Diabetes Forecast

Diabetes Talk Radio Connects in Spanish

By Lindsey Wahowiak , ,

Beatriz Domínguez (left) and Christina Rodríguez first met in person to have this photo taken.

Haga clic aquí para leer la versión en español.

When you hear Beatriz Domínguez and Christina "Kiki" Rodríguez chatting on their Internet radio show, DSMA ¡En Vivo!, you'd think the two were old friends. And indeed, since starting the show in summer 2012, they've talked frequently on and off the air. But the truth is, the Spanish-language diabetes radio cohosts had never met in person—until now.

"Just thank social media," says Rodríguez, 28, of Chicago, noting that both women are very active on social media, including Twitter. "This is how we've come to build our relationships," not to mention the show itself.

Want to hear DSMA ¡En Vivo!?
Visit blogtalkradio.com/diabetessocmed to hear it live or download the latest episode.

DSMA ¡En Vivo! is the Spanish-language version of DSMA Live, a radio show by and for people living with diabetes. The initials stand for Diabetes Social Media Advocacy, an online network that provides support, discussion, and advocacy for people affected by diabetes. Its radio programs are sponsored by the Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation, a nonprofit group in Indiana that offers education on and discussion of diabetes-related issues.

The idea of a show for Spanish speakers came about in 2011, when Domínguez, 38, of Niles, Ill., saw a live taping of DSMA Live. She thought it could be powerful to have a similar resource for the Latino community, which has nearly twice the risk for diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.

Once she got the green light to start the show, Domínguez, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2001, knew there was only one person she'd want as cohost: Rodríguez, whose @kikisbetes Twitter feed was a popular source of diabetes information. Rodríguez was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 7. "She was my first option with no doubt," Domínguez says. "She's a very quick, smart person who knows a lot about diabetes and how to manage it."

DSMA ¡En Vivo! garners an audience of up to 800 listeners per episode (including downloads) and airs every other Tuesday on Blog Talk Radio. The weekend before, the two hosts chat about topics they'd like to cover on that week's show and invite guest speakers. The talk-show format allows both Domínguez and Rodríguez the freedom to discuss the things that matter to them: Topics have included everything from workplace issues to eating disorders. They record the show live from their separate homes, using free recording and video-chat programs.

For more on how diabetes affects Latinos, plus information about upcoming events, visit diabetes.org/latinoprograms.

"What we do is we basically have this conversation," says Rodríguez. "Sometimes, if I know Bea has experience [with a topic] or has a story, I'll pose a question on the air. We play off each other. It's been an adventure." The stories are key. "We are not giving any medical advice," Rodríguez adds. "We bring people to tell their stories."

As with other areas of the diabetes online community, or DOC, Domínguez says the show resonates with listeners because it's based on people's lives—not just doctors' orders. Having hosts with type 1 and type 2 diabetes also adds some diversity. "We bring different perspectives," Domínguez says. "You can connect to other people who actually understand what you're feeling."



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