Here are my reflections as I look back over the past 30 days of Diabetes Awareness Month, when I shared messages on social media to educate and advocate for those living with diabetes.
My goal is always to reach beyond those affected directly by diabetes to help educate or dispel a myth. I know that together we reached beyond those directly affected by diabetes because the number of people that the daily graphics “reached” on social media was astronomical. They were being seen by friends of friends of friends and hopefully, they learned something new, gained a better understanding, or just became a bit more sympathetic to those with diabetes.
I want to thank each of you who did click share or like this past month. It was you who made the daily thoughts and facts go viral.
Even though I’m on social media a lot, most of my advocacy in person is done organically. Like at play practice when a parent asks a question. Often it’s not the parent bringing it up, but when I mention something about Q’s diabetes (volunteering backstage every night because we never know what her BGs will do), it opens the door for them to ask a question they’ve wanted to ask. For instance, a parent said her daughter was wondering if Q will outgrow her diabetes. It was an opportunity to explain that Q has type 1 diabetes and will always have diabetes.
This year Q and I also did something completely new: we traveled to Copenhagen to give a talk about diabetes. You can check out eight talks about food and diabetes management in the video below with topics ranging from traveling to marathon training to anorexia to complexity to being vegan. Our talk, which is about birthday parties, sleepovers, and school lunch, begins about 43:45. (Disclosure: Novo Nordisk paid for our travel and expenses to come present at their first DEEPtalk.)
Watch it here:
I think my take away from this Diabetes Awareness Month is that we all have to find our niche of how we best advocate and educate. For some of us it will be participating in online campaigns and for some of us it will be teaching just one person about diabetes.
And the fact remains that Diabetes Awareness Month may be over, but my daughter still has diabetes.
Read my 30 Diabetes Awareness Month thoughts and facts.