Type 1 Diabetes
Senior Vice President—Member Experience, Livongo Health
Member, Board of Directors, Diabetes Hands Foundation,
Member, Board of Directors, National Advocacy Committee of the American Association of Diabetes Educators
Born in Venezuela, but having called California home for over fifteen years, Manny currently lives in the Bay Area with his wife and son. Manny has Type One Diabetes (T1D), and must manage his condition wearing an insulin pump, since his pancreas no longer produces insulin. He describes T1D as “isolating, alienating, and misunderstood.” Because the disease rarely shows obvious, outward symptoms, many people don’t understand the emotional and physical burdens of T1D.
Manny was diagnosed at age 30; for the first year after his diagnosis, he struggled to manage his blood sugar levels, and did not feel connected to his disease community. To ensure that other T1D patients would not feel as if they were suffering alone, Manny founded the Diabetes Hands Foundation: a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting and mobilizing the diabetes community through two key social networks, one in Spanish and one in English. He explains that the sense of community and belonging is critical to cope with such a constant disease—one that forces millions of T1D patients to prick their fingers or self-administer shots many times per day; one that creates an atmosphere of fear of mistakes, hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
Besides his current role as Senior Vice President, Member Experience at Livongo Health, he serves as member of the Board of Directors of Diabetes Hands Foundation, chair of the “Living With Diabetes” Stream for the World Diabetes Congress 2017, scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi, and member of the National Advocacy Committee for the American Association of Diabetes Educators.