People to Know 2017: Stacey Simms
From the opposite side of the United States, her voice rings clear across the line, the smooth and confident tone of a person who has obviously been in the broadcast medium for decades. But it’s more than that. What you may not know about Stacey Simms is that her underlying strength comes from real life experience and heartfelt love. You see, just before her son turned 2 years old, she received the news that he had type 1 diabetes.
Stacey admits to it being scary in the beginning. But being the proactive person that she is, she began a blog. “The blog became an outlet for me to deal with the emotions and the changes and the difficult days and nights that we had,” she says. “By writing the blog, I was connected with a lot of other people. It lifted the burden just to share it, to realize that we were not alone.”
This belief in connecting led her to produce and host her own podcast, Diabetes Connections, which has garnered her some well-deserved recognition. “We went from 125 listeners the first week to 3,000 people every week,” Stacey says. The show is a mix of interviews with people affected by diabetes as well as personal stories from Stacey’s experiences as a diabetes mom.
Stacey says she works hard to make the podcast a resource and to have fun while producing it. She keeps in mind that this disease is different for everyone and wants to provide good information and human stories. “When you have diabetes, it can be extremely isolating. It can be scary, and it doesn’t have to be,” she says. “There is no reason to feel like you’re alone. There is something out there that speaks to you. If it’s my podcast, great! If it’s a magazine, if it’s a conference, if it is coffee with someone in your town—just reach out, because help is there.”
The Author: Jonathan Shuffield has worked in the media industry for over 20 years. As a host and performer on past TV shows Damn!Sexy Cooking, Toast and Coffee, and The In Box and podcasts The Damn!Sexy Radio Hour, Ash&J: That’s Graceless, and currently The Martini Lounge with Jonathan & Sergey, he learned the art of entertainment early and eventually came to realize he doesn’t need to hide his type 2 diabetes. With the success of the LGBT/Liberal radio talk show Outspoken, Jonathan has become a bold voice in the world of entertainment and politics.