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March 16, 2022

#62 TEEN SERIES Part 10: Invincible Kids Network with Bob Weishar

#62 TEEN SERIES Part 10: Invincible Kids Network with Bob Weishar
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It's the last episode in the series for parents of T1D teens and today's guest is Bob Weishar, founder of the Invincible Kids Network. Listen in as Bob tells us all about the AMAZING resources Invincible has to offer the T1D community and what it was like to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a freshman in college. Yikes! Make sure to check out the links below so you can easily find the Invincible kids network on the web and on social media!

Invincible Kids Website!
Invincible Kids onInstagram!
Invincible Kids onFacebook!
Invincible Kids onYouTube!

Book #1 Sal and Gabi Break the Universe
Book #2 Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe

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Katie: This is episode 62 of the Sugar Mama’s Podcast, and the last episode in our series for T1D teens. Today, my guest is Bob Wisher, founder of the Invincible Kids Network. Bob is going to chat with us today about the awesome resources invincible kids provides to the T1 D community. Plus, you'll get to hear what it was like to be diagnosed as a freshman in college. Just because this is the last episode in the teen center.

Katie: It doesn't mean it has to be over. We can add to it as we go. In fact, I have a few other guests lined up that I think would be a great fit. If you know of a guest who has a lot to offer when it comes to encouraging and empowering parents and caregivers of type one, teens, please let me know. And if you are someone who can do just that also, please let me know.

Katie: Send me an email@sugarmamaspodcastatgmail.com. Okay. Let's get started. You're [00:01:00] listening to the sugar mamas podcast, a show designed for moms and caregivers of type one diabetics here. You'll find a community of like-minded people who are striving daily to keep their kids safe, happy, and healthy in the ever-changing world of type one. I'm your host and fellow T1D mom, Katie Roseborough.

Katie: Before we get started. I need you to know that nothing you hear on the sugar mamas podcast should be considered medical advice. Please be safe, be smart, and always consult your physician before making changes to the way you manage type one diabetes. Thanks. 

Katie: Hey everybody. I am here with Bob Wisher today. And Bob, I'm going to go ahead and let you introduce yourself. Tell the listeners who you are and what your connection to type one diabetes is. 

Bob: Yeah, everyone. So my name's Bob Wisher and my connection is I have type one. So it's like most when I was 18 years old as a freshman in college, in my [00:02:00] dorm room. And, yeah, I'm also the founder of invincible sort of been working for the last couple of years to help make it really easy for kids to get the care that they deserve.

Katie: That's awesome. So like you just said, you're the founder of an organization called the invincible kids network. And why don't you go ahead and tell everybody what that is. 

Bob: Of course. So the, the main premise is we want to inspire kids with type one diabetes and even on their chronic health issues that they've got super powers and really they've got the ability to do anything that they want as I grow up more than just kind of manage the day to day, and, and really inspire them.

Bob: How we've done that as a couple of different ways, but our primary ways we've built a new app that helps really families work together with schools. And so all the care that kids get at school, we found tends to be locked away and kind of a file cabinet and really makes it really tough to just coordinate that care.

Bob: And so our app makes it really easy to communicate chat about that care, as well as just learn the basics. And so teaching teachers, school staff, but also families and kids as they grow up, , the basics [00:03:00] and just a really fun and simple way. 

Katie: , that's awesome. We're going to dive a lot more into that, , about how the app works and how you can use it. Cause, I feel like that's something that's really hard to do is coordinate care with school, between, you know, schools and teachers and administration, and then also children. So we'll talk more about that in a little bit, but first I want to know what the inspiration behind invincible was and, , , when did it all start? 

Bob: Yeah. So it's been, it's been a long journey, I think, is most people go through as they're trying to start something out on their own. But I think, I mean, certainly the initial impetus was just getting diagnosed and going through all the ups and downs in college, sort of on my own with friends who didn't really exactly know what I was doing, or they were supportive, but didn't know necessarily how to support.

Bob: And so just got to kind of go through all the ups and downs. First couple of weeks being scared of needles too. The first couple of months being just sort of just, I, I wouldn't have said it at the time, but just kind of, sort of depressed and anxious around just all the things that I now had to do. But over the kind of next few years, I [00:04:00] slowly realized that I could actually apply those kinds of personal struggles to be able to just basically build a career and a life out of it, of just helping people.

Bob: Diabetes and other kinds of health issues. And so it's been a windy road, but basically started in consulting and got to work with lots of big clients in healthcare and improve new models for care. , wanted to do kind of more of that. And so I went to a company called Bigfoot biomedical, and shortly after that, and really focused from a product perspective on how do you just make this whole insulin thing a lot easier to do and providing automated insulin delivery, but also.

Bob: Better interfaces and better design for people using apps and using tools day to day. , and so that was kind of the windy road that led me to invincible and really just similar kind of story from Accenture to big fight is just wanting to do more, wanting to do something now. And specifically I've always been drawn maybe because I was a 18 year old grown up kid, , to help kids.

Bob: And so that's where invincibles mission is very [00:05:00] focused on kids and just really that realization. As kids grow up, there's so much support that they get and it really determines their outlook too. And so the initial kind of impetus of just wanting to take that personal challenge, but now also kind of expand beyond it and just see where we can support.

Bob: , and so that was kind of the initial inspiration.

Katie: Yeah, hold on. I take, I want to take a quick side tangent and ask you about your diagnosis a little bit more because I mean, that had to be pretty scary being 18 years old in college, you said in your dorm room, so you were, were you far away from home? 

Bob: Yeah. So I grew up in Indiana and so I was at university of Michigan, so I was about three and a half, four hours away. So it was far enough, um, similar to the windy journey. I think the, uh, it was going over the process of a few months, right? So I was my, it was probably like month, two or three, where I started to just know.

Bob: The typical signs where I was drinking a ton of water. I was going to the bathroom running up and down the dorm dorm hallway to go to the bathroom all the time. And surprisingly the weirdest one, those aren't even the [00:06:00] weirdest ones. To me, it was the weight loss. Made no sense because I was doing freshman college things and going out and having late night pizza and everything else.

Bob: , and so, whereas most people probably would have enjoyed that. That one just seemed pretty weird. , and so it basically culminated in going home for one of the breaks and I think it was Thanksgiving break. I was actually just talking to my cousins about this. and we're in Chicago is at a Chicago bulls game.

Bob: And they were the ones that called out the fact that I was stopping at every drinking fountain and just sorta, just chugging water. so when, when people close to you and call you out on something that they've never noticed, you, you especially hits home. I ended up waiting a couple more weeks to actually go into the clinic.

Bob: I kind of had gone on web MD at between then and Christmas time and figure it out like, maybe this is what it is. And so basically Christmas break went home, went to the clinic, first thing and just said, Hey, can you test me for diabetes? And sure enough, that's what I had.

Katie: Wow. So you wrote it out for awhile. I [00:07:00] mean, Thanksgiving to Christmas is a good month. So 

Bob: Yeah. 

Katie: kind of re you're, like just, I'm just gonna ignore this for a little bit longer. Um, 

Katie: the. 

Bob: Finished finals and then worry about it.

Katie: Yep. Oh my gosh. Typical 18 year old, I would imagine. Well, it really typical. I do that too in my own adult life. I'm like, I'm just going to wait this out and if it.

Katie: gets real bad, then I'll go see the talk to her.

Katie: So 

Bob: Right? 

Bob: Exactly. 

Katie: uncommon. Well, did you, did you stay at the university of Michigan or did you come home? What'd you do. 

Bob: No, I, I did probably the exact opposite thing about you're supposed to do so I got that. Uh, I spent about a week at home, just eaten, kind of hanging out with family and, uh, started to learn insulin. And then I would say probably, I think it was 10 days after my diagnosis. I got an offer to go to the rose bowl with some friends and watch Michigan play USC.

Bob: There was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to go. And so not only that I just learned insulin, but I was then kind of on a flight to Southern California and staying with a [00:08:00] couple of friends and, and just figuring it out there. And, in hindsight, I think probably. Honestly in hindsight, I'm so happy I went, cause I think it was a very clear indicator that can manage through.

Bob: You can figure things out and maybe not the smartest or safest move. And I'm sure I was doing everything the wrong way at that point. , but really got to help me just like be around friends at that time, kind of share what was going on, but also just see. Nothing was really changed at the same time.

Bob: Well, everything was hard to change. There was all also very much the same. My friends still treating me in the same way. and I can still go, go do the same things that I always wanted to do.

Katie: Did you, did your, were your friends curious? I mean, did, were they asking questions and, and you said they were supportive of you, but w 

Bob: Yeah. 

Katie: you share with them kind of a lot of what was going on? 

Bob: Yeah. I mean, it was, it was hard to ignore. Aye. Aye. Somewhat. I think my close friends, I opened up too. I'm just like telling them all the details and they were super curious and like, you got to inject into what? And, uh, just the, the like difference in change [00:09:00] of like a couple of weeks. , and honestly we, they, we started made light of it too.

Bob: I mean, I think it sounds weird, but just like poking fun at and like, oh yeah, you'd be, probably need some sugar and things like that. And I think for my clothes, if it was anything. It would sound harsh, but being close friends is like, that was just our, our relationship. And we were super easygoing and open with each other.

Bob: , so that, yeah, they, they made it very easy from my perspective.

Katie: Oh, that's good. No, I would have been doing the same thing. Humor is my coping mechanism. For sure. 

Bob: Absolutely.

Katie: If you can't laugh about it, I mean, really what's the point. So let's talk a little bit more about invincible. what, what are some of the resources that you guys offer other than the app? I want to talk about the app separately, but what are some of the resources that the network offers to kids and young adults with diabetes? 

Bob: so the, we initially developed the app and the, honestly the social media side was sort of a, a follow on during COVID. And so the invincible kids network, which is our Instagram and kind of social handle, , really came out of this idea that there's so [00:10:00] many kids and families sort of isolated during the pandemic all around the world.

Bob: And we wanted to be able to provide support to them wherever they were. And also on the fact that we just, there was so much good wisdom and knowledge built up with between kids and families that just wasn't being shared through camps and through support groups and through school and all the places that kids would otherwise go.

Bob: And so started as just an idea of like, oh, what if we, what if we just started talking to families and kids? and on a few you saw kind of the good news network, which is, uh, uh, over break heading started this idea. And it just really resonated with this like positive messaging, this idea that people there's so much good happening in the world and it's not all bad.

Bob: And so I 

Katie: um, 

Bob: that's where the initial inspiration was. And we ended up doing is just, interviewing kids and families and just talking to them over, to this, just a zoom call, basically. And. Heard their story and just talk to kids as young as I think, three or four in their moms and dads up through [00:11:00] kind of college and beyond, and just tried to share those stories so that we can try to connect kids and families in a better way.

Bob: And, just learn 

Katie: so 

Bob: through the process myself, of just kind of how much, how much built up wisdom and smart these kids, kids become when they've, they've been managing this. And also just how kind of, I mean, fits with our brain, just how I invincible. They, they become when they do all that stuff.

Katie: Yeah, no, I think that's great. My daughter was diagnosed during the pandemic in August of 2020, and it was extremely isolating. I mean, even just from the very beginning in the hospital, stay like my husband and I couldn't both be there at the same time because of COVID restrictions and we couldn't have any visitors and , all the awesome.

Katie: Programs like JDRF offers and things like that. They weren't happening because people couldn't meet in person. So it was, it was a challenging time on top of a challenging year. And, I'm sure you blessed a lot of people with those YouTube videos, which they are on YouTube. I just want everybody to know, and I will put a link to that in the show notes where you can find those videos and [00:12:00] interviews.

Katie: Are you still interviewing kids?

Bob: Yeah, we took out, took a little bit of a pause these last few months, but want to get back to it. Because I think the, the need hasn't maybe has changed differently just because kids are back at school again. but I think it's still there, so we'll, we'll be getting back to it for sure. And we got some, we got some videos that we're still producing, so that we'll be publishing someone new as soon as well.

Katie: That's good. No, I think there's still definitely a need, even though the pandemic is kind of, I don't want to say fizzling out, but you know what I mean, things are, 

Bob: absolutely. 

Katie: are getting a little bit more back to normal, but I think there's still a need because. Even if we had been diagnosed outside of the pandemic, we still knew, knew nobody, no kids with type one diabetes at the time.

Katie: And, um, I had to very creepily stocks, some people down and force them to become friends with us. But until we found somebody that we could actually spend time with in the flesh, like we were watching 

Bob: Yeah. 

Katie: and you know, oh look, you know, you're not alone. Like here's other kids that live with. Does he use all 24 7.

Katie: I [00:13:00] think there's still a need for sure. 

Bob: Yeah. It was really, really amazed at how common that story is. Right. Of just how supportive, I think it's a good Testament to just like being in a supportive community of just, yeah. Moms who had just found out their kid had type one and just being able to yeah. Just reach out to some, some people on Instagram or Facebook or wherever it is.

Bob: And. Get long phone calls and build the relationships over it, which is really cool. And, and it's just amazing. I think how small of a world it becomes too. Cause I mean, I had through our interviews, we had kids be able to meet with each other and other things too. So yeah, it's, it's really cool. I mean the, the ability to be able to connect through people, , in that way too.

Katie: Yeah. Well, tell us a little bit about the app, because you mentioned it's kind of specifically to help people manage diabetes the school environment. So just explain to listeners what the app is, what it does and how people can use.

Bob: Yeah. Sure. So, so the app is really focused all around the, the communication that happens and the care that happens specifically at school for kids [00:14:00] with type one and other kinds of health issues and how it really came about is we, we just saw all these kinds of. Infrequent or frequent, depending on the family communication that happens.

Bob: and what happens at school is just such a big part of the kid's day and week that there was such a criticality to making sure that that that goes well. Right. And so. Through our interviews, we took a pretty open-ended approach to just say, Hey, we kind of think there's, there's something here. We, we actually started more on the education side, but we wanted to first just take an open-minded view with families and with school staff to see like, is there something here?

Bob: Is there something where we can provide that? And actually the initial integration, we saw a couple of kids carrying a paper notebook to and from class and to, and from home every day that included carb counts and included like little notes to the nurse. Um, and then we similarly saw more kind of advanced where it's people are texting or phone calls or other things.

Bob: But what we saw for the school staff is there's just so many kids to take care of. That [00:15:00] they're not neglecting kids with type one or, or daily kind of medication needs, but there's just so much to do. And so our perspective was if we can unlock some of that, that time that they have at school just make it easier to get parents updates throughout the day.

Bob: Because we all know, I mean, parents become the absolute experts in their kids' care. so if we can unlock all the things that are happening. We found 95% of the time the right things are happening. They're just not really being communicated, at least not in a timely way. And so what we tried to develop is just a really simple mechanism where instead of writing everything down on a paper log at school, they could do it digitally.

Bob: But importantly is that digital log then gets automatically communicated to the parents. So take out that step of writing down and then maybe fielding a tax or a phone call, but just do it all in one. And not just that is take all the people that are taking care of a kid at school, which typically isn't just a nurse, if they're even as a nurse, but it's usually a teacher or the front office staff or an [00:16:00] administrator.

Bob: , and so really building this team around the kid so that whether it's 10:00 AM in the morning and the nurses there, or one o'clock in the afternoon and they're at PE, they can have that support. And then if as needed, parents can kind of help provide support and intervene and really provide that support that kids, kids deserve.

Katie: So within the app, there's , , a log area. like you said, whoever's helping the kid and the nurses or the teachers or in the administration, they can log like. The amount of insulin that was delivered, what time it was delivered, any other events that happened so that gets automatically sent to parents.

Katie: And then is there a messaging system within the app or is that more like through text? Hey there, it's Katie wanting to take a quick second to tell you about the product feature of the week. This is a two book series where the main character has type one. The first book in the series is called Sal and Gabby break the universe. And the second book is called Sal and Gabby fix the universe.

Katie: The author [00:17:00] is Carlos Hernandez, Sarah and I are reading through the first book right now. And let me tell you, this is a fun book full of adventure and my favorite. Humor, even if the main character did not have type one, I think I would still be recommending this series. The internet tells me that the ideal reading age for these books is eight to 12 years old.

Katie: And I would say that that is accurate. Check them out. I'll leave an Amazon affiliate link in the show notes last, if you loved this podcast, would you consider supporting the show through, buy me a coffee, buy me a coffee, offers a no strings attached way for listeners like you to support podcasters, like.

Katie: Each donation given goes towards things like the virtual space that's required to host and publish the podcast and its website or the software required to record and edit each episode. Thank you to all of you who have already supported the show through buy me a coffee. If you'd like to check it out, head on over to buy me a coffee.com forward slash sugar.

Katie: [00:18:00] I'll leave a link in the show notes. Plus if you want a freeway to support the show, you can always write a five star review either on the website on Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. All right, now, back to the show. 

Katie: And then is there a messaging system within the app or is that more like through text? 

Bob: No, that's exactly it. So one of the things we, we really intentionally wanted to do is one. We didn't want to just build another care log. I think we've all used care logs. They're not fun. they take a lot of time. It's a lot of manual input. everything we do is all around communicating information.

Bob: And so we use a log to be able to communicate, the mechanism think kind of care, logging meets group chat. so it's as simple as a group chat that you might have through text message or WhatsApp. But it's embedded within all the care events that are happening. So if a school nurse throughout the day provides a care log, they maybe that's lunchtime.

Bob: The providing some insulin that [00:19:00] communication around how many carbs they're eating, what their glucose is, how much insulin they've taken, gets embedded within the care chat. And then whoever's on that team, which typically is mom and or dad. Maybe it's a grandparent or babysitter, but then also that school.

Bob: All gets that same message at the exact same time. And then most of the time that's all that needs to happen. It's just a quick thumbs up. We're good. But sometimes as we know, stuff goes wrong, right. And more follow-up is needed or there's questions that are asked. And so that's where we try to just make it really easy to communicate in the context of the care that's actually happening.

Katie: Yeah. You know, while you're telling me about this, I'm thinking about , when you have a group chat. Oh, I haven't, I'm an Android user I know that a lot of people aren't, but when I have a group chat, going with people that have Android phones and iPhones, They're like the iPhone people don't get the message or they'll get it a day later or so is this app compatible with both Android and iOS?

Katie: And then have [00:20:00] you seen anything like that where it, you know, like if an Android I'm assuming that everybody gets it all at the same time, right? There's no delay or anything like that, that would make life a lot easier for sure. 

Bob: Yeah, no, we, we couldn't leave you intro to users out of the, out of the picture. Of course. Um, so everything, everything we do is built with both in mind. And so we build for iOS and Android. and really, I mean, the initial, initial idea, maybe we weren't even thinking an app. I mean, we didn't just want to build another app.

Bob: There's a lot of apps. But there's there's challenges like these, that you mentioned that one, we wanted to make it really seamless to be able to communicate regardless of phone or regardless of geography, but it's also just, it helps us secure all that information as well, and just make it a single place of record.

Bob: Um, and one of the features I haven't mentioned. As you're communicating, there's just a simple export function too. And so all the care that happens, we want to make it really easy for you to get that information, whether it's for your own kind of changes and adjustments, or to bring to your doctor. [00:21:00] And so all that care that typically has been kind of locked away in the school file cabinet can now just be really unlocked and provided to doctors or parents.

Katie: Yeah, that's great. That's awesome. Yeah,

Katie: I think I need to download it and really check it out more because my daughter does not have a nurse at her school and, she wears a watch and really it's for the most part, it's just her and I like texting back and forth throughout the day about her management.

Katie: And, but sometimes there's like a lag on the watch with her getting messages and it would be really nice to message her, but also be able to message like every single person in. and including my husband, her dad. Cause he it's like I'm, I'm texting her, she's not responding. So now I'm texting the teachers and then my husband's texting me, like, are you handling this?

Katie: And I'm like texting him. So it would be if I could just text one thing and everybody could see it at the same time to know that, you know, either I'm handling it or something like that, our kids allowed to be involved too. I'm assuming they are, they can be part of the 

Katie: team. 

Bob: [00:22:00] Yeah. I mean, certainly with parental permission, of course. What are the things? One of the things we learned is, I mean, as you know, as kids grow up and how old, how old your daughter. Okay. 

Katie: She's nine and she's in fourth grade 

Bob: Okay. Cool. So, I mean, one of the key things we saw right, is as you know, better than anybody is, I mean, early, early elementary school, there's just a ton of support.

Bob: It's really all the surrounding people and trending cast are providing a lot of the day-to-day care. But as kids grow up, they take on increasingly all this responsibility. And so balancing that support as they grow up, I think is really fundamental and key. And so one of the, kind of, one of the visions, one of the hopes for this is that as kids are growing up, you can provide that support that they need at varying degrees.

Bob: Right? So in fifth grade it may just be, they may be ready to ready to go and ready to roll. And it just kind of a couple of text messages. But as, as I experienced, I mean, as, as you grew up, I mean, you have varying degrees of needs that you have. And so maybe it's maybe it's middle school or high school that [00:23:00] you do need some extra support again, after having been independent.

Bob: And so we haven't. Optimized for it. We don't want kids to just be sitting in logging their own care all day, but we do want to make it really easy for kids to be in class for, for families to get information to and from schools and kids. , but just making it a more natural experience so that kids are able to just be kids and be in classroom and go on field trips and, and do everything else that they want to be doing throughout the day.

Katie: definitely. What kind of feedback have you got?

Bob: so lots of, lots of good and critical feedback. I think the main challenge with schools right now as has been the case. COVID is taking a lot of time. And so a lot of school nurses today are really being the central point of triage with all the new cases that happen. And so that's been our number one feedback is just like finding the time to adopt a new tool.

Bob: But I'd say for the, for the families and the schools that are using it. I think that the feedback overall was super [00:24:00] positive around just making it super easy to communicate and the central place to be able to provide all this, , some of the updates that we're making as result. So one of the, one of the big things we're doing is we got some, 

Bob: , insight from schools that, I mean a lot, not every family speaks English, for example. And so right now we're just in English, but we're adding a feature where you can just really easily translate to Spanish as our first language and eventually other languages that try to make it just that communication releasing.

Bob: And so you can imagine as a parent who doesn't speak English, but has an English speaking nurse or staff, now you can suddenly talk to each other, at least in a pretty simple kind of text-based way. and some of the other research is making it easier, making it faster. No one, no one wants to spend time in the app, logging care.

Bob: And so trying to make improvements to just speed that up. So simple things like, oh, I want just a couple less clicks to enter a blood glucose to send a message or to like a message. Lots of just like varying from big to small improvements that we're making as a result of feedback, just to, to [00:25:00] make this communication easier and get people back to back to their lives, but all at the same time, kind of making sure kids get that care.

Katie: So, is there any way in the app to also see or follow somebody's blood sugar, like through Dexcom or anything like that? 

Bob: Yeah, it's a great question. So no, not right now. We have avoided it and this is partially my medical device background and fear is where we're trying to tell the line. Not being a regulated medical device, because we want to just make this a really simple tool versus a real-time kind of monitoring tool.

Bob: it's something we're going to explore, I think, down the line, but for now the, so the first challenge is just the kind of FDA regulation around that. the second challenge is finding the right balance of communication. So one of the, one of the, I mean, we have a couple of key stakeholders, right? So you, as you, as a mom, like you're, you're a key stakeholder.

Bob: The kid is kind of front and center stuff. But also all the school staff that have to not just manage one kid, but multiple kids. And so we're trying to balance the right level of [00:26:00] communication. And so one of the things we saw is that like real-time Dexcom following is amazing. But it's also challenging.

Bob: Right? And it adds a lot of stress and I felt in myself of just constantly monitoring and managing a blood sugar. And so we're trying to find the right balance of you have the right information that you need, but you're also able to act on it and it's not a constant 24 7, , thing that for schools as well.

Bob: So long answer to a question, not yet, but something we're thinking about and certainly in the vein of trying to save time, is we'll be on the list of considerations.

Katie: Oh, that's great. Yeah. I just, that popped into my head with the whole, , mainly because just a couple of weeks ago, my husband said, I wish Dexcom had a way to, like, while you're in the follow app, like hit a button and have a list of people that you want to message to be like, she's okay. You know what I mean?

Katie: Like I got her. 

Bob: Totally. Yeah. That handoff, that handoff time is really key for sure.

Katie: Yeah, well, and, and it just would save, save me a whole lot of time because you know, [00:27:00] I've, now I've got it. All the grandparents are texting me and, they all, of course, everybody means well and they just want to make sure she's safe. but anyway, 

Katie: that was just a thought, 

Bob: We'll keep these coming. Cause I think that's one of the, we're calling it our pilot mode right now, because we want to, we want to emphasize that we are very much still learning. And so we are actively making improvements and, and our best improvements come from ideas from moms and kids and schools of using it.

Bob: so, yeah, please, and for listeners too, as you start to use the use the app, we'd love to hear, it would love to hear your feedback and integration and input.

Katie: , I'm curious to know too, like where do you see it? Obviously, you mentioned a couple of things you're working on right now, but like where do you see it a couple of years from now? What are your goals and hopes for what it will become and not just the app, but like the invincible network as a whole. 

Bob: Yeah. I mean, I think our, our vision is to really provide a mechanism for kids as they grow up, to get the very best care. to, like I said earlier, they can just be kids. And so trying [00:28:00] to just make that, all that whole process really easy. And so from a. From our perspective, we want to make, we want to make the tools that provide that make it really easy for families from kind of diagnosis through kids, becoming adults.

Bob: , so there's a lot of stuff in there. I think we've started with some of the big things, which is at school and kind of as kids grow up. , but we also know there's a whole aspect of kind of kids building independence that we've started to just scratch the surface of around just kind of simple educational tools, community building.

Bob: So my goal for this is that, I mean, as kids grow up one, as they're young, they kind of have that support that they need and that care, it makes it really easy to provide. But to, as I grew up, it's just a lot easier to build that independence. And we saw through so many families that there's just so much good knowledge and wisdom.

Bob: That's sort of locked in each families, each family's heads. And so it's, it's hard to kind of share that information and certainly social media does parts of that, but it's still a [00:29:00] struggle and every family kind of goes through their own struggle individually. And so trying to unlock that and share those learnings in a much easier way and a more kid-friendly way.

Bob: And we don't think the whole, all the medical jargon needs some necessarily be there, especially for kids and just make it feel more now. Um, so that's kind of the, that's the path we're headed. And as we do that, I think one of the other things is just regardless of type one diabetes or kind of condition we want to, we want to provide care to these kids that get care at school and wherever they are, and really get that support that they need from, from the team that surrounds them.

Katie: I'm all for it. The more support. I love it. And I think what you said about having like little educational tools as they kind of grow up and get ready to enter into young adulthood and hopefully go off to college and, , just, being able to educate them on how to manage things better on their own, but in a way that speaks to them.

Katie: at their level, because share, they can listen to their endocrinologist or their parents talk all day. But you know, if you really want to get to a teen, you probably need to do it in a [00:30:00] creative way through some sort of social media outlet. Let's be honest. You know what I mean? 

Katie: So I know you were diagnosed in your late , teen years, and, , I'm sure a lot of people are in the same boat or similar situation. , so in your opinion, what do you think, , T one D teens need just to be successful with their management and just their attitude towards diabetes and in their relationship with their management as a whole. 

Bob: Yeah, that's a great question. it's been a little while since I've been a team, but I'll put my team hat back on. I would say above all, I think be, don't be, don't be too hard on yourself. There's a tendency, depending on the, on the person to just everything hard and make it kind of personal.

Bob: And it certainly feels personal because you're, you're controlling kind of the insulin administration and blood sugars and everything. And it's something I went through those first couple of months, right. It's like, there's some, some of those days where you just can't get it right. And you don't know what right even is sometimes.[00:31:00] 

Bob: , and so I think knowing, and knowing as a teen, which is hard to have that perspective, It is a journey. And, , it's been, I don't know, 15 years for me now, and I'm still learning and I'm still constantly having those days where it's like, oh, I don't know. I don't know what I did today. I don't know why what's going on, but something's going on.

Bob: , and so knowing that, knowing that it's okay to have those days known that it's okay to not have everything be perfect and it's gonna take time. but knowing that, I think through that, all the adversity that you're getting is actually. Going to build a lot of, kind of internal fortitude and character and.

Bob: No one wants adversity, but I think it's really important for us to go through as long as you have that support around you. so, , so I would kind of be, I guess my advice, but my, my takeaway is, cause I think it's, it's, had this through one of our interviews. There was like one of our kind of 10 year old kids.

Bob: It said like, if you think it's going to be hard, it's going to be hard. And I think it's really true. And so I think being able to take a little bit of kind of [00:32:00] step back and have some perspective. And know that this is it's, it's sometimes a guessing game and you do your best and you kind of move on, but it is going to be a journey and not every day is perfect.

Bob: But through that, through the end, I think you're going to be able to do all the same things you would otherwise do with, or without diabetes.

Katie: Absolutely. And I, I think again, I don't have A teenage type one diabetic yet. I'm getting there, I'm getting there. I'm getting mentally prepared, but. I think that's, , as parents probably too, like you were saying, you're going to have bad days and, and, you know, I think as parents too, we just need to know that as well.

Katie: I mean, we need to really. Take the long, view, I guess, is what I'm doing the big picture. Try to look at the big picture of life and, you know, just like in everything, parenting just life in general, you're going to have some really bad days and you're going to have some really good days. But, , you know, 1, 2, 3 really bad days is not going to.

Katie: Things in the long run, unless you let it, unless you let it ruin things, like you said, like if you like, you're a, [00:33:00] ten-year-old wiser than he probably knows interview. Interviewee said, if you think it's going to be hard, it's going to be hard. So just don't let yourself get trapped in that negative thinking of, oh, I've, I've had a couple of bad days now.

Katie: They're all going to be bad. It's not true. You'll get it back.

Bob: A hundred percent. Yeah. It's amazing. I think how much the, the outlook impacts the result, right. 

Katie: Um, 

Bob: the, the mental outlook. And that's one of the things we've tried to do is just be super about making this, not just this isn't about managing diabetes. It's not about your blood sugar.

Bob: It's really, really about. The life you want to live. And, and there is a piece to that that is diabetes, but it doesn't have to be everything. And so that, I think is just the empowerment that, that hopefully everyone can kind of build and develop for themselves they can kind of do the things that.

Bob: Um, and so I think that piece, at least to me, is super important and has gotten me through the hard, the hard days. And the hard times is, um, is knowing there is kind of [00:34:00] a forest through the trees and there isn't the ability to really kind of still do whatever you want to do along along the path.

Katie: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much, Bob. Thank you for coming on today. Thank you for all your words of encouragement and your wise advice. I really appreciate it. And um, everybody needs. Check out the invisible kids network. I'll leave a link to the website in the show notes and I'll leave a link to all your social media handles as Well,

Katie: And a link to the app. I can probably leave a link for it's via Android and iOS. So you can go ahead and download it on your phone and check it out for yourself. Anything else you want to add? 

Bob: No, it was great to meet you. Yeah. Super, super. I'm excited to be, be a part of this and yeah. CDC, your, your side of the world grow too, and just share all these great learnings and communities. So 

Katie: Yeah. 

Bob: really a pleasure chatting with you.

Katie: Same to you. I've really loved seeing. , you're probably like the fifth person that I've interviewed that there, whatever it is they're working on has kind of come out of the pandemic, which, you know, the pandemic was such a, a nightmare for everybody. [00:35:00] So I just love hearing of all these wonderful, good things that came out of it.

Katie: I think it gave people a lot of time to kind of think of new ideas and come up with new projects and, and ways to encourage and inspire others. And I just, I love it. I love that you're invincible is one of those, one of those things. So thank you.

Katie: very much. 

Bob: Thank you. 

Katie: Have a good day. 

Bob: you too. 

Katie: That's it for our show today. Of course, I will leave links to all the things in the show notes, including where you can find Bob in the invincible kids network on social media and on YouTube. Thanks. You guys have a fabulous week and until next time stay calm and bolus on.

Bob WeisharProfile Photo

Bob Weishar

Founder at Invincible

Three years ago, I started Invincible to help kids living with chronic health issues realize their superpowers. I experienced first-hand the ups and downs that come with a diagnosis when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a college freshman, and I believe it's time we inspire the 1 in 4 kids living with a chronic health issue.

I have spent most of my career developing products that aim to improve people's lives - first at Accenture and most recently Bigfoot Biomedical and BetterUp. At Invincible, we're making it super easy to connect families with the school staff that support kids throughout the day.

Most of my time is spent on building my company, but I also love getting outside, staying active, and driving my '88 Ford Bronco.