November, diabetes awareness month, has exceeded my expectations already this year, as it relates to the diabetes online community (DOC). The outpouring of stories, campaigns (big blue test), initiatives (blue fridays), movements (blue heel society), flash mobs (Hula Hooping in San Diego, glucose checks in Time Square), the Diabetes 11.11.11 collage by Mike Young, blogs (ninjabetic.com, 1happydiabetic.com, sixuntilme.com, among others), vlogs (Ginger Vieira), mirror mantras, and promotion of the big blue circle were tremendous. Diabetes affects millions. The DOC is inspiring millions who are impacted by diabetes, resulting in increased awareness and support.
I am humbled to have participated in several local diabetes related activities so far this month. Here are a few highlights:
1. Met and dined with Amy Tenderich (diabetesmine.com), key note speaker for the Association of Diabetes Educators in Utah. She taught me about the blue circle. I immediately got a pin afterwards!
2. Attended a Journey Award Ceremony. Thirty five individuals received medals for the length of time they have been on insulin, 30 received a bronze medal for 25 years and 5 received a silver medal for 50 years. Happy and healthy, individuals varied in age from young adulthood to elderly.
3. Educated my colleagues and friends about diabetes awareness month, including those at the University of Utah College of Nursing and the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence (the picture below represents the pins I have been wearing on my suit). I have encouraged people to participate in blue fridays and to identify the blue circle as the symbol to represent diabetes.
4. Informed medical professionals and community members about the Diabetes Mixer with my co-chair, MJ Tran.
5. Supported the Delinquent Pancreas Club.
Although diabetes awareness month still has another 2 weeks to go, the impact diabetes has world wide will continue
well after November 30th. As tweeted this morning by Chelcie Rice, comedian with type 1 diabetes for over 20 years,
“Just because yesterday was World Diabetes Day, doesn’t mean the fight is over!” With that said, I am making a personal
committment to wear blue every Friday for 1 year to promote diabetes awareness. Family and friends with diabetes, my dear patients, the DOC, I wear blue for YOU!