Title

Personal Stories

Neil Israel, master animator and diabetes educator

Managing diabetes and all of its digital health components can be complicated and demanding at times. Keeping up with technology trends, adjusting blood sugars daily, and monitoring our self-care takes diligence.

Neil Israel, master animator and diabetes educator

We all have different learning styles. Some people are naturally inclined to grasp tech and science, while others need more assistance.

Animated learning is a teaching tool that enhances the comprehension of complex concepts.

Well-designed animation provides scholastic benefits by simplifying the learning process and removing the misunderstanding of diabetes care. By translating abstract ideas into images, we gain a deeper understanding of the message presented to us and our role. T1D Strong had the chance to sit down with Neil Israel, co-founder of In-Range Animation and one of  StartUp Health’s T1D Moonshot Transformers.

About Neil Israel

Israel was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) as a child in 1980. He had no relatives with the disease and lacked the diabetes tech and modern conveniences we have today: insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring, and diabetes management apps. “I was on one of the first glucometers for home use. No one even uses that word anymore; it’s a blood test. I was diagnosed in the first grade—no family history. I didn’t know anything about the (genetic) connection back then. It’s really interesting to me now. My grandmother was diagnosed with type 2 due to different factors. I was diagnosed at a tough time in terms of how people dealt with the disease. There’s a lot of talk now about diabetes stigma, especially as a child. Many people told me that I would be dead by 30. I mean, who tells that to a kid?”

If type 1 diabetes is considered a lesser-known disease today, it was even more so back then, and the misconceptions surrounding the condition were even more pronounced. Today, Israel uses the Omnipod 5 insulin pump and the Dexcom G6 continuous glucose monitor (CGM) for insulin therapy. Israel grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, where his mother was involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). “Since my mom was active with JDRF, I’ve had a connection with them for a long time. They’re a really good organization.”

After graduating from the New College of Florida, Israel received his Master of Science in Project Management from Boston University. Israel and his wife Suzie, also a Kansas City native, now reside in Gainesville, Florida, where they built Sketchology Studios. Suzie, a web developer for the University of Florida, co-founded In-Range Animation with Neil. Sketchology morphed into In-Range, with the predominant focus on diabetes. 

“It’s a full-time job for me and two full-time jobs for her,” said Israel. With their combined background in web development and design expertise, they hope to enhance healthy outcomes for patients. In-Range Animation inspires audiences and companies to imagine diabetes through animation. The couple had a vision to help those recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. “Diabetes education most often occurs at the point of diagnosis or provider appointments. Neither is conducive to learning.”

In-Range Animation

Diabetes.Made.Visible

“The most important thing is simplifying complex messages through visual communication,” Israel said. “One of the main things for us is to engage people with the story—how does someone get the help they need.” Helping less fortunate individuals and balancing inequity are important to In-Range’s vision. “We want to work on projects and ensure that everybody gets the messages they need, 70% of people with type 1 are not in range, and there have been studies where they’ve been able to ebb that flow with education, but in general you’ve got only 30% in range. A lot of it has to be psychosocial. Our goal is to be able to deliver messages. Our vision is that by the end of 2026, one in every 10 people with type 1 diabetes will have learned from our videos in one way or another. 

The Power of Animation

Animated videos are tools to support and teach concepts that will stay with you. “My focus is on the tech sector, specifically biotech, because these clients’ stories are literally changing the world,” said Israel.  He learned early in his career that storytelling and brand identity go hand in hand. Israel found that animation was the best way for him to capture a message. You can reach more people when an idea is lighthearted and user-friendly. Sketches paint pictures that stick in people’s minds.

DiabetesGo!

One of In-Range Animation’s current projects is an animated curriculum called DiabetesGO! “It’s going to be something that is built over time. This year, our goal is to do as many educational projects as possible in partnerships with non-profits and build that curriculum.” Through micro-learning lessons, Israel hopes to spread diabetes awareness and education, particularly to underserved communities. Even Israel has made discoveries through his videos. “Something I didn’t learn until recently is that exercise can lower your blood sugar, but it can also raise your blood sugar with certain physical activities, like weight lifting.”

DiabetesMine Innovation Summit

Israel recently presented DiabetesGo at the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit, an event fueled by T1D technology, community health, and education solutions. At the conference, Israel was excited to see presentations on testing initiatives and companies working to find a T1D cure.

“Cellular research into curing T1D—what they’re doing is amazing.” Katy Digovich’s Minutia, a biotech company focused on cell therapies and biocompatible nanosensors, presented at the conference.

StartUp Health T1D Moonshot Transformer

In March 2023, StartUp Health and The Helmsley Charitable Trust launched the T1D Moonshot Fellowship Community. StartUp’s mission is to build and support health tech companies by spotlighting new innovative approaches to cure diseases.

The T1D Moonshot provides education and support to scientists, entrepreneurs and innovators working on preventing, managing and curing type 1 diabetes. The In-Range Animation team created an animated explainer video introducing their product to StartUp Health. As T1D Moonshot Transformers, Neil and Suzie Israel hope to expand diabetes education to all walks of life.

Diabetes Inequity

Receiving the news you have a chronic disease – can be a jolt to your system. Your mind is in shock and can’t process the dozens of steps and techniques you must learn.

With its unique approach to tackling diabetes education problems, In-Range Animation hopes to find solutions for healthcare disparities (racial/ethnic, socioeconomic and geographical). Individuals with lower income levels are at higher risk of developing diabetes-related complications. Israel aims to influence and educate on diverse topics like inequity and disease management programs, particularly type 1 diabetes. He tries to help clients find alternative ways to spread their message. Through informative, engaging animation, In-Range provides resources to underprivileged demographics. The videos streamline ways to enrich the lives of individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Adaptation is Key

Simplifying complex ideas is what Israel does best. Whether it’s diabetes awareness or biotechnology – In-Range explains intricate concepts with fun, entertaining lessons. With a detailed discovery process, he guides clients through different analogies to help bring their stories to life in a lighthearted way. “To me, adaptation is the key to everything,” said Israel. “To be in any kind of environment and adapt— I think constantly adjusting to things is a part of life.”

Evolving Diabetes Technologies

Technology has revolutionized diabetes care, with CGMs, apps and insulin pumps playing an integral role. “I just feel like everyone should be moving over to CGM, at this point, even type 2.” I told my dad, who’s type 2, this is less painful, and it’s objectively giving you hundreds of times more data.”

In-Range Animation recently worked on a CGM video for a distributor. “We find it easy to work with people with the same goal. Our mission is to increase the longevity and quality of life for people with type 1 through animated education. It can take a lot of forms.”

Israel currently has several initiatives he’s excited about. In the past, In-Range’s clients have included Abvance Therapeutics, Inspira Therapeutics, Glucose Revival, Project Insulin and JDRF. “We’re talking to a lot of companies that are our partners in StartUp Health about collaborating.” Any companies seeking branding solutions to communicate their message can contact Israel on the website. “We’d love to tell your story. We love to help companies that make things for people with diabetes and send their message.”

Latest News

Read all
T1D Strong NewsAchieving the Milestone - 100 Articles Published!

We're just getting started! Committed to empowering the T1D community, we continue to share knowledge and stories.

T1D Team

T1D Team

T1D Strong NewsIntroducing Kelsey McShay: A New Voice at T1DStrong!

Kelsey McShay joins T1DStrong, sharing her stories and insights.

T1D Team

T1D Team

T1D Strong NewsCelebrating a Milestone: 1000+ Followers on Our Social Media Platforms!

We've surpassed 1000 followers on social media, a significant milestone in growing our Type 1 Diabetes community!

T1D Team

T1D Team

Read all

Related Articles

The latest news, technologies, and resources from our team.

Glucose Goddess® Laura Lastoria is Redefining T1D Healing through Humor
Personal StoriesGlucose Goddess® Laura Lastoria is Redefining T1D Healing through Humor
International Wellness Coach Lisa La Nasa on Thriving with Diabetes 
Personal StoriesInternational Wellness Coach Lisa La Nasa on Thriving with Diabetes 
Meet Diabetes Virtuoso Ginger Vieira
Personal StoriesMeet Diabetes Virtuoso Ginger Vieira
A Chat with T1D Influencer Sami Parker on Insulin Resistance and Resilience
Personal StoriesA Chat with T1D Influencer Sami Parker on Insulin Resistance and Resilience
Finding the Rhythm: Singers and Musicians with Type 1 Diabetes
Personal StoriesFinding the Rhythm: Singers and Musicians with Type 1 Diabetes
A Conversation with UK Diabetic Dad Paul Sandells
Personal StoriesA Conversation with UK Diabetic Dad Paul Sandells
Diabetes Dad, Author and Activist Tom Karlya
Personal StoriesDiabetes Dad, Author and Activist Tom Karlya
Race Car Drivers with Type 1 Diabetes
Personal StoriesRace Car Drivers with Type 1 Diabetes
Managing Type 1 Diabetes in the Workplace
Personal StoriesManaging Type 1 Diabetes in the Workplace
Scott K. Johnson on Diabetes Resilience, Technology, and Finding His Voice in the T1D Community
Personal StoriesScott K. Johnson on Diabetes Resilience, Technology, and Finding His Voice in the T1D Community
Meet Sarah Petti – Diabetes and Women’s Health Advocate
Personal StoriesMeet Sarah Petti – Diabetes and Women’s Health Advocate
 T1D Athlete Issac Traudt Scores Big in Sweet 16
Personal Stories T1D Athlete Issac Traudt Scores Big in Sweet 16
Top Nutrition Tips from Registered Dietitian Rachel Stahl Salzman
Personal StoriesTop Nutrition Tips from Registered Dietitian Rachel Stahl Salzman
3 T1D Supermodels Making a Splash on the Runway
Personal Stories3 T1D Supermodels Making a Splash on the Runway
Mary Tyler Moore – The First T1D Celebrity Advocate
Personal StoriesMary Tyler Moore – The First T1D Celebrity Advocate
Unstoppable: Athletes with Type 1 Diabetes
Personal StoriesUnstoppable: Athletes with Type 1 Diabetes
Entrepreneur and Advocate Danica the Diabetic
Personal StoriesEntrepreneur and Advocate Danica the Diabetic
DiabetesSangha’s Peter Friedfeld on his Misdiagnosis and Managing the Ups and Downs of T1D
Personal StoriesDiabetesSangha’s Peter Friedfeld on his Misdiagnosis and Managing the Ups and Downs of T1D
Trevor Williams – DiabetesMine Patients Voice Scholarship Winner and T1D Advocate
Personal StoriesTrevor Williams – DiabetesMine Patients Voice Scholarship Winner and T1D Advocate
Kerry Murphy - Founder of FOLLOWT1Ds Advocates for Schools to Remote Monitor Students with T1D 
Personal StoriesKerry Murphy - Founder of FOLLOWT1Ds Advocates for Schools to Remote Monitor Students with T1D 
Amy Tenderich –T1D Visionary and Founder of DiabetesMine Innovation Days
Personal StoriesAmy Tenderich –T1D Visionary and Founder of DiabetesMine Innovation Days
Meet Gina Anzures—Artist and Advocate Extraordinaire
Personal StoriesMeet Gina Anzures—Artist and Advocate Extraordinaire
T1D Expert, Lucía Feito Allonca on the Importance of Advocacy
Personal StoriesT1D Expert, Lucía Feito Allonca on the Importance of Advocacy
Letting Go – One Mom’s Struggle to Trust Her Adult Son with T1D
Personal StoriesLetting Go – One Mom’s Struggle to Trust Her Adult Son with T1D
Spotlight on Diabetes Educator Carla Cox
Personal StoriesSpotlight on Diabetes Educator Carla Cox
Adult Onset Diabetes – A Personal Story
Personal StoriesAdult Onset Diabetes – A Personal Story
Supreme Court Judge and T1D: Sonia Sotomayor
Personal StoriesSupreme Court Judge and T1D: Sonia Sotomayor
9 Things Not to Say to Someone with Type 1 Diabetes
Personal Stories9 Things Not to Say to Someone with Type 1 Diabetes
No Limit on Life 
Personal StoriesNo Limit on Life 
Professional Musician Jonni Lightfoot Opens Up About the Challenges of Life with T1D
Personal StoriesProfessional Musician Jonni Lightfoot Opens Up About the Challenges of Life with T1D
When Type 1 Strikes in Midlife
Personal StoriesWhen Type 1 Strikes in Midlife
How to Navigate College with Type 1 Diabetes
Personal StoriesHow to Navigate College with Type 1 Diabetes
Load More

Knowledge Base

Resources

Knowledge hub for advanced information on Type 1 Diabetes.

Learn more

I May Have T1D Rather Than T2D?

Understanding common queries and exclusive information about diabetes of any type.

Learn more

Life with T1D

Strategies to enhance lifestyle optimization with Type 1 Diabetes.

Learn more

Personal Stories

Life stories of relentless individuals fostering resilience and empowering others.

Learn more

Newly Diagnosed

Insightful guidance, strategic tips, and inspiring narratives.

Learn more

T1D Basics

Fundamental lifestyle suggestions for optimal nutrition, emotions and innovative routines.

Learn more

Daily Management

Revamp your lifestyle with our transformative guidelines for Type 1 Diabetes management.

Learn more

T1D Strong News

Stay updated with the latest from T1D Strong: product updates, company events, notable achievements and our future plans.

Learn more