Within a week, we flew from our home in Florida to Los Angeles, a tidy little 5 hour non-stop flight with a 4 year old. Yippee!! We were shuttled to our hotel, the W in Hollywood, which was so.very.nice, so it was a treat to stay there.
|The W in Hollywood|
That night, I met the rest of the patients who would be appearing in the commercial, other testimonials, some of the production team, and a few Dexcom employees. One of these employees was Mike Bloom, VP of Global Marketing. It was meeting him that truly helped my love for Dexcom grow. He spoke of patients being on a CGM system, regardless of whether it is Dexcom or not. I questioned him, thinking it seemed counter-intuitive for someone in charge of marketing a specific CGM to be advocating for the use of ANY CGM. But that is the kind of people at Dexcom, ones who care more about what is best for the patient than the bottom line. Sure, it's great if the patient chooses Dexcom, but he emphasized that any CGM is better than none. And that right there folks is a class-act.
Then he said music to my ears - "I'd love to put you in touch with the Dexcom insurance team to talk about how to improve appeals." This would be a collaboration where we might learn from each other in order to help a larger amount of people gain approval for this life-changing device, so of course I jumped all over the opportunity. From my earlier posts, you know that I am a heavy advocate for insurance appeal help. In the week surrounding the trip I completed 8 insurance appeals for others, in addition to several more guidance sessions where I was able to point the patient towards getting coverage without needing an appeal. In just one week, with just one single volunteer. Imagine all the others who don't go online, who don't ask for help, who don't happen to get referred to me, who don't know that appealing can work! This is literally the tip of the iceberg for those needing help, so the opportunity to talk to Dexcom on a peer-to-peer basis about improving coverage for others is something I desperately wished for but didn't think would/could happen.
The following day was the commercial shoot, whereas M was attacked by a horde of ants in her pants. This girl was so amped up that she literally would not stay still! So if you see a little girl in the Dexcom commercial that won't stop wiggling, just know that she was only 4 and was more interested in the ball off-camera than standing next to her boring mother! She was also enamored of fellow Dexcom Warrior Katelyn Prominski, who is a professional dancer with T1D.....and who was dancing in the shoot... and therefore M decided she'd also like to dance around during the shoot - haha!
While in studio, Kris Freeman, Olympic cross-country skier arrived to film, so of course I had to get a photo op with this T1D star! M was over it by that point, so grabbed her for a quick photo before running to catch our ride back to the hotel.
|Kris Freeman, Olympian|
After we were done with the shoot, we were able to spend the rest of the time in L.A. having fun. For a parent alone with a 4 year old over 2,500 miles away from home, this was basically spent riding the Metro, walking the Hollywood Walk of Fame, going to Trader Joe's & Starbucks way too many times, and being pulled into any store that happened to have a Disney character in the window. Of course there was a Dexcom and a pump site change while there, so I had to get a bit creative with the cold packs. Mini-fridge was stocked, so grabbed a cold bottle of Moet & Chandon and voila! success!
All in all, this experience was amazing. The Dexcom and Hawthorne Direct (production company) treated M like a little star, which for a 4 year old was beyond thrilling. It was nice to have the focus of her having Type 1 diabetes be a positive experience for once. A special thank you to Dexcom for giving real users of their product a chance to show our love and appreciation for this life-changing device!
Updated: The commercial is out!! Direct link on the Dexcom website
Or view it here:
For more information on Dexcom, visit www.dexcom.com.