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Under one umbrella

Local resident launches online diabetes directory

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When Gina Capone of Valley Stream was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2000, she began scouring the Internet to find someone with diabetes whom she could talk with; someone who knew what she was going through. Capone’s aunt was the only person she knew with diabetes, and her aunt’s case was filled with complications.

“It scared me to death,” Capone, 34, said of being diagnosed with diabetes. She was afraid that what happened to her aunt would happen to her.

Later that year, Capone found a few online diabetes message boards and forums, and found thousands of people going through the same struggle. In 2001, she started a message board dedicated to diabetes talk, connecting those who have the disease with medical professionals, offering its users the latest in medical breakthroughs and news. “We would host chats with certified diabetes educators,” Capone said.

During the last nine years, the South High graduate — who freelances as a graphic and web designer — started four diabetes-related sites. Some of her sites, Capone said, are for social networking, while others are informational, underscoring where to find the newest technology and medicine to battle diabetes. Her newest Web site — TheDiabetesResource.com — is the ultimate guide for everything diabetes, she said. “I basically took it 10 more levels up,” Capone said.

The site, which launched Oct. 1, connects those with diabetes to more than 2,500 support groups around the country, and offers updates on clinical trials, medical breakthroughs and local fundraisers. “I could never find it all in one place,” Capone said. “This has support groups and outlines other conditions related to diabetes. They just go hand-in-hand. We have a listing of more than 9,000 endochronologists. Now people can see it all and it’s free.”

As of now, Capone said the Web site has garnered more than 1,800 visitors, and more than 12,000 page views. She said she would like to see more user traffic, but it’s encouraging to see users peruse at least eight pages per visit. “It’s been a small visitor base, but when they come, they go eight pages deep,” she said. “That’s the most important thing.”

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