Inside the Patient Entrepreneur’s Mind: Shai Rozen



Having a chronic illness can be challenging, and running your own business can be hard. No matter where you fit on the spectrum, we could all use a little motivation.  Our #InsidethePatientEntrepreneursMind blog series gives you insight and lifehacks on how to stay motivated from some of the most innovative patient entrepreneurs in the world.

Shai Rozen is the Co-Founder & CMO of Suggestic, an atificial intelligence tool to help tackle health and nutrition.

What motivated you to create a business addressing a disease you know so well?

Actually it’s not me with the disease, it was my father who passed away from T2D-related issues.

There are a number of things that came together that motivated me and my cofounder Victor to start Suggestic, but one of those was born out of the realization that all this suffering my dad went through was completely preventable. Every time I think about it it drives me a bit crazy.

What are some of the hurdles you perceive exist for people with your disease?

The biggest hurdle I see relates to “good” decision making. How do you navigate the myriad of options in front of you? Let’s take food for example, we know that there are relatively good and healthy options available in most places, but most of us tend to make the “wrong” choices. So how do you filter out all the noise? This is actually the focus of our work at Suggestic. Providing contextually-relevant healthy food recommendations that fir your personal dietary needs.

Who are some of your role models in your space?

There are some amazing people working hard to tackle type 2 diabetes and chronic disease in general but I’d like to specially recognize my team at Suggestic whose passion and effort are a continuous source of inspiration.

What is your goal beyond creating a successful business?

Simple, one word: impact. Of the positive kind.

What does Lyfebulb mean to you? How can we support you better? what are some of the biggest gaps today for a “young” entrepreneur?

A supporting community of likeminded and purpose-driven entrepreneurs. As entrepreneurs we constantly make assumptions about the way things work or about how people behave, so more forms of interaction between the members would be a great way to validate some of these assumptions.

How do you stay healthy and motivated to deliver?

Putting some time aside to take care of myself is key, but what truly keeps me motivated is two things: learning new things about health and seeing results when I make a change of any kind.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?

It has made a tremendous difference. It’s much like taking a shortcut. You piggyback on someone else’s experience and not only learn but also it saves you from making obvious mistakes. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to make mistakes and learn from them, but I’m pretty sure there will always be more mistakes to make and if you can stand on someone else’s shoulders and start ahead that’s a big blessing.

How can we draw more attention to user-driven innovation?

It’s funny to me that this is even a question. If you are building a tool for a certain type of user what makes you think that you know better than them? Everything we do at the company should ultimately benefit its users. Which by the way it’s what is wrong, in my opinion, with so many organizations that aim to benefit shareholders and not costumers. Now, you do need to listen creatively, meaning, focus more on the problem that they are having than how they think it should be solved.

How do you maintain work/life balance?

When you are lucky to work on something that not only you are passionate about but is also purpose driven, the lines between work and “life” get blurred.

Practically speaking, we all need to learn to prioritize and draw some lines to make sure we get time to re-energize and keep going.

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

Infinite energy and more hours in the day (there’s just a lot that needs to get done.), immortality and a magic wand that allows us to really understand each other.

What is your favorite song that gets you motivated?

It’s funny but every now and then I like to listen to Steve Jobs’ 1997 ad “The Crazy Ones”, it never aired.


Real Talk With Dave: What’s In My Diabetes Bag?

When you are first diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, sitting there in the hospital, you don’t really know what to expect and don’t know how T1D is going to change your life. You are given your very first blood glucometer and have no idea what it is, what it may be used for, and how you are going to have to carry it around with you wherever you go. You are given a plain, boring, and lifeless case to carry the major components to checking your blood sugar in: meter, lancing device, test strips, a few syringes, alcohol swabs, and some lancets, all in a tiny little carrying case. Where’s the fun in that?

Over the years of living with T1D, I’ve come to realize how if you want to thrive with your Diabetes, you must fully take control and turn it into your own. You have to OWN your disease. I’ve noticed several amazing Diabetic brands form such incredible Diabetic bags and meter cases, designed to fit our style and relate to our own individual needs for a person living with T1D on the go. I will be listing some of my favorite Diabetic branded meter cases and bags and hopefully it will inspire you to go out and purchase your own, allowing you to fully accept your Diabetes and love the amazing life you live!


Myabetic / The Myabetic meter cases are so amazing and allow you to show off your style however you want (and most people won’t even know you are carrying Diabetic supplies!). These meter cases and Diabetic bags come in a variety of colors, designs, and styles. They have a variety of Diabetic backpacks, cases, and purses, all with different compartments for specific T1D supplies!

Shop Casualty Girl / These meter cases are so fun for a person who fully understands the true struggles with T1D as they are these nicely sized bags, simple and clean, but have a funny phrase or saying on the bag, such as, “But First, Insulin” or “Test Strip Graveyard”. Any Diabetic can relate to all the fun sayings on the bag, opening up interesting discussions at the dinner table!


Genteel / The Genteel lancing device is a great way to give your fingers a break from pricking day and night as it is an all new device that allows you to prick other parts on your body, such as your palm or leg, and allows you to get a blood drop without any pain due to their vacuuming technology! When you receive your Genteel lancing device, you automatically get a meter case with their logo on it, big enough to carry the device and more.

These are just some of the many brands that have helped us Type 1 Diabetics get creative and have something more inspiring and stylish to carry all our Diabetes supplies in daily. It can be hard to have to carry everything around all the time, from backup pump supplies, to a whole supply of low treatment options, but with the help of these carefully thought out bags and kits, we can now LIVE in style and be the amazing Diabetics we all are!


Live well,



Real Talk With Dave: You Are NOT Alone

“You are not alone”. Just one thing they immediately tell you when you are diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Though this is so true, when one is first diagnosed, that is not necessarily something you would want to hear. It takes time and a personal connection with T1D on a unique level to fully understand this phrase.

When I was first diagnosed at the age of 11, I was still unclear as to what my life was turning out to be. I was frustrated, scared, and confused most of all. Out of politeness and respect, everyone would tell me, “you are not alone” and how millions of others fight the same fight daily and struggle to make ends meet with their Diabetes. However, I simply did not like that saying at the time. I hadn’t fully accepted or made peace with the fact that I had this disease to deal with now for the rest of my life or until there is a cure, causing me to feel as though nobody understood what I was going through and how no one could ever relate with me. Fast forward to today, I now know that is not the case AT ALL.

Take it from an actual Type 1 Diabetic, if someone ever says the phrase “you are not alone”, believe it, because that is actual truth right there. Over the past few months, I have been given the amazing privilege of actually meeting such awesome Type 1 Diabetics in person and just the few times I’ve spent with them, I’ve realized how we really are not alone. We all go low. We all go high. We all know what it feels like to be so sick of dealing with T1D every day and it being such a big deal in our lives. We know what it feels like to wear a device on our bodies 24/7 in order to stay alive. We know what needles feel like. And we simply know what pain feels like.

The few meet-ups I’ve been to where the majority were Type 1 Diabetics, there were countless times in which I actually saw one another with the full T1D package. Pump sites, medical devices, low/high treatment solutions, you name it! We all go through it and know EXACTLY what it is like.

I can remember being surrounded by other Diabetics and going low and having others around me offer to help and ask if I was feeling okay, simply because they knew what it feels like. Something about being so real with each other and experiencing similar situations can really build up trust and loyalty with one another, creating lasting and memorable friendships. Of all the wonderful T1D’s out there, whether on Instagram, YouTube, or just about anywhere else where we can share via social media our daily struggles, I constantly see others showing what they are dealing with and seeking support from each other, which is why the Diabetic community never ceases to amaze me at how kind everyone truly is. Seeing how others are doing at different parts of the day really keeps us all in the loop together and allows for discussion and a place to vent off on our T1D. None of us know what may happen with our Diabetes at any given point in our lives, which is why, when something does happen, we can always depend on one another for the right words and support we crave.

If you are in a bad place with your Diabetes and are feeling all alone, fret no more! Surround yourself with other Diabetics and don’t be afraid to completely vent off on your feelings towards T1D, chances are, everyone else will feel the exact same way. It always helps to have someone to turn to in any situation regarding your Diabetes for a sense of understanding and care. I can guarantee you will feel so much better about your Diabetes and will be so inspired to spread awareness in ending T1D. There are thousands of other Diabetics out there, in person and online, and several Diabetic organizations that are constantly up with ways to bring us closer together, allowing us to never feel alone.

Just remember, life is a beautiful gift and though Diabetes is a factor in our lives that we never wish we had, it makes it so much easier having each other to remind us that we can do anything as long as we stick together.


WE ARE NOT ALONE. Don’t forget that.


Live well,



Inside the Patient Entrepreneurs Mind: Dana Donofree

Having a chronic illness can be challenging, and running your own business can be hard. No matter where you fit on the spectrum, we could all use a little motivation.  Our #InsidethePatientEntrepreneursMind blog series gives you insight and lifehacks on how to stay motivated from some of the most innovative patient entrepreneurs in the world.

Dana Donofree is the Founder, CEO and Head Designer of AnaOno, a lingerie & loungewear line created specifically for those who’ve been affected by breast cancer and its related surgeries.

Dana sat down with Lyfebulb to tell us how she started the collection after being diagnosed with Infiltrative Ductal Carcinoma. Dana had a bilateral mastectomy with implant reconstruction. She was underwhelmed by the bra options for women in this category and devoted her recovery and career to creating a line that was functional and fashionable.

What motivated you to create a business addressing a disease you know so well?
Being a patient isn’t easy. But it’s not because of the doctor appointments, or the life disruption, or how to manage your loved ones, it’s because all you want is to feel like the person you were before it was interrupted. That is the part no one tells you about or explains how it will affect you on levels outside of the pain, sadness, or struggle you go through…it isn’t just physical, it’s incredibly mental. When I found myself lost, confused, and having no way to find the answers, the diagnosis started dictating parts of life that were never expected, like how I felt about myself, or how I wanted to express my individuality. It was then I woke up and realized I may not be the only facing these challenges. That I may not be alone. I needed to do something about it. For me, that was taking my experience, my background, and my talents and putting them to use. That guided me to launch AnaOno. I wanted to feel beautiful, I wanted to feel sexy, and pretty and it started with my foundation. The act of simply getting dressed in the morning became my most feared task of the day, that didn’t happen before my cancer.

What are some of the hurdles you perceive exist for people with your disease?
People hear breast cancer, they see Pink. Pink shows pretty, femininity, lightness. There is nothing about breast cancer that represents these words that pink is so easily associated with. There is destruction and darkness. These are the realities, they are not pink. They are not something to celebrate. I was diagnosed at 27 years old, my life was just beginning, the pink shower that fell upon me was completely unrelatable. Living as a patient is my reality. I have to constantly face the marketing reality that has been presented to everyone else, that is an everyday struggle.

Who are some of your role models in your space?
My role models are the mothers, sisters, friends, aunts, coworkers that are diagnosed every day. It isn’t our grandmother’s (or grandfather’s) disease anymore. Breast cancer does not discriminate. And although I am facing my 8th year as a patient advocate, I see too many friends and loved ones facing a new diagnosis. They give me strength, remembrance and hope that we will conquer this disease, but we cannot accept what has been done in the past, and we must pave our own path to ensure our future is a world in which we get one more day with the ones we love.

What is your goal beyond creating a successful business?
AnaOno is not just about selling bras. Yes, we sell bras, but it is more than that. It’s a community, a support system that you can rely on for important, tangible information. I don’t want anyone diagnosed with breast cancer to feel alone; that extends itself beyond providing solutions for your treatment, it’s about supporting and holding each other up when we feel like falling. AnaOno can help strengthen that community.

What does Lyfebulb mean to you? How can we support you better? what are some of the biggest gaps today for a “young” entrepreneur?
For Lyfebulb to take a focus on chronic disease, by not only supporting the patients living with it every day but supporting those that have the skills and background to help make a difference, is an important piece of development in our community. Like living day-to-day doesn’t challenge enough, taking the extra step to make those days just a little easier is the path many of us take after facing these unique challenges. I am so proud to be a part of the Lyfebulb family, so I can not only have their support but I can support others taking the path less traveled and adding on the challenge of launching a new business!

How do you stay healthy and motivated to deliver?
Staying healthy is always something I strive for but feel I often fall short. I know life is short. I want to make sure my body is treated in the best way possible, medical side effects can really take hold. Then add on top of that launching a business. I have to give myself time to unwind whenever possible. It may be dinner with my friends, it may be a moment of meditation or a walk through the park. Just a moment to let my mind rest, while my body may be tired. I hope to find my path to mental clarity on a daily basis. That is something I will always have to prioritize in my life.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
As a “young” entrepreneur, I know a lot, but I don’t know everything. Being open to criticism and feedback, using it to become stronger is very important in both personal and professional growth. It is also good to celebrate the wins or accomplishments. Great mentors will be there to celebrate with you!

How can we draw more attention to user-driven innovation?
Starting your own business, or inventing your own solution can be overwhelming, not to mention scary. Especially when you may not have all the skill sets needed, but I do believe with passion you can achieve anything you put your mind to. By telling stories of other entrepreneurs, who have launched their businesses, I can learn more through real voices and challenges. It also helps you to feel not so alone. It’s beneficial to hear the good, the bad and the ugly… because we all have those moments.

How do you maintain work/life balance?
Maintaining a work/life balance is hard when your work is your life. It may sound crazy, but I love every single moment of my life, and those that are involved, and those I get to meet because of AnaOno. It could be an introduction to another young woman facing a diagnosis, or another woman entrepreneur, or even teaching students how they can get started. My life is my passion, and my passion is my life.

If you had three wishes, what would they be?
That by the time my nieces and nephews grow into adults that they don’t have to be afraid when receiving a cancer diagnosis because treatments will be widely available.
For our society to see disparity as equal.
That no woman faced with a diagnosis feels alone in her life and her treatment.

What is your favorite song that gets you motivated?
Janet Jackson, Black Cat

#InsidethePatientEntrepreneursMind is a weekly blog series that highlights members of Lyfebulb’s Patient-Entrepreneur Circle. The Entrepreneur Circle is an educational and inspirational platform for all people living with or affected by chronic disease. Existing entrepreneurs will be available to educate new dreamers through the website and through live events. Check out last week’s featuring Johnnie Refvik. To read more or to apply to join the Entrepreneur Circle click here.

Inside the Patient Entrepreneurs Mind: Johnnie Refvik

Entrepreneur Series Questions- Lyfebulb Entrepreneur Circle Program 2018 + Introduction

What motivated you to create a business addressing a disease you know so well?  

My journey with diabetes started in 2009 when my mother’s last request was for me to get a physical shortly after her last days of battling cancer. I had spent the last few months of her illness driving to upstate New York from Brooklyn as often as possible, fueling up with soda, coffee, and candy. I wasn’t sleeping enough and the effects from stress were obvious. A physical, I reasoned, would probably do me well, even though I expected a clean bill of health.

I had always known diabetes was in my future; I had part of my pancreas removed as a teen from a sporting accident. I just hadn’t expected to get the diagnosis so quickly and so young in my 30s. Nor did I expect that I would be handed a blood glucose testing kit and a two-page “instruction” pamphlet at the hospital and then released. I thought my life was over. I didn’t understand what was happening and why it was happening to me.

Feeling sad, frustrated and unhappy I found myself frequently calling my doctor to learn more about coping with the disease. Throughout the learning process, I did my own research, met with countless diabetics experiencing the same issue and continued trying multiple products at the local pharmacy. None of these items made life any easier! They were too bulky, they didn’t always give accurate readings and I felt all of them were too expensive.

That’s when The SugarCube came to life! 

What are some of the hurdles you perceive exist for people with your disease?

Being Type 1 diabetic I know firsthand the struggles that people go through daily.  The struggle is real, and it’s difficult. Especially at the beginning, right after your diagnosis. The lack of information some Primary Care Doctors give you about your disease is scary.  You are instructed on how to take insulin and monitor your BG and sent on your way.  It’s the lack of knowledge and information that really hurts people.  The information is out there, but once you are told you are diabetic or could be, you kind of go numb.  You need your physician/clinician, to kind of hold your hand in understanding this new way of life especially in changing your dietary needs, activities, and stress level. This is very important to all of us.

Who are some of your role models in your space?  

My role models are the people I meet day to day that struggle and survive the obstacles of dealing with diabetes. My inspiration are the people who are pushing themselves physically and emotionally to show the world diabetes will not stand in their way of progress and their goals.


What is your goal beyond creating a successful business?  

Success is measured upon how much you yourself feel confident and proud of. I work daily to achieve a small goal every day, even if it is just taking a light jog during the winter in NY. It seems hard, but it is all about what you allow your mind and body to do. Business is the same, you do something small every day, have a strategy, attach your strategy to your passion and success is endless. I strive for my fellow diabetics to live longer and live happier.  I want to be able to help diabetics truly manage their condition through technology. Having a glucometer, insulin, supplies, a journal, and two big kits isn’t the way to do it anymore.  We need a change, and we plan to help with that.

What does Lyfebulb mean to you? How can we support you better? What are some of the biggest gaps today for a “young” entrepreneur?

To me, Lyfebulb is a group of likeminded individuals who share a common goal.  It’s a place to further develop the unmet needs of the medical space. Lyfebulb is a place that promotes innovation from the ground up.  Having platforms like Lyfebulb allows innovators to innovate. I am a member because inspiration helps drive me forward.

We are in hopes that our partnership with Lyfebulb will open up additional doors in terms of networking and partnerships. We love building on the foundation of our networks.  Looking to navigate the medical and financial niches in NYC alone is like looking for a unicorn.

I think some of the biggest gaps for a young Entrepreneur are networks and getting your voice heard.  Without an advocate supporting you it’s hard to make it beyond the idea phase.

How do you stay healthy and motivated to deliver?

I quickly learned the potential downfalls and complications with not managing my BG daily.   When I was diagnosed, my A1C was over 13.  My eyes and feet were tingly and it scared me.  I quickly changed my diet, started exercising and did ample research on what diabetes actually means. After 6 months I was down to an A1C of 6.2 and have maintained that level to present day.  I’m not going to lie, I am a little OCD with my glucose readings. I actually started to make it a game for myself, to have a better reading than the day before. This is one key component to The SugarCube App, allowing yourself to see yourself be better each day/week/month and get rewarded.  

My motivation comes in a variety of forms.  I have family members and friends with diabetes.  Wanting to provide them a way to live healthier lives has always been on the top of my list.  That drives me to jump head first into development.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?

Having the ability to work with mentors/advisors over the years have added great value not only to our start up, but personally as well.  I think looking at things from others perspective is key. I’ve been fortunate to have great mentors who were willing to take a chance on me and provide opportunities for growth. They have not just taught me what is important both personally and professionally; they have also given me several opportunities to shine. I know that I wouldn’t be in the position I am today if it weren’t for the impact and guidance of my mentors.

How can we draw more attention to user-driven innovation?  

That’s the question of the day. By getting the user to be involved with development. It’s much more effective if the user feels like you are listening to there needs.

How do you maintain work/life balance?

Balance?  What balance?  LOL…  Just kidding. Honestly, I’m a workaholic who must constantly remember that there is a great big beautiful world out there just waiting for me to engage with, so a regimen is in need. My day to day schedule starts with my morning breakfast (I love to cook), reading the news (mostly about the new tech coming out or inspirational stories), begin my work day-plugging away, hit the gym, back home to have dinner with my wife and discuss the craziness that transpired that day. Before bed I practice a light meditation and then prep for my next day. Sticking to a regimen is the best way to balance work and life, also having a solid structure of family and friends keeps you balanced.

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

I am about to have my first child, a little girl, and I wish and pray is she is born healthy and strong and grows up to be a beautiful and magnificent human being. (this maybe a 2 for 1)!

That my mother was still alive, to be here to see my progress with The SugarCube.  I know she would be very proud.   A day doesn’t go by where I don’t miss her.

It breaks my heart to watch children with diabetes, I wish to find a cure for them.

What is your favorite song that gets you motivated?

There are so many. I guess

#1 would be: “Am I wrong” – Nico & Vinz

Even though my wife laughs at me when I play it.  It still moves my soul.   

Real Talk with Dave: How To do Disneyland as a Diabetic

   We all know Disneyland is The Happiest Place on Earth, however, going to the park as a Type 1 Diabetic can be somewhat of a challenge and not always the happiest it could be. This past week, I had the privilege of spending my 21st birthday at Disneyland and I came across some minor challenges and things I had to figure out throughout the day, but through it all, I learned some valuable bits of knowledge to carry around with me whenever I am out on the go for a long period of time away from home. I have put together some helpful tips and tricks in making your trip to Disneyland, or any other long day trip by that token, a fun and enjoyable experience.


1/ Plan your day: When going to Disneyland, you may not want to worry about T1D getting in the way of your fun, however, it is very important, especially as a Diabetic, to plan out your day, what time you will arrive, leave, eat your meals, etc., so that you can arrange accordingly your day and ensure the most fun and less stress during your Disney day! When you know approximately what time things will take place, you can plan how many snacks you should bring to regulate your blood sugars throughout the day as you walk around the park, you can know what you will be doing and when, making sure you have all the right supplies in case of an emergency, and so on.

2/ Bring enough (and more) supplies: When going literally ANYWHERE as a Diabetic, it is always smart to have all the necessary supplies that will be of great help, whether in an emergency or not. Always planning ahead and preparing for the worst is key in making sure you have the best outing possible. When I go to Disneyland, I have a backpack with me at ALL times and in that backpack, I carry different pouches and cases full of backup pump sites, syringes (incase my pump were to somehow break), batteries, alcohol swabs, juice and glucose tabs, water, and so much more because nobody ever knows what may happen as the day goes by and it is better to have all the supplies readily available with you than having to leave the park and go home simply because your site went bad, perhaps. I typically advise that you bring a second backup of everything, just in case your first backup tends to fail somehow. Yes, your bag may be heavier than you would like at this point, but it is better to be safe than sorry!

3/ Stand your ground: As a Diabetic, one of the most frustrating things can be dealing with uneducated people (such as security or anybody else in the public eye) and having to explain what your Insulin pump or medications are for can be somewhat of a challenge (sometimes). When going through security, depending on the guard at the time, be prepared to explain your Diabetes to them and don’t let them force you in through the metal detector, resulting in your pump to breakdown from radiation. Simply explain the dangers of going through with a pump and most of the time, they are very understanding and kind, they just may have to pat you down or use a wand, which isn’t all that bad, again, better safe than sorry. Your right as a Diabetic allows you to carry all your supplies, food, and drinks with you at all times, as you are dealing with a chronic disease that shouldn’t be cared for lightly.


1/ Forget to stop and check: When at Disneyland, you’ll probably be so caught up in all the fun, that the last thing you will want to do is worry about your T1D. However, it is important that every now and then, you stop and take a rest to check your blood sugars and treat accordingly. You will have a much better time knowing that your numbers are just fine if you simply take mini breaks throughout the day to care for yourself!

2/ Show up to the park with an almost empty pump reservoir: It happens, but sometimes, we need to take a step back and think before we act. When going on a fun-filled day, we MUST always make sure we have a decent amount of Insulin in our pumps (or carry an extra vile of insulin) as you never know what emergencies you may run into. Also, when at Disneyland, you may run into foods and treats that you want to allow yourself to have and most of those foods may be high in carbs/sugar, requiring larger amounts of Insulin. When I know I will be out of the house for a full day, I always either change my pump site the night before, allowing for a full reservoir of Insulin or I just make sure I have a fresh new vile of Insulin that I carry around with me throughout the day incase my pump goes empty, in which depending on the weather, you will need to make sure your Insulin stays cool and out of direct sunlight or severe cold temperatures.

3/ Have only a few sources of sugar on hand: One of the scariest parts about T1D is going low and we all know the panic that comes with low blood sugars. Always make sure you have some form of sugar on hand throughout the day (depending on how long you will be away from home) and if you somehow run out of sugar as the day goes by, RESTOCK! Stop what you are doing and go buy some juice or candy right away, because you don’t know when your next low may hit and if you are not prepared and find yourself standing in a long line to pay for some sugar when you are low, it won’t be a fun time and that will add to your panic. Like mentioned above, ALWAYS be prepared!

To sum up, going to Disneyland is supposed to be a fun time for you, so to take out the stress and ensure that you will have a great day, try and follow these tips during your next adventure!  

Live well,



Inside the Patient Entrepreneur’s Mind with Sigurjón Lýðsson

Sigurjon Lydsson

Having a chronic-illness can be challenging, and running your own business can be hard. No matter where you fit on the spectrum, we could all use a little motivation.  Our #InsidethePatientEntrepreneursMind blog series gives you insight and life hacks on how to stay motivated from some of the most innovative patient entrepreneurs in the world.

Sigurjón Lýðsson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Medilync, a medical platform which builds cloud-based medical solutions where big data, IoT, and engagement are key to alleviating the burden of diabetes.

Sigurjón sat down with Lyfebulb to tell us how his father’s medical diagnosis with T1D, cancer and his short term memory lost motivated him to look for a solution that would help his family and medical provider manage the care of his father.

What motivated you to create a business addressing a disease you know so well?
My father has had Type I diabetes for apporx 40 years now. When growing up we usually didn’t notice that he had T1D, he never complained about it. Captain on a shipping vessel with 8-10 souls he was told he couldn’t do it. He never gave in. In later years he started to show symptoms of memory loss. We, his sons, would joke about that and so did he. But when he was diagnosed with cancer and it had spread to his brain, we got ever so more worried. At that time he had forgot if he’d measured his glucose or even if he injected or not. So when we were told his tumor would affect his memory I started looking for a solution for my dad. I could not find it! I still can’t as I am still trying to get it funded. I know I have the solution, but I fear it will be too late for my dad. If I can help anyone else live a better, safer life then I will be happy.

What are some of the hurdles you perceive exist for people with your disease?
Diabetes is one of the toughest disease out there. But information flow in general is what is the biggest hurdle today. Information from patients to clinicians is too cumbersome and usually only verbal from the patient to clinicians. We have a solution that has changed that.

Who are some of your role models in your space?
Not necessary in my field but Juan Mata Garcia is my latest role model. Kind person to those who need it, gives 1% of his Manchester United income to others. Bill Gates is another one I admire. Using his wealth to find a cure for polio for example, is just amazing.

What is your goal beyond creating a successful business?
Help people live better and safer lives.

What does Lyfebulb mean to you? How can we support you better? What are some of the biggest gaps today for a “young” entrepreneur?
Funding a company doing a hardware for diabetes is really difficult so anything in that area would definitely help.

How do you stay healthy and motivated to deliver?
As I am 75% likely, due to genes, to get Type II diabetes I do take care of my nutrition and I do cross-fit 5 times a week. That gives me the energy I need to get ahead of the curb.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Mentorships are key to new companies to a difficult market.

How can we draw more attention to user-driven innovation?
Solely by involving the users more.

How do you maintain work/life balance?
I would always be lying if I’d say that I can control it, but I do my best.

If you had three wishes, what would they be?
I could create a legacy which saves lives 2) My family be safe from harm 3) Peace on earth ☺.

What is your favorite song that gets you motivated?
My own song Unity 😉

#InsidethePatientEntrepreneursMind is a weekly blog series that highlights members of Lyfebulb’s Patient-Entrepreneur Circle. The Entrepreneur Circle is an educational and inspirational platform for all people living with, or affected by chronic disease. Existing entrepreneurs will be available to educate new dreamers through the website and through live events. To read more or to apply to join the Enrepreneur Circle click here.

Real Talk with Dave: Tips and Tricks on Making Peace with your Diabetes

All Diabetics know how difficult it can be to find a common ground with their Diabetes daily, between the highs, the lows, the fears, and the pain, however, at some point, this can lead to a burn-out phase in our Diabetic lives, making it much harder to keep on moving forward. At the start of the new year, I have almost gained a new mindset for my Diabetes in which I am a bit more relaxed, knowing that it will all be okay in the end, that is why I want to share some of my own personal tips and tricks on how I manage my Diabetic stress & anxiety in the best way possible.

Over the past 9 years of living with T1D, I have come to realized that Diabetes is a really hard thing to go through in life, but finding ways to cope with your Diabetes as much as possible can be so rewarding in the long run! Don’t do Diabetes alone. Find a group of people to lift you up and motivate you to keep up the hard work you do! Diabetes is already a stressful thing to deal with, that is why these three helpful tips I use daily may help in finding a light at the end of the Diabetic tunnel:

1) Plan ahead – When out and about with T1D, many times you may not want to even think about Diabetes and don’t want it to get in the way of your outing, no matter where you are headed, however, always being prepared for the worst is the best way to avoid any unwanted stress, as T1D is a serious disease that needs to be treated and cared for 24/7. Just imagine how it would feel to be an hour or more away from your house, all to realize you forgot your Insulin at home… and your blood sugar is high (that wouldn’t be fun). In that case, I definitely recommend making a checklist (yes, an actual list) where you list all the necessary items that have top priority in managing your Diabetes on any outing, whether at school, work, and especially on a vacation. Each time you plan on going somewhere, be sure to check off the list prior to your outing and make sure you have all you need, and maybe even some extra supplies, all packed in a designated pouch or bag in which you can transport quickly on your way out. Better to be over prepared and over packed than the other way around.

2) Self-talk – One thing that I still struggle with is being in a constant fear of going low or excessively high when I am in a space (such as school) in which I cannot get out of very easily or am surrounded by many others who may not be aware of my T1D. In cases like these, I feel as though it is strictly up to me to take care of myself and make sure I am okay at all times, but, as we all know, Diabetes is an unpredictable disease. We all wish to never have lows or highs at certain times, but they can honestly happen whenever, wherever. In that case, let it be. If you go low, treat. If you go high, treat. Yes, you may have a bit of anxiety in having to deal with that all alone sometimes, but it is more important that you treat and take care of yourself, rather than the horrible outcomes of a severe high or low. The theory of self-talk comes into place by you having to mentally think to yourself that everything is going to be just fine. Think how you’ve been low and high before and made it out just fine each time, some were more difficult than others, but somehow, you managed to survive it… and like a pro!

3) Finding a support system – Most of the work I do in the Diabetic community is done via Instagram, @type1livabetic, where I try and encourage other T1D’s to look at life in a positive light and make life any way they want, regardless of their Diabetes. I didn’t always have that intention though. During my first few years as a Diabetic, I didn’t fully feel motivated or see the positive side to Diabetes as I do now. How did I overcome that? Well, I began to find other Diabetics via social media and just…talk! I began to connect with them and start talking with others on the true daily struggles we face and the feeling of connecting with someone who simply understands EVERYTHING you are feeling is indescribable. I found my support group online, but there are many other ways to do so. There are many in-person support groups at local hospitals, nowadays, a new trend is hosting a Diabetic meet-up, and simply attending a local Diabetic organization research walk or event can be life-changing and memorable.

In short, if you want to find peace with your Diabetes, give these three tips a try! Always have your medical supplies (and a backup plan) ready and with you in an accessible manner at all times, remember to think only good thoughts to yourself, especially in the hardest times, and find a group of people that you can be 100% yourself around, Diabetic and all, and hang on for the ride, because Diabetes is a huge roller coaster with many ups and downs. Find what brings you peace with your Diabetes and go with it!

Live well,

























Real Talk With Dave: Diabetics Take Over Disneyland

Ever since I was diagnosed with Type 1, I had always felt like something was missing. I was missing the social aspect of Diabetes. I had always wanted to be friends with another Diabetic or perhaps be a part of a Diabetic group of some sort. I had tried and tried to find a group, but for some reason, things weren’t working out for me. When I was in high school, I decided to go to a support group for T1D in hope of finding other Diabetics my age who I could be friends with and connect on a greater level with, but for some reason, it didn’t do the trick for me.

Fast forward to this year, this new year, 2018, things changed for the better. I had always been shy around new people at first and somehow developed a form of anxiety from not knowing the people I was with and not feeling a sense of comfort and safety around those I was with, however, this year, I made it my goal to get out of my comfort zone and be more involved in the Diabetic community and do more than just connecting with other Diabetics via Instagram.

During the first week of this new year, I saw an ad for a Type 1 Diabetic meet-up at Disneyland hosted by the organization, Beyond Type 1. If you know me, you would know that I am obsessed with all things Disney and am in love with Disneyland, so I felt like that was a sign that I just had to go. After thinking about it, going back and forth, I remembered my goal for this year, to get more involved and out of my comfort zone, and so I did, and boy am I glad I did!

On Sunday, January 7, 2018, I woke up bright and early to go to the Happiest Place on Earth to meet up with a group of some very amazing Diabetics doing some very amazing things!

I hadn’t met any of them before, only through social media, and some I didn’t even know via Instagram, so I was a bit nervous, but very excited to meet everyone. As I walked into Disneyland alone in search for the group, I couldn’t help but be filled with thrill and excitement as I was finally going to be with people that I could be completely myself around, as could they, and we wouldn’t necessarily have to worry about Diabetic things as we were all together, dealing with the same exact things.

As I finally found the group, I was ever so kindly greeted by some of the nicest and realist people out there. Everyone who came to the meet-up were rocking their Dexcoms (CGMs), Insulin Pumps, blood glucometers, and Insulin pens. When I found that everyone was wearing their sites so proudly, I suddenly felt very comfortable to be a part of such an amazing group. I had never been around Diabetics who seemed to understand completely all the struggles from wearing sites in public to dealing with lows and highs on the go, so it was very refreshing to stop and just think how it was okay to experience all the Diabetic issues that day as literally everyone was dealing with lows and highs throughout the day.

As we walked around the park, went on some fun rides, ate lunch and had ice cream, we all shared some really special moments! Comparing Insulin pumps, recommending Endocrinologists, treating lows, sharing diagnosis stories, hashing out all the daily struggles, and pumping Insulin, we all just understood it. Most of us had never met face to face, yet because we were all Diabetic, we instantly became friends because of that one special bond we shared. As the day progressed, we all got closer with each other and shared many laughs and good times with one another.

For once, I was very comfortable being a Type 1 Diabetic because this time, I wasn’t the only one. It almost felt like we were the honorary guests of Disneyland that day as we all knew how hard T1D is and we came to celebrate for a day the hard work and effort we put each day into our health! By the end of the day, we had all become the best of friends, leaving us with nothing but hope and happiness!

This was honestly one of the best Diabetic days I had ever experienced in my 9 years of living with Type 1. After seeing how each person from the group had dealt with their health so confidently, I felt so hopeful about the future of living with Diabetes and I felt as though I can keep on going in this fight against T1D.

We all came from different backgrounds and we all had a different story to tell, but when we all came together, we felt like the most powerful group of people as that is what Diabetics truly are, brave and amazing people!

So don’t be afraid to try new things that will benefit you and your overall sense of wellbeing. Had I not gone to this T1D meet-up, I would have been feeling a bit lonely and depressed about my Diabetes. Now, I feel energized and revived in a sense, with new hope and assurance for all things Diabetes! Maybe even you could start a Diabetic meet-up in your town, you may end up meeting lifelong friends and finding hope of a cure one day!


Live well,



How to Turn Your LYFE on in 2018

The holiday season is the best time of the year, filled with family, food, and laughter! As much as everyone loves gingerbread cookies, pumpkin bread, and all of the holiday drinks, too much of a good thing can take a toll on our health goals. Here are some recommendations on how to start the new year off strong, and stick to your goals!

  1. Make sure your health and fitness goals are attainable! Setting goals that are challenging, but reachable, is key. An example of this could be, going for a 30-minute walk or run everyday, cutting refined sugar out the diet, consuming less meat (especially red).  For Type 1’s, having a lower A1C, eating less carbohydrates, or food logging daily could be great goals!
  2. Don’t forget about your mental health.  This time of year drives motivation to get healthy and “fit”, but often, we forget to take care of our mental health. The holidays can be a stressful time, and it is important to recharge mental so you can start 2018 fresh! Yoga, meditation, reading, journaling–  anything that brings you joy and releases stress should be a priority, just as much as a hard workout!
  3. Find a friend! Whether it is a workout buddy, an “Instagram friend”, or just a close friend who you share your goals with– it is important to have someone to share the journey with, and keep you accountable!

Remember to give yourself some credit! Celebrate the victories along the way, big or small.  

Real Talk with Dave: You Don’t Know What It’s Like To Feel So Low


            Each day, we are each given a choice as Diabetics. A choice to take the best care of our health or the choice to be laid back and not as careful. Diabetes is hard work and sometimes, we go through a burnout phase where we may be care free of our Diabetes and not put as much focus on it as usual. However, each day, whether we work hard at our T1D or not, we each face lows, highs, sick moments, and feelings that are indescribable. The main focus I’d like to discuss is primarily on lows.

Lows are the absolute worst feeling a Diabetic can get. Low in terms of blood sugar, energy, focus, strength, and mental capacity. Lows take so much out of us. They make us feel like we’re dying in a sense, and yes that sounds a bit dramatic, but that is the honest description that a Diabetic will say it feels like, just ask any person with Type 1 Diabetes. I often say that lows “hurt” and that could mean a variety of things. My body, my muscles, my bones, my mind, or even my emotions. Lows have a way of playing with the person who it decides to attack.

As a Diabetic of 9 years, I have learned several different ways to cope with and manage lows in all sorts of settings, as each low is unique and different, yet all have some similar symptoms. Throughout the years, I have tried to explain to people who don’t have Diabetes what it’s really like to have a low blood sugar. Though many people just don’t understand, some do try and empathize with me and see how horrible they can be. As much of a description I may give, I always mention though that a non-Diabetic will truly never know what it feels like to have a low, as much as I try and describe it. The pain, the fear, and the shock it has on the person is something I wish nobody had to face.

Some lows are better than others. Low blood sugars in the 60mg/dL-70mg/dL range are not so bad, but anything below 50mg/dL, that’s where things can get scary. Severe lows contain symptoms such as shakiness, sweating, fast heart beat, fear, panic, nausea, lethargy, etc., just to name a few, but, as mentioned, each low is different and each Diabetic can feel their own unique symptoms. I think most of us know the cause of a low blood sugar, but for those who don’t know, intense exercise, too much insulin, and not enough consumption of carbohydrates/sugars are the main ways low blood sugars come to be.

The reason I am writing about lows are to mainly spread awareness on this issue. I can remember countless times in which I simply avoided doing certain activities or sat in fear during a certain situation (such as classes, work, travel, etc.) as I was constantly worrying about going low. High blood sugars are different in the sense in which you may feel very sick still, but you have a larger and somewhat safer timeframe to treat the blood sugar before it gets too serious. Yes, I have had Diabetes for 9 years, but I almost feel as though I will never fully get over my constant fear of lows. Lots of people have shared over time that they are very afraid to go to bed each night as they are worried they’ll go low and not be able to wake up from that low and that is exactly why I am writing on this specific topic, to share what us Diabetics truly go through on a daily basis.

Diabetics are fearless and I think it’s safe to say that we put up with so much and have gone through so much over the years of being Diabetic. We face so many scary and life altering challenges every moment of every day, most of which goes unnoticed, that is why we must continue to spread awareness, seek support from as many people as possible, and create a safe environment in which if emergencies do arise, we will at least feel as though we are in good hands.

Diabetes is tough, but we are strong. Diabetes is scary, but we are brave. Diabetes is a big deal, but we are so much bigger than this disease.

Live well,



LYFESTORY: Lauren Plunkett, Type 1 Diabetic RDN, CDE, & Fitness Instructor

I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), fitness instructor, public speaker, and proudly live my life as a healthy person with Type 1 Diabetes for more than 24 years. Like many of you, my story began with the realization that I needed to change my eating habits and exercise routine. I also needed to wholeheartedly embrace the fact that I have type 1 diabetes, but most of all I simply wanted to live better.


I could define myself in many ways based on my experiences, but most of all I am determined, strong-willed, and not a quitter. So, I raised the bar on myself and found a way. Now, my role is to pay it forward and share my knowledge.


My professional goal is to support people with T1D of all ages with nutrition education specific to their individual needs with regular exercise. Nothing makes me more excited than to work with athletes with T1D! I am very driven to provide education that I would have found valuable when I was a teenager. My philosophy is evidence-based through sports nutrition research but also from many years of personal trial and error while becoming more physically fit.  


One thing I have learned is that people with T1D are all at different stages of glucose management. Some may be thriving with what seems like effortless blood glucose control, while others struggle with the basics. Keeping track of test strips, dosages, and technology, can be so overwhelming! I believe in meeting a person where they are in the learning process because it’s so easy to cave under the pressure of perfect nutrition and an impressive A1c.


T1D management is a partnership within all the other aspects of what makes us who we are. Hemoglobin A1c does not define us. We are individuals first. Individuals with unique nutritional needs, interests, and fitness goals.


When I present education I often say that I did not become a nutrition expert the very moment I was diagnosed with T1D. It takes a massive amount of effort and will-power to master diabetes and I had my own struggles for years before finding my method of success. And that’s when lifelong health maintenance begins. This is one reason why I see myself in every person I meet with T1D and I am such a fan of anyone putting in the work.  

Social Media

Instagram: @vegetitian

Interests - Select all that apply