#DBlogWeek is back! What fires you up?


Yay! Diabetes Blog Week is back!

For the 5th year in a row, diabetes writers from all over the world will be participating in a solid week’s worth of informative, educational, and inspirational blog posts. To find out everything you need to know about Diabetes Blog Week, click on the banner above. A big Thank You to Karen Graffeo for making this happen every year!

Today’s topic:

Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)

Changing the world, eh? No pressure there.

I don’t know if what I’m passionate about right now is changing the world. But I do know of two things that I hope will be of use to others in the future.

You can find out the first by clicking on the button with the medals in the upper right portion of this page. Since November, we’ve sent out 11 medals to Athletes With Diabetes who do their best to fight through the scary things that come with taking along your diabetes to gym classes, bike rides, or half marathons. Our eleven winners (that’s right… we’re up to 11!) have all set an example of courage and determination that others will always look up to. So I didn’t really do much there except shine a light on something great that was already happening.

But I get such a huge kick out of shining that light, and introducing everyone to amazing people that maybe they haven’t met before. And a few that they probably have. In any case, it’s exciting to give someone a medal like that. I remember finishing my first triathlon three years ago, and the feeling I got when I crossed the finish line and received my medal. I wanted brave D-Athletes to feel the same thing.

The second thing I’m really fired up about right now is happening… right now.

Last week, I started participation in another clinical trial. This will make three in the past year, and it’s something I take very seriously. This study will be my first artificial pancreas trial. I’ll talk about it more as the study progresses. But I want to help you understand why participating in clinical trials is so very important.

All of us want to see new ideas tried out. New therapies, new drugs, new understandings of how our bodies-with-failed-pancreases work. Often, the only way we’re going to get those ideas tried out is during clinical trials. And clinical trials need volunteers. So here I am.

Participating in a clinical trial isn’t necessarily easy. The ones I’ve taken part in aren’t hard, either. What they do require is a lot of attention to detail. If you’re supposed to do something at a certain time in a certain way during the trial, you have to do that. Otherwise, you risk not meeting the parameters of what is being studied. Researchers might not get the proper data they need to move forward with their idea.

But trust me: The feeling of participating in a clinical trial is awesome. To know I’ve helped move the needle, even a little bit, for people living with diabetes is something that will stay with me forever. I’ll bet you’d feel the same way.

To look for clinical trials involving diabetes, you can always go to clinicaltrials.gov and put Diabetes in the search box. If you’re in the UK, go to the UKCTG—the UK Clinical Trials Gateway. Also, JDRF sponsors its Clinical Trial Connection, that helps connect potential participants with diabetes clinical trials.

And don’t miss day two of #DBlogWeek coming up tomorrow!

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  • Lesley  On May 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks for this post! I don’t always think of trial participation as an advocacy thing but I will now. My daughter was in the trial for pediatric use of the G4 (which I was using at the time) and now she wears one. Good luck with the Artificial Pancreas trial — I’m jealous & grateful!!


  • lesleykimball  On May 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks for this post! I don’t always think of trial participation as an advocacy thing but I will now. My daughter was in the trial for pediatric use of the G4 (which I was using at the time) and now she wears one. Good luck with the Artificial Pancreas trial — I’m jealous & grateful!!


  • Kelley  On May 12, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    You provide such motivation Stephen! I was so honored to receive one of your Athletes with Diabetes medals but I love reading about your clinical trials even more! I hope to do a trial one of these days


  • Katy  On May 12, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    That’s so cool about the medals!


  • Erin  On May 13, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Love the medals.


  • Karen  On May 13, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    I know I’ve said this before but I need to say it again. I so admire you for all that you do. I think (hope) I am one of Athletes with Diabetes biggest fans and I’m still plodding my way along trying to earn a medal. I’m not sure I can do it, but I’m fired up to try. And I am in awe of all you give during clinical trials too. Thank you. And although you didn’t mention it, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for the blood you donate and for letting others with diabetes know they can donate too.


  • Sara  On May 18, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Where I lived in Florida was PERFECT for clinical trials, but I’ve come up empty every time I’ve looked around here.

    I looked just now (again) since you posted the link and all the trials were for type 2 diabetes except the one that required the person to be on an MDI regimen for a year before the trial.


    • StephenS  On May 19, 2014 at 9:16 am

      I am so sorry to hear that. Of course, I can’t seem to do all the great things you do for JDRF. We each have our unique talents, and they’re all helping the cause. So thank you for what you do for all of us!


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