World Diabetes Day Roundup

Yesterday was an exciting day for everyone with diabetes and I was so thrilled to see new and increased support for diabetes around the world. It was also incredible to see so many discussions happening about how we can increase awareness and different ways we can get the diabetes community and general population to engage in issues surrounding access to insulin and diabetes supplies.

I want to thank everyone – people I know and those I don’t – for sharing and supporting not only me, but the work so many of us are doing to make the world better for people living with diabetes.

Below are a few things that I was involved with – as well as some generally cool posts and happenings – for World Diabetes Day 2013.

The evening before WDD I attended an awesome JDRF type 1 discovery evening. We got to meet up and socialize in a pub and hear from a Type 1 diabetes researcher about updates in the research world. My friends Dan and Naomi then read some pretty awesome Type 1 poetry. My particular favorite was Dan’s Jealous, which he wrote as a non-diabetic for Naomi, who has type 1, about how he wishes he could give her his pancreas. We also had the pleasure of hearing from Fredrik Debong, Co-founder of MySugr, a hugely successful diabetes app, and Kyle Rose who is quite the renaissance man because he is a global diabetes ambassador, former engineer and professional athlete! It was a great lead-in to the big day.

I am so pleased to say that I surpassed my fundraising goal to be able to tend the Young Leaders in Diabetes training in Melbourne. Thanks to EVERYONE for supporting me and donating to this amazing cause. I kept my promise and ‘went blue’ for the day, sporting a bright blue wig for the whole of World Diabetes Day. I received some strange looks on the bus, but was happy to be representing diabetes in a fun and crazy way!Blue Hair

I work in the volunteering team at Diabetes UK, so I put together some stories about volunteer around the world for World Diabetes Day. Thanks to the Young Leaders in Diabetes programme, I will soon meet these amazing people who are making an impact in their local diabetes association! Here is the link to their profiles!

Additionally, Diabetes UK posted a guest blog I wrote to raise awareness about Diabetes in the wider world. I’m glad I was able to raise a bit of global awareness through my organization.

I am lucky in that the President Alex of the Young Leaders in Diabetes, Alex, is from the UK and works at Diabetes UK as well. I was able to work with Alex to create a video using the slogan I developed for the Young Leaders (Young Minds, Fresh Ideas, Real Change) where we asked them what is the real change they want to see for people with diabetes. It worked well to get some conversations going with about not only the change they want to see in the diabetes world, but also how we can go about making it happen!

You’ve probably already seen the infographic that my husband and I created, which is meant to simplify the issues and raise awareness about access to insulin around the world. It should (hopefully) allow people who do not have diabetes to get in idea of diabetes itself, as well as the unacceptable fact that people are dying due to lack of insulin! It’s not the happiest of subjects, but we hope it gets the message out there!

Also, an initiative that I really support and admire, the 100 Campaign, was featured yesterday on the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine web site. Check out their article to learn about the story of how the Campaign started a year ago!

Aside from all of this, there were constant Twitter chats happening throughout the day (#wddchat13) which gave everyone an opportunity to connect, answer questions, and celebrate World Diabetes Day. Particularly of interest to me were the @100Campaign chat, where we discussed barriers to #access2insulin, and the @NGDoc chat, where questions were asked about how the diabetes Online Communities can empower People Living with diabetes and what role governments should play in diabetes management.

I wrote a post recently asking ‘Is the ‘world’ missing from World Diabetes Day?’ and I believe that question is still relevant. However, I do feel proud that I did my part in making WDD more global and I’m so glad I was able to participate in and witness so many great initiatives on this day and within the diabetes community as a whole!

Please feel free to comment and share your own favorite part(s) of World Diabetes Day!


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