"I wish people were more educated about diabetes.""I wish there was more advocacy for Type 1 Diabetes."
"I wish our voices were heard."
It might not seem like it, but at this moment a small wave of advocacy has formed off the coast of California. A group of bloggers and advocates from the DOC are meeting with the Bigs at Medtronic and they are making your voices heard. They are telling them your hopes and dreams...and Medtronic, I am sure, is echoing it all back to them.
You see, it may not be obvious now...but there is a small army on the move to change the world and their perception of diabetes. You might not be aware of them...but by the time I get done here, I hope you will feel a bit more uplifted knowing there others out there working to get the word out.
On my sidebar there is a button that says "I am a member to DiabetesAdvocates." What do they do? From the website it states: "We help people who have diabetes and their loved ones realize that they are not alone. We help the diabetes community by sharing our personal experiences, spreading the word about diabetes news and treatment options, and helping to inspire a dialog between a diabetes patient and their medical team. We accomplish this through diabetes blogs, diabetes social communities, videos, radio shows, books, newsletters, and live events. In 2011, the Diabetes Advocates collective will reach more than 6,000,000 people touched by diabetes."
If you read the list of people in there you will be amazed at the reach this community has. Within its pages you will find Cherise, who founded DSMA, which stands for Diabetes Social Media Advocacy. There is a Website and a RadioProgram, and an amazing Twitter Chat that happens every week. It is an easy and fun way to get involved in the community.
Also within the DA pages you will find Kim Vlasnik. She founded the "You Can Do ThisProject." It is an awesome collection of videos that encourage and let you know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. How powerful is that?
There is Manny Hernandez who founded TuDiabetes and The Diabetes HandsFoundation. He is pretty much the king of advocacy. :)
And is Brandy Barnes who founded Diabetes Sisters. Diabetes Sisters is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the health and quality of life of women with and at risk of developing Diabetes; and to advocate on their behalf. The organization offers a variety of online and in-person programs focused on the unique needs of women with Diabetes.
I could just copy and paste the entire website onto this post, but I think it would fun for you to explore the website yourself and discover the many many voices out there. They are all raising awarness, and their reach is far and wide!
One small nugget of advocacy can cause a ripple effect. It creates a bigger and bigger understanding throughout our community and our world.
Just last year many Diabetes Advocates flew to Dubai for the World Diabetes Congress. They were invited there and the ripples of their visit is still being felt throughout the world. Our voices may seem small, but they are being heard.
I know I'm not in Dubai. I know I'm not reaching the masses and educating on the scale that I wish I could. I'm not today...but maybe someday. And until then I will type my voice and my feelings here on my blog. One small step at a time. One ripple effect at a time. Helping one person at a time. It all makes a difference.
My heart hurts that I had to miss the advocate forum in So Cal today. But I'm overcome with gratitude for the people that ARE attending. I know they will pass along the information we want Medtronic to hear oh so badly. The wave of advocacy is gaining momentum.
You can be a part of it too.
Speak up. Say something. Hug someone and tell them they are not alone.
It all makes a difference.
It really, really does.
(To follow the DOC at the Medtronic Advocate Forum today, to to twitter and follow #MedtronicDAF)