brandon Denson  9:39

it’s definitely been challenging. You know, it’s been a while since the last time we talked a lot of things have changed. The good worse in for better, but, but I would say just with staying active and walking a lot in always on the blades. You know the blades is I find that you know my for cardio versus running or anything crazy like that. So that’s kind of homestead stand fit trying to Anyway,


Stacey Simms  10:09

when did you start? I’m assuming this is rollerblades. Pardon me. I’m an old lady. When did you start with rollerblades?


Brandon Denson  10:15

Man I started rollerblading. I actually let it people don’t know I actually used to play roller hockey going on my brother. But by far you know I’m from if somebody Michigan but Metro Detroit, Detroit is not that far from where I grew up at. And I was a huge Red Wings fan. So Steve Iser, me and Chris, I’ll tell you, all of those guys, I grew up watching those guys. I never played ice hockey. But I have I definitely have a passion for hockey. And also definitely roller hockey for sure.


Unknown Speaker  10:50

Alright, so tell me what Bolus Maximus is all about. Let’s start before we get to the great name. What’s the need here? And Matt, let me ask you what what did you two ideas defi as the need that you could fill,


Matt Tarro  11:02

when Brandon and I started to connect, it was through Instagram. And we started to communicate because I was volunteering for a nonprofit. And I didn’t see what I wanted. So I didn’t see somebody that I thought I should be working with President. And so I felt like I had to go out and find that person. And that search led me to Brandon Denson, because he displayed himself in such a way that it was easy for me to go, yeah, him, him and I will get along, put me in a room with that guy. And because of our personality, we’re extremely outgoing. We’re very charismatic, personable, and just happy individuals. It doesn’t mean we don’t have bad days. We learned about those bad days from each other through the conversations we started to have. And so this whole relationship really grew. From 2018 the first time we met after, you know, just kind of here in there, the diabetes space to like how many people have you met in person randomly? You like, Oh, yeah, I remember you from so so I wasn’t that involved. So I never really had a chance to meet Brandon. And then by the time I did get involved, he was like the person that had to meet. And I’m glad I did.


Unknown Speaker  12:23

Yeah. So then Brandon, let me ask you. So what is the need, then that you guys are getting together? You’re helping each other you got good days together bad days together? What what needs are you looking to fill here?


Brandon Denson  12:36

So So I think it’s something as simple as if we thought that we needed that. Why wouldn’t other people need that as well? Why wouldn’t they need somebody to talk to? Why would they need somebody to engage with why would they need somebody to help them do their highs and lows and lift them up? We all go through the same thing we live with live with diabetes is stressful. It’s a 200 to 365 24 hour a day job seven days a week. And you know, it can be very, very tough. Like, I know your son has it and I’m sure you know, you’re his rock, you know, at the end of the day when he needs you or you need him, but you know, to have a community we wanted to establish in the community that we’re here for everyone living with with diabetes, obviously, yes, a focus, we’d like to focus or we begin to get our focus with males. But you know, as a male there not a lot of knows that come on in this space, and I’m just gonna be completely transparent about it. The women are winning. They’re winning down, you know, because they’re, they’re not, they’re not and I wouldn’t even say from a male perspective, a shame to show it. I think that men sometimes they wear this badge of honor that they don’t have, you know, they don’t have to let this worn out. It’s okay to let that worn out and talk about the ups and downs that you’re having living with diabetes. It’s nothing to be ashamed about. You know what I mean? Doesn’t matter if you’re black, if you’re white. If you’re old. If you’re young, none of those things matter, we just want to give a safe space. So people feel comfortable. And that’s what we’re starting. But we’ll be working on a lot more things than just kind of bridging that gap in the community to cover everyone.


Unknown Speaker  14:13

Tell me a little bit about what you’re trying to do, because this is such a huge challenge. As we’ve said, Men don’t really like to talk about stuff to begin with, which is why there aren’t more resources like this, it seems What are you doing to kind of help them


Matt Tarro  14:30

showing up in their space and being loud about not being quiet? And I think it’s important especially now with what’s happening in the United States and around the world to use your voice where you see fit and this for Brandon and eyes, but after we first met, really Hey, man, we we just communicate better with each other than we have with other people. So I was driving around I had you taken some road trips around the western part of the United States, and I was on the road for like four or 567 hours at a time. And I would use chunks of those time to call Brandon. And then we would have conversations while he was on the East Coast after work, and I would talk his ear off while I was like, I need somebody to help me stay awake. But like, we got a lot of stuff out and talked about a lot of different things where we, we understood how similar the need was, regardless of where we came from, how we were raised, who our friends were, or what we were taught, the needs still remains its support, and you need someone to show up and tell you that they’re there for you to to help you.


Stacey Simms  15:44

So what do you actually what are you doing with bullets? backspace. You mentioned some zoom calls. You mentioned some other ways you’re trying to get guys to kind of reach out because right now nobody’s doing anything in person, but you’re able to communicate. Cool.


Matt Tarro  15:58

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I So we’ve started with zoom calls, because obviously that’s, you know, everybody’s family. And that’s how everyone’s communicating. And we saw it as the easiest way for all of us to get together. And then we’ve been using Instagram and Facebook as a platform to start to advertise. And we’ve really been feeling it out. But that we knew, like I said, what we were talking about as far as a knee A while ago, sorry, my dog is encroaching on my space.


Unknown Speaker  16:30

That’s what zoom is all about. I wish we could show that on the podcast.


Matt Tarro  16:36

He He’s Yeah, he’s usually with me. But so. So the, the idea was, you know, let’s, let’s start with zoom calls and put people in a position just to open up and see how that goes. And to say it’s been rewarding as someone who knew that that was a need. And they’re like, hey, let’s try this. It’s been great to see the reception. So we’re going to start There, but our idea is to is to go and travel and find people in places that maybe they thought they, they had nobody coming to see them. So small communities, and then underserved communities, most importantly, the places that other people haven’t been. And for whatever reason, won’t go. So we feel like that need is a lot larger than just the male communities need to be addressed. So if we start with men, and we can address them, then I think we’ll be able to, to start to maneuver our way around it to some different communities and make an impact


Stacey Simms  17:40

and branch it you’ve already had some experience with this, I would assume just because when you’ve been at conferences in the past, you know, people want to talk to you about playing football. And I’m sure you’ve been looked at as a role model. What are a lot of the things that that guys whether they’re teenagers or adults with type one, I’m curious, like, what do they ask you about, you know, what are they curious about?


Brandon Denson  18:00

Um, to be honest, I like to, uh, after I speak or anything like that, or engage with anybody, anybody or share my story, I just say, you know, all bets are on, you can ask me about school, you can ask me about football, you didn’t ask me about culturally how I came up with diabetes, you know, I don’t really hold back from anything. And you know, I think when you when you kind of say like nothing is off limits, and that’s kind of when the teenagers get DAX, and questions. Some of them raised some questions about girls or what should I do? When I play sports? What should I do on my pump? Do you wear your palm? You know, what teams have you played for? Things like that, but you know, I use my you know, I just try to use everything that I’ve been through, you know, as something to share, like, what would I be if I wasn’t able to share that story? Yeah, maybe my story isn’t this glamorous story like I you know, I had to walk on at Michigan State. I didn’t What I was going to do when I when I was first diagnosed, but I knew deep down in my mind that I could still do everything that I set out to do. And you know, I wasn’t going to let anybody in, especially diabetes get in the way of that. So I think when you’re talking to individuals, whether they’re 40 years old and just got diagnosed, or they’re 12 years old, when you can share that story of everything that they that they’re going through, or going to go through or have already been through that connection is, is unexplainable, you know, is is something that’s very, very remarkable.


Matt Tarro  19:30

And I think just just to add to that, our ability to cater to different age groups, you know, just through conversations is something that Brandon and I discovered about each other, he, him and I both have shared a lot of experience working at camps. And then we’ve got backgrounds working with kids in general, right through camps in school programs. Riding on insulin now. We’ve both been coaches for writing on insulin camps, you know, at the same time on different parts of the country and that that’s a really cool part to know that there’s somebody else. At any given time, who you feel like you’re connected with, we want to give more individuals that opportunity to feel like that.


Stacey Simms  20:13

talks to me about the name, I think people people think of the movie Gladiator, right? They think of Maximus or you know the name of the general or maybe it’s maybe it’s just large I don’t really know. So we’re just polis Maximus come from


Brandon Denson  20:29

you, you must be in like both of our heads.


Unknown Speaker  20:34

Like that. I like the way you broke that. Yeah.


Matt Tarro  20:39

And I appreciate you presenting it like that without us ever talking or like mentioning it to you. So to reference that movie, that is a perfect example. That was personally a favorite movie of my father’s love growing up. So when when I would understand what people talked about as being like a man for some reason, like all these Other images kind of fade out and then this is like Gladiator looking dude standing there with the with the wind with a sword. He’s like, Who’s asked, we go on a kick. And so that mentality is, you know, as a diabetic, something that you would want to carry around. It’s it’s almost impossible though, to always be that person in this day and age. You can’t be the big bad wolf all the time, yet you have feelings, especially as a man. And so there’s a play on that to be certain. The easiest way to explain it is Brandon and Matt is Bolus Maximus bnm. And there’s a max bolus setting on a pump, which is a real thing. 25 units, it’s the most amount of insulin you could take at any one given time. And so you should put the maximum amount of effort into your diabetes at all times. I knew my high school Latin would pay off.


Stacey Simms  21:51

That’s really funny. I mean, that’s a wonderful explanation. I love it. In that movie, I can see that I can definitely see you as a kid, which kills me because I was a grown adult when you’re away from having my first child when that movie came out in 2000. I just looked it up while you were talking. That’s what happens. We’re all the same age on a podcast. Yeah. But I love that because it’s really, it really gets a lot of different points across. So what’s your dream with this? And I know you’re working together. But I’d like to hear from each of you, you know, you said when we can, again, traveling, getting in front of lots of different people who are totally underserved right now. And I think that’s so needed. But it just sounds like this is a big project that you hope will will continue. So Brandon, let me let me start with you. You know, what do you really hope happens here? What’s your big goal?


Brandon Denson  22:48

Like you said, it sounds like a big project. But at the end of the day, you know, Rome wasn’t built overnight and there’s a lot of holes and gaps in you know, in the diabetes community. And when we say community we mean community as an everybody as a whole. No matter where you’re from, no matter what you look like, no matter your culture, none of those demographic, none of those things matter to you. The only thing that matters is that we bleed the same color. And we go through the same ups and downs. When we speak of the community, though, I think the main goal is to bring the community even tighter. I believe that the type 1 diabetes or the diabetes community in general, is a very, very tight knit community. But there’s still a lot of work to be done. One of the main things that is going to separate us is that we’re not focused on pulling you out from where you are. We’re more focused on coming to get you from where you stand. And that’s something a lot of organizations don’t do. They expect everybody to come to them. And you know, like I said, it’s a lot. It’s a lot of work. It’s even a lot of work up to this point. We’ve This will be our 10th week, hosting costs. But we understand what people get from those calls, you know, and it’s, it’s one of those things, we’ve gained that momentum, and we’re going to continue to gain momentum. But there’s going to be a lot, a lot more legwork that has to be done. But we’re willing to do the end goal is to make sure everybody in the community has a safe place, not only just to be inspired, motivated and educated around diabetes, but they feel that they’re a part of this.


Matt Tarro  24:35

In reality, when I look back between 2017, late 2017, around 2018, when Brandon and I started talking and the end of 2019, so almost like a two year time, end of 2017 to end of 2019. I traveled a lot around the western part of the United States. I would leave Los Angeles on two to three weeks with my dog and we would go out camp Every night and go to places we had never been to just learn about how to interact with people that you’ve never met before. And that how can you appreciate what they do different from where you grew up, and how you’ve lived. So after the years I spent on East Coast, New York City, Boston, I was there was an easy escape to get out to Montana in Nevada or Washington, Idaho. Some of my my favorite places are all in the states I’ve only been to in the last few years. So we’re intending to go back not only to those places, but everything east of it, and start working our way into the communities to help bring people to places they’ve never been. And then to bring things to people that they’ve never seen.


Stacey Simms  25:45

Brandon mentioned, and you both mentioned the zoom calls that you’ve done, which I know isn’t exactly the way you thought to kick this off, but we’ve all kind of had to adjust over the last couple of months. Do you mind me asking what you talk about? Are there particular topics that have come up


Matt Tarro  26:00

Our Our idea was that hosting calls was creating the safe space that Brendan mentioned before. So for us having topics that require the safe space, were obvious.


Stacey Simms  26:15

That’s great.


Matt Tarro  26:16

Some of the things that we talked about during May was we had an opportunity to bring Mark Ayman and who, you know, is working as far as mental health is concerned during Mental Health Awareness Month, in a space that we asked him to come partake in a meeting, and he said, Yes. And that was awesome.


Brandon Denson  26:38

Because we got to grow to two females that were able to join. They reached out to us to make sure it was okay. Of course it’s absolutely okay. If one of them was actually from South Africa, yeah. So,


Matt Tarro  26:52

so we we, you know, we probably could have made this clear in the beginning. While we do host calls for men, they are open to everybody. We spoke the


Brandon Denson  27:01

last two weeks. In regards to caregivers. That was a really huge topic that we saw. And we got a lot of feedback from in regards to caregivers joining and then also people sharing their stories about about their caregivers. We had a guy put his name out there, it’s I don’t know if he wants me to reference him, but he has a six year old son. And it was awesome to hear from him, you know, the things that he goes through, but he also invited one of his partners, a buddy of his and in the duel between that Father Son is unique because they both have type one diabetes, which I thought was amazing, but for him to come in, to get, you know, to listen to other people in the caregiving realm and you know, also be able to also be a caregiver for himself, but then also his son. You know, I think there’s a lot of weight on that. So with that,


Matt Tarro  27:59

yeah, there’s So caregivers, we’ve also talked, we did a couple of things in the beginning when we first started to host the calls that were more of skill shares. So hey, let’s have the room, there’s a soapbox in the middle of it, you want to stand on that you tell me you can. And it’s not us making judgment or anything, whatever you want to bring to the group. So we had guys talk about graphic design, we have individual works with writing on insulin, who had a lengthy journalistic successful journalism career. And so that type of stuff really brought a different element. We talked about art, talked about different styles of art. We talked about movies, we did movies and music one week, you know, guy stuff, but in reality, that is also a way for us to bridge the gap between a difficult conversation, which we spent two weeks having, how to approach difficult conversations. laughter. You know, things really took a turn for the world. In the United States, after the death of George Floyd, and it’s not something that we wanted to just bring people into a room and go, alright, let’s talk about it. But that’s actually what we did. And it was two of the best conversations to date. Yeah,


Brandon Denson  29:15

I’ll say, I’ll say hands down. You know, I think you never want to jump in, like, you know, and kind of discuss the things that are going on around the world. But the things that are going on around the world and in the United States affect us directly. Was it the easiest conversation probably to open up? and not so much was everybody willing to share they did, you know, and that was very, very important because, you know, you have different cultures, different races, not looking at it from a different perspective and only seeing it and then you have people saying that they’re going to work to do better. And that’s all we ask. We just want better, you know, better, better, better in sports, better in school better in the community and ultimately better with diabetes better But,


Unknown Speaker  30:00

you know, and


Brandon Denson  30:02

I do think it’s it’s so important because we, so many of us are worried and nervous to talk about race. I mean, let’s just put it on the table. I’ve had these conversations before. There’s such a lack of diversity at diabetes events and on panels. And, you know, I’m always so grateful that when my son was diagnosed, I could go to a conference and see people who looked like him. And no, people had the same traditions were Jewish. I met people right away that had the same traditions and background as us. And so I know it’s so important when people, people who are black people of color to see people who look like them. It’s as simple as that. But it’s so hard to talk about, right? We don’t want to say something stupid. We don’t want to say the wrong thing. Yeah, and I think that’s, you know, you hit it right on the head, you know, that’s, that’s a big, a big hole in itself. You know, I was a volunteer for jdrf for 12 years. And then I also was a worker for close to two years. And you know, you see this this big, get caught within the workplace outside of the workplace, and you see that nothing has changed, you know, nothing has changed. Like nothing me, I’m comfortable talking to anybody. But I can’t say that if I took one of the kids that I knew from the school in Detroit that had diabetes, and I took them to jdrf event that they will feel comfortable there, because they wouldn’t, you know, I’ll be lying if I said that, that they would, or I took them to another community event and to say that they will feel comfortable, they will feel left out because nobody is interacting with them. Like they need to be interacted with, you know, and that goes a long way. You know, I didn’t have somebody when I was growing up to talk to about my diabetes, cannot sit here and say that I may be needed someone. Yeah, I could probably say that. But at the end of the day, I knew it was my disease. I knew what I had to do. Everybody doesn’t have that mindset. So you know, we want to make sure we create that space. No matter how old you are, what you look like, where you’re from your culture. None of those things matter. Because we just want to help you do better in whatever it is that you want to do better.


Stacey Simms  32:04

Well, I appreciate you addressing it. I want to have a difficult question for the two of you, you have big goals. It sounds like when we can move around the country again, you want to get right out there. How are you paying for all this? What do you need?


Brandon Denson  32:19

actually gonna see if you will sponsor


you know, in a band, we’ll put the logo on the side and we you know, a we will put the animated character on there. We were completely fine with that, you know, so, you know, we have a lot of work to be done as far as forming our our nonprofit and things, things of that nature. Obviously. Any nonprofit getting started from ground zero, takes a lot of work. This is grassroots, you know, but understanding the process of everything and what the process is going to be. As we look as we try to complete things they’ll never be complete. It’s never complete over the never be complete. And we understand that but we know that the steps to make it great are really rely on us and our board members and and, and everybody in the community.


Matt Tarro  33:14

Also we are offering videographer and photography services at a super good price in San Diego, Los Angeles. That’s real because that’s what Brandon and I do. And that is the type of thing that we would use to help fund this project. The easiest way for us to get information back and experiences and share experiences is to tell story and stories, many of them as many as we can. And the idea would be to do that through video and photo and to go and do that. Now. I’ve been doing freelance work for a couple years now. It is super inconsistent. If you get a couple of good gigs and you can, you know, put your best foot foot forward and get some more work based on it. That’s what we’re looking to do is is to have people see what we’re already doing. We’re making a lot of strides in the right direction. And I think, if anything, you know, we’re going to work on our nonprofit, you know, getting everything set up, but at the very least, if we want to plug anything, it’s the fact that Brandon Knight take really good photos and video, and we’d be happy to do it for anybody.


Stacey Simms  34:26

Everybody, okay.


Matt Tarro  34:27

Yeah. Oh, no, that was just my phone. Beeping.


Stacey Simms  34:30

Alright, just sounds like a Dexcom alert.


Unknown Speaker  34:34

All right, just checking the mom instincts kick right in. Okay, but so it sounds like you’re gonna set up a nonprofit. You’re but you end and Matt you already work at Tandem?


Unknown Speaker  34:45

I do. Yeah. So that and so.


Unknown Speaker  34:47

Okay, but I guess my question is, so tell me more about the photo and video. Is this a business you guys have as you said freelance kind of on the side?


Matt Tarro  34:55

Yeah. I never planned on even saying that on this call. We just We know that that’s something that the both of us do in our own worlds that Brandon and I have operated in, you know, independently for the last 30 something years, we’ve put ourselves in a position now, to be in the same room with a bunch of cameras, drone tablets, I’m hosting some gallery space downtown San Diego. That’s, that’s what I was doing. And that’s where a lot of my focus event. So for me, it’s been everything, like just find what it is that you can do really well and that other people might like you to do for them. And that’s been photography for me for a while. And so I’ve got photos and art up in there, we’ve created some art, we’ve got some t shirt designs. So the ideas have just been flowing every time we talked, like cool is another page in my notebook full. Well, I really, I’ve got you know, I’ve got a pretty good sized chunk of pages already full in that notebook of ideas, the direction we’d like to go and then reminders to ourselves about why we’re doing that. Miss.


Unknown Speaker  36:01

I’m so glad to learn more about this. I’m looking forward to see what you guys accomplish. You know when, like I said, when you can get out and about but even before that, it sounds like you’re already feeling a great need. I really appreciate you coming on and sharing it. I hope you keep us posted. We come back on and talk about it.


Matt Tarro  36:16

Most definitely, we definitely we’re honored to do so.


Stacey Simms  36:19

Thank you. Very cool. Thanks again.


Unknown Speaker  36:27

You’re listening to Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.


Stacey Simms  36:33

Lots more information at the episode homepage go to Diabetes The episode should pop right up it’s on the main page. Otherwise you can use the search box as well. We have a very robust search. I like to mention that all the time because there’s a lot to go through especially if you are new. Tell me something good coming up in just a moment. But first diabetes Connections is brought to you by g bulk hypo pen. Almost everyone who takes insulin has experienced a low blood sugar and that can be scary. A very low blood sugar is really scary and that’s rich evoke hypo pen comes in Jeeva is the first auto injector to treat very low blood sugar. GMO cocoa pen is pre mixed and ready to go with no visible needle. That means it’s easy to use. How easy is it, you pull off the red cap, push the yellow end onto bare skin and hold it for five seconds. That’s it. Find out more go to Diabetes and click on the G folk logo. g folks shouldn’t be used in patients with pheochromocytoma or insulinoma visit g fo glucagon comm slash risk.


Tell me something good. I was really pleased and kind of surprised to find out that we have several talented artists in our Facebook group. Suzanne shared that she finally made time to work on my art. I’ve missed my pencils she wrote so I asked her a little bit more about it and she shared a picture. She’s a portrait artist cartoon and realistic and a graphic designer. She’s been type one since 2004 but she had gestational diabetes two times prior to that. She says she’s been on the pump since 2006. Her dad lives with type two. And her grandfather and his cousin lives with type one and you can see an example of Suzanne’s artwork at Diabetes Connections. The group on Facebook thank you so much for sharing that. It’s just beautiful. And Callie nordgren who I’ve known for a long time just online you know, it’s part of the we are not waiting community. She said I sold a painting and that’s the calling posted when I asked her tell me something good stories like you know, oh, we’ll do that sold the painting. So of course I had to ask her to share more. And she does watercolor paintings. She said sometimes people ask for specific painting. Sometimes they purchase one that she’s already done and she posted one which is just beautiful and she has a Facebook page as well. And I will link that up. Calling son was diagnosed with type one at one year old, very tiny, maybe 1112 months old, and he is now a happy healthy tween and Colleen and Wes are a huge part of the we’re not waiting community but I didn’t know calling painted until now. So thank you for sharing that. And I have a Tell me something good. And that is that the podcast Diabetes Connections has made the top 10 for health for the fifth year in a row for the podcast awards of the People’s Choice. This is a podcast award for independent podcasters. Right. No NPR, not the big Corp casters, not the ones that have 25 people working on a show. This is for the independent podcaster like myself, and I am so excited to make this list. Again. It’s just a thrill. They will vote on the final winner each category. I believe that comes out in September. I never expect to win that. I mean, we are a tiny little operation here, but it’s such a vindication. I don’t know if that’s even the right word. But you know, we work really hard on this show and it is a labor of love. It’s also a commercial enterprise. You hear the commercials during this show. Man I work really hard on it and to be recognized by my peers like this by my listeners who nominate Thank you all so much for doing that. It really, really helps. It’s really important to me and I’m really excited to have made this list again, when we when I don’t know maybe we’ve lost some really interesting podcasts before my favorite was the guy who puts you to sleep. He has a podcast where he literally is boring and drones on and whispers and you go to sleep to that. And you know if we can lose to that, hey, what am I going to do? I can’t compete with that. If you haven’t told me something good story posted in the Facebook group, send it to me, you can always reach out Stacy at Diabetes and tell me something good. Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dexcom. When you have a toddler diagnosed with type one, you hear rumblings for a long time about the teen years. But when it hit us at full force a little early. I was so glad we had Dexcom Benny’s insulin needs started going way up around the age of 11. He’s grown I don’t know how many inches since he was 11 years old at this point, probably eight in the last couple of years. Along with the hormone swings. I cannot imagine managing diabetes during this crazy time. Without the Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring system. We can react more quickly to highs loz see trends and adjust insulin doses with advice from our endocrinologist I know using the Dexcom g six has helped improve Benny’s agency and overall health. If your glucose alerts and readings from the G six do not match symptoms or expectations, use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions. To learn more, go to Diabetes, Connections comm and click on the Dexcom logo. As you listen to this episode my kids are back in school if all has gone well we have dropped me off at college Benny has started school as you’re listening this is scheduled to air the day after he starts school are virtually at home. I offered to make him like a homeschool virtual school nook in my house right I see all these beautiful pictures that people put on Pinterest and Instagram and their their kids desk is nice and it’s like twinkly lights and a pillow or a little thing that says you know learning is great or whatever. And of course I wasn’t serious because we don’t do any of that were terrible parents and Benny laughed at me and said Please leave me alone.


Unknown Speaker  41:57

So if you’ve got


Stacey Simms  41:58

some interesting stories About your child is going back to school. And I think we all do. I’m not trying to make light Look, I know it’s a serious situation. But I have only control over a few things. And that’s what I’m going to concentrate on, on what I can control in my house with my kids in my community. And beyond that all we could do is vote diabetes wise, we’re kind of in a groove. And with the weirdness of school this year, I don’t see that changing too much. Of course, he’s gonna be getting up earlier than he has since March. But other than that, I mean, we went on control IQ in January, he went off the receba and you can listen back if you’re not familiar with our whole story on that he went off the trustee but in May and his blood sugar’s just are great right now. Time and range is up, agency is down, predicted agency is down. I’m really really happy his independence is still really up. He’s still a doofus and makes mistakes because he’s a human being. And we’re still compiling more world’s worst diabetes monster. every couple of weeks we have a new one. That will never changed. Thank you to my editor john Kenneth from audio editing solutions. Thank you so much as you Listen, I’m Stacey Simms. I’ll see you back here next week until then, be kind to yourself.


Benny  43:10

Diabetes Connections is a production of Stacey Simms Media. All rights reserved. All wrongs avenged


Transcribed by

Find out more about Moms’ Night Out 

Please visit our Sponsors & Partners – they help make the show possible!

Learn more about Gvoke Glucagon Gvoke HypoPen® (glucagon injection): Glucagon Injection For Very Low Blood Sugar (

Omnipod – Simplify Life

Learn about Dexcom 

Edgepark Medical Supplies

Check out VIVI Cap to protect your insulin from extreme temperatures

Learn more about AG1 from Athletic Greens 

Drive research that matters through the T1D Exchange

The best way to keep up with Stacey and the show is by signing up for our weekly newsletter:

Sign up for our newsletter here

Here’s where to find us:

Facebook (Group)

Facebook (Page)



Check out Stacey’s books!

Learn more about everything at our home page 

Reach out with questions or comments: