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Living with Diabetes

Inspiration Exchange: Diabetes Moments Podcast with Cherise Shockley

2/23/2019 by Scott Johnson

Inspiration Exchange: Diabetes Moments Podcast with Cherise Shockley

We love to highlight stories of the people in the diabetes space and their contributions to the community.

It’s so important that people with diabetes learn where they can connect with each other so we can support each other. And our guest today is one of the best champions for supporting others that I have ever met.

I’m honored to introduce you to Cherise Shockley. She's here to talk about a new podcast she launched and fill us in on what to expect.


  • Cherise's story with diabetes
  • How she got so involved with the diabetes community
  • The DSMA Twitter chat
  • The new Inspiration Exchange: Diabetes Moments podcast



Scott Johnson: Welcome to another episode of Live with Scott. Thanks so much for tuning in. My name is Scott Johnson. I've been living with diabetes since I was five years old and the diabetes social media space, that's you, by the way, has been an important part of my wellbeing for a long, long time. Thanks so much for helping me along.

Scott Johnson: As your host today, I am thrilled to connect you with a good friend and the host of a brand new podcast that you want to tune in to. Her name is Cherise Shockley. But first, last week's winner. Congratulations to Joe Tritz who just won some fun mySugr swag. Joe, we'll send you a message on Facebook just after the show to coordinate details. Stick with us to learn how you can also win some free mySugr swag, too.

Scott Johnson: While we get going, please share a quick hello in the comments and let me know where you're watching from. I'd love to say hello. If we cover anything that resonates with you, please show us some love and if you know anyone that might find this helpful, please share this with them. I would really appreciate that.

Scott Johnson: Today's episode is sponsored by the mySugr Bundle. Get unlimited strips, automatic supply refills, personalized support, and more all for just $49 per month. Learn more at

Scott Johnson: Now, more on this week's guest. Cherise Shockley was diagnosed with latent autoimmune diabetes in adults in 2004. She's been an active member of the diabetes online community since 2008. She started the popular DSMA Twitter chat, which spawned a live internet radio series and much, much more and we'll get into that in today's discussion. Today, she's coming on the show to tell us about another new project she's launching at Roche Diabetes Care. Let's dive right in. Hey, Cherise. It's so good to see you again. Thanks for joining me.

Cherise Shockley: Hey, Scott. Thank you so much for having me on. I'm excited. Hi, mySugr people.

Scott Johnson: I'm excited, too.

Cherise Shockley: I'll be taming your monster today.

Scott Johnson: Nice. I like it. I like it. I like it. We have known each other for a long time and that's... I'm very happy about that. You have been an inspiration for me. We have done a lot of new ideas together. We have explored a lot of new things together. One of the things that we're going to talk about today is a new project that you have up your sleeve that I'm so excited that you are coming on to the Facebook live to share that news with whoever may be watching.

Scott Johnson: But before we get there, let's maybe talk a little bit about some history. How does that sound? First and foremost, there may be people that aren't necessarily familiar with Mrs. Cherise Shockley and a great place to start would be a brief introduction to your connection with diabetes and a little bit about your story so far.

Cherise Shockley: Okay, so a brief introduction to diabetes. I was diagnosed with latent autoimmune diabetes in adults back in 2004. I started off on oral medication, which was great. And then in 2008, I transitioned over into oral... I'm sorry, into insulin. And that's when I found the diabetes online community. After I found the diabetes online community, I started sharing my stories. I was actually an admin for tudiabetes first. And then after that, I was like, "Oh my gosh, maybe I should write my own blog." And I wrote a blog, which is hilarious because people used to make fun of it because it was diabeticiz_me, and there are some underscores in there, too. I was new, starting out.

Cherise Shockley: Then after that, I actually started a different blog and a blog with you over at DiabetesDaily, and after DiabetesDaily, I started participating... Jamie actually talked me into joining Twitter and then I joined Twitter. And then I started participating in the health care communications, social media chats that Dana Lewis used to run and it actually still is happening, but she's not moderating it anymore. That's kind of when I had the a-ha moment to start the DSMA, which is Diabetes Social Media Advocacy Twitter Chat, which was the first Twitter Chat for people with diabetes. And it's since grown where other people have spun off. Canada used to have a chat. Australia, Great Britain, Nigeria. So all these other countries have a Twitter trend now, which is pretty amazing.

Scott Johnson: Let's talk for just a moment on what the heck even is a Twitter Chat, right?

Cherise Shockley: A Twitter Chat is this public conversation that happens every Wednesday night at 9:00 PM eastern standard time. And basically what happens is myself or someone from the team, because I had to enlist in some teammates to help me out because I'm finishing school. We tweet questions and people respond to the questions and in the responses include the DSMA hashtag and DSMA in the conversation.

Scott Johnson: The hashtag DSMA stands for Diabetes Social Media Advocacy and that hashtag is what allows people on Twitter to all sort of connect around the conversation or find that conversation in all of the noise and activity that is happening on Twitter during that hour. There may be these Twitter conversations or conversations happening around tons and tons and tons of different kinds of other topics and hashtags, but you had the idea to start one specific to diabetes and social media advocacy around that hashtag DSMA, and that was what year again?

Cherise Shockley: That was in 2010, but why know what though? Outside of the DSMA, the Twitter chat, then I had the bright idea. I'm like, "Oh, Scott and George. We should do a blog talk radio show."

Scott Johnson: Where I remember that idea coming from, Cherise, and this is something that I think so highly of you for this because this has always been your mission. One of your many missions. You are all about getting information to as many people as possible. And you have always talked about... In this example, Twitter, you're like, "Listen, there are more people that need this information who are not on Twitter, who are maybe scared of Twitter, they're just... We need to get this out into more people. We need to help more people." And so that's... You approached George and me with this idea. So continue with what you were saying.

Cherise Shockley: Yes, of course. I had this crazy idea to start a blog talk radio show and what was amazing about is that it allowed us to reach more people, not people in the diabetes online community, not just us, right? 'Cause sometimes we get to a point where we feel like we're talking to ourselves. But through this blog talk radio show, we were able to talk to other people. Not only we were able to talk to other people, we have people call in the show, we have a live chat room for people to check and still have a conversation on Twitter again, because it was just to contain the conversation.

Cherise Shockley: Every Thursday night and on PM, we would have blogtalk radio show for DSMA. And then that actually went from DSMA to the DSMA En Vivo, which was the Spanish version. And then we also have a version for parents. That was amazing, and then after that was Blue Fridays, it's when I came up with a whole of Blue Fridays idea. Yeah. It's funny because as I sit back and I talk about it, to me it's like, "Well, yeah, that's it." But that's a whole heck of a lot, right?

Scott Johnson: It is a lot. Yeah. Again, it's very inspiring to me, Cherise, that you're always about trying to find new ways to get information, out into the streets and into communities and into pockets of people that need the information, but may not have the access or the know how, or whatever the case may be, you're always trying to find ways to reach them and help them. And I think that is really part of what makes you who you are, and it's incredibly inspiring. That's part of why when you come to me with any new idea, I don't ask many any questions. I'm just like, "Yes, ma'am. Whatever I can do. Let's go."

Cherise Shockley: Let me ask you this. I know you're supposed to be the interviewer. When I sent you an email saying, "Hey, we've got this new thing happening in here at Roche, what was your thoughts when I emailed that to you?"

Scott Johnson: Cherise, I have a very high level of trust in you and I know that if you had thought about it and looked at it or thought of it, that it is generally a good idea and I trust you, and I'm on board with it and on board to support you.

Cherise Shockley: Thank you so much because there's a lot of things, right? For me, it's all about finding, like you said, unique ways to help people and to reach people. A lot of people don't know this, but I've actually been an employee of Roche since 2011, I believe, and then I actually just moved over to the social media side in 2017. I've been in my role for two years. As we sat down and we started looking at the strategy for 2019, it's what can we do differently? And one of the things is that a lot of people may not know this as well, is that we have the inspiration exchange for people in the diabetes community. Whether you're affected by it or you just want to share your story or your experience or your loved one story, there's a place where you can do that.

Cherise Shockley: We were sitting and I was like, "Okay. If we wanted to build on that, what would it be?" Because if you look on social media, and everyone knows if you follow a brain, we pretty much all say the same thing as far as lifestyle content, eating healthy with diabetes, exercising will help with diabetes. We want to take a different approach and that approach is to focus on the peer support communities and to find creative ways to connect people out there who may be newly diagnosed or who may have a moment where they feel like they're alone, to people in the community that can help them.

Cherise Shockley: Whether it's a peer support community, whether it's a Scott Johnson, whether it's AADE, to make sure that they know that there's resources because we all know what it feels like to be alone. We don't want other people to feel that way. That's what brings us to the next venture.

Scott Johnson: And I think it's also... There are people who have stories to tell or they may be on the edge. They're thinking about telling their story or sharing their story, but they may not have... There's some uncertainty about how do I do that or what platform do I use? Or something like that. And I think when someone like you can come along and offer a hand, reach your hand out and say, "Come here. I would love to hear your story. We want to help you tell your story. In fact, if you have questions about telling your story, we can guide you through that process." You are skilled in that, and I think that there are also a lot of other groups and creators out there that are doing that and it's just a great thing for the community and the content that's out there as a whole. So that's great.

Cherise Shockley: Well, thank you. I have to admit, and you know me, I'm honest, I'm 100% honest. When the opportunity presented itself, I seriously, if my boss was in a different environment, I would probably have given him a hug. Because oftentimes it's like we're in these positions and we want to do more and we want to help more. We want to take that experience and that knowledge that we have to, as I said, connect more, helping people. And when the opportunity presented itself, I was like, "Really? Wow, you're really gonna let me do this?" So I'm really excited because it's so different. It's really different from what people are used to.

Cherise Shockley: I mean, you've probably seen it just in the last, what, two years that I've been on social media for Roche. You've probably seen a big change even this year with how I'm speaking to people. It only made sense for us to move over just a little bit and try something different, which is really exciting.

Scott Johnson: Yeah, I love it. You're right, I have seen more personality and the human touch come through the Roche Diabetes Care social channels and I think that's a great thing. I think it shows that there are humans behind the brand that understand and help us relate more. I think that's a good move.

Cherise Shockley: Thank you.

Scott Johnson: Yeah. So speaking of what this new thing is. You and Roche Diabetes Care are launching a new podcast called Inspiration Exchange: Diabetes Moments podcast. And I am excited about it. Tell us more, what can people expect and all that kind of stuff.

Cherise Shockley: It's a really exciting time for us because we are launching a podcast, which is the first time that we've actually had an external podcast for the community to actually hear. What you can expect is, once again, the focus is all peer support in communities. So you're going to hear from people who've been in the community for a long time, like your Scott Johnson's, your Kerri Sparling's, but you're also going to hear from other people in the community.

Cherise Shockley: You're going to start seeing people from Instagram that pops up on the podcast as well because the whole idea is to make sure we share stories of support and community while people are on the go. It's a quick, 30-minute podcast. There's going to be two, twice a month. There will not be any ads or anything. It's just strictly focused on community and making sure those stories are being heard and shared so other people's stories can help inspire other people live with diabetes.

Scott Johnson: It's beautiful. I love that.

Cherise Shockley: I'm so excited.

Scott Johnson: Yeah, me too. Me too. I think a party is definitely in order. Where can people find this podcast?

Cherise Shockley: You can find it on Spotify right now, and it's Inspiration Exchange: Diabetes Moments. And the name is... People are probably like, "Diabetes moments?" We all hop on social media during certain moments in life. We hop on it certain moments in diabetes and sometimes those moments in diabetes is what captures the attention of the community and that's how we react. We went with Diabetes Moments for that reason. You can find it on Spotify right now, it’s Inspiration Exchange: Diabetes Moments. You should hopefully be able to find it on iTunes by next Friday, hopefully. I submitted it to Apple the other day and you can find an on Libsyn. And if you listen to podcasts in Libsyn, it's Inspiration Exchange: Diabetes Moments there as well.

Cherise Shockley: And then we're actually going to load all the information up on the website. I'm really excited. If you have any guest that you want to come on the show, you can hit us up on social media @AccuChek_US (Twitter & Instagram) or you can the hashtag #diabetesmoments, and I'll make sure I'll see you. And we're just really excited. And your feedback is welcome. If you have any ideas or thoughts or, like I said, people you want us to interview on the show... I'm not saying that we can make it happen, but we can try our best to totally make it happen. It's exciting. It's something that we're creating for you, so I hope you enjoy it.

Scott Johnson: Very well said. Folks, just like Cherise said, Cherise is one of the most responsive people that I've ever met. If you have ideas for guests, topics, send them her way and she will definitely see them and do her best to make it happen. I am so looking forward to watching this project and podcast grow. It makes me smile thinking back to... kind of coming full circle, right? We started DSMA and life got busy. You were in one part of the world. I was in another, our friend, Ninjabetic, the original Ninjabetic, George Simmons, our close, dear friend…

Scott Johnson: (computer ringing) This happened to me last time, too. Hold on just a second. I'm sorry about that, Cherise.

Cherise Shockley: It's okay.

Scott Johnson: The joys of live interviewing. Okay. Anyway, we're all in different parts of the world and we would connect once a week to broadcast a live internet radio show, that was also recorded and available in the early days of podcasting, and we did that for many years. I remember some wild times where we would connect on the phone from... I'm in an airport and George is somewhere and you're somewhere else, and I remember one show where I had a terrible case of the hiccups during the intro. Do you remember that?

Cherise Shockley: And you've hiccuped through the entire intro.

Scott Johnson: I tell you what when I'm having a bad day, I listen to that intro to make me laugh and boost my mood sometimes.

Cherise Shockley: Are those shows even still available?

Scott Johnson: I think they're around somewhere. I mean, I have that one saved for when I need a pick me up. But those shows are around somewhere. Yeah. And then life got busy and you being the amazing person that you are, decided you wanted to go back to school and I'm so proud and happy for you, you're graduating in what, two months? Three months? Whatever. Amazing, amazing. Congratulations on that.

Scott Johnson: And here we are. Again, you're launching another new podcast that's going to touch many people and change the world in another new amazing way. Congratulations. I can't wait to watch this grow and evolve and work its magic on the world.

Cherise Shockley: Thank you. I just want to give a quick shout out to my boss and my coworker. This is going to be fun. It's going to be amazing. And to all you out there, this is different. It's new and it's going to be exciting. There's going to be some bumps in the road and it's not always going to be smooth. But with you and your faith and your confidence, we can make this work. Take a listen, provide feedback, and if you liked it, make sure you tell a friend.

Scott Johnson: Very well said, Cherise. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing more about Inspiration Exchange: Diabetes Moments podcast. I can't wait to listen.

Cherise Shockley: You are very welcome.

Scott Johnson: All right, there you have it. I hope you also enjoyed getting to know Cherise and learning about her new podcast. Again, that's the Inspiration Exchange: Diabetes Moments podcast. You should totally subscribe and check it out. As Cherise said, a big shout out to Todd and Shelly at Roche Diabetes Care. Thank you for helping make this happen. On behalf of the diabetes community, we love you guys, too.

Scott Johnson: As a special thanks to all of you watching, I have a special mySugr tote bag with some goodies inside, like a new pop socket and a few stickers I want to give away. To enter, leave a comment below. Let Cherise and I know if you enjoyed today's episode, and before next week's show, I'll randomly pick a lucky winner or two and announce them during the start of the broadcast next week.

Scott Johnson: Once again, today's episode is sponsored by the mySugr Bundle. Get unlimited strips, automatic supply refills, personalized support, and more all for just $49 per month. Learn more at, and be sure to tune in next week when I connect with the energetic and fun Kerri Sparling to chat about the power of peer support in diabetes and much, much more. Thank you for tuning in and joining today. Please like this video, share it with your friends. Have another amazing day and I'll see you again next week. Thank you.

Scott Johnson

Almost famous for his addiction to Diet Coke, Scott has lived well with diabetes for almost forty years and is currently the Patient Engagement Manager, USA for mySugr. He's been an active pioneer in the diabetes social media space for more than fifteen years and manages his award-winning blog, when time allows.

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