Monthly Archives: December 2014

So Worthy: Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation.

With the end of the year approaching, I wanted to write a few blog posts with the idea of pointing you toward some important (to me, anyway) diabetes organizations.

I recognize that JDRF and the American Diabetes Association are important non-profits that deserve your support as well. But I want to dedicate these posts to other organizations that are doing important work to further the cause and improve the lives of everyone living with diabetes.

If you have a few dollars left at the end of the year, consider making a donation to these worthy organizations.

One other thing: I was not asked to write nor am I getting anything for writing about these groups.
DCAF_Logo

Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation

Originally started as Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (hence the #DSMA hashtag), the Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation officially became a non-profit organization in 2012.

Founded by Cherise Shockley, DCAF is meant to connect people living with and affected by diabetes, both through social media and in real life. It is everything its name suggests, but it is so much more than that too. Its outreach is many and varied, encompassing initiatives that are well known and not so well known, including:

DSMA Twitter Chats: Every Wednesday night at 9:00 eastern time here in the USA, friends from around the world get together via Twitter and discuss diabetes. Actually, they discuss their lives, with diabetes as a common thread. But of course, it’s way more than that. There are usually questions and answers surrounding a common topic, and there are questions (and answers) from individuals logging on. With a ton of laughter and encouragement thrown in for good measure. For many, this is the gateway to the rest of the Diabetes Online Community, and for that alone, it’s worth a contribution to DCAF. It always leaves me feeling so happy that I stayed up for it. If you haven’t already, you’re encouraged to join the conversation by following the @DiabetesSocMed Twitter account or the #DSMA hashtag.

DSMA Live, DSMA Live En Vivo, and DSMA ‘Rents Podcasts: Using a various lineup of amazing hosts, DSMA Live (Thursdays at 9:00 ET), DSMA En Vivo (in Spanish every other Tuesday at 9:00 ET), and DSMA ‘Rents (every other Monday at 9:00 ET) take an hour to focus on one topic or one person. Whether it’s diabetes research, a new D initiative, managing your diabetes, diabetes and exercise, or special and unique events in the diabetes world, these three podcasts will keep you informed and educated. And of course, you’re encouraged to phone in and be part of the talk too. Find out more on any of these and connect to the podcasts by going to the DCAF page on Blog Talk Radio.

Blue Fridays: A simple way to spread awareness and show support for those living with diabetes, DCAF has been the leader of the Blue Fridays initiative. You’re encouraged to Think Blue – Wear Blue every Friday and on World Diabetes Day. There’s even a Facebook page. It’s an easy way to get your advocacy on each and every week.

Those are just some of the unique ideas that have come from this passionate organization. The recently retired DSMA Blog Carnival and some in-person DSMA Live events are a couple of additional highlights. DCAF is an organization that is not afraid to try something new, not afraid to look toward the next horizon if there’s a way to support and uplift People With Diabetes. If there’s a way to connect people living with and affected by diabetes, Cherise is interested in making it happen.

Would you like to help make it happen? To make a donation to Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation, simply go here and click on the Donate button:
http://diabetescaf.org/2012/11/supporting-dsma-through-dcaf/
 
 
Disclosure: In the past, I’ve written Blog Carnival posts for DCAF, and more recently, I’ve been honored to moderate a few installments of the weekly DSMA Twitter chat. Strictly pro bono… I am not compensated in any way for doing so.
 
 
 

Advertisements

So Worthy: You Can Do This Project.

With the end of the year approaching, I wanted to write a few blog posts with the idea of pointing you toward some important (to me, anyway) diabetes organizations.

I recognize that JDRF and the American Diabetes Association are important non-profits that deserve your support as well. But I want to dedicate these posts to other organizations that are doing important work to further the cause and improve the lives of everyone living with diabetes.

If you have a few dollars left at the end of the year, consider making a donation to these worthy organizations.

One other thing: I was not asked to write nor am I getting anything for writing about these groups.
 
 

You Can Do This Project

From their website, here’s the official language for what You Can Do This Project is all about:

”You Can Do This is a grassroots video movement, created by and for people with diabetes, that provides validation, hope, and encouragement through honest talk.

We are not a registered non-profit, we do not have any corporate sponsorships, and no one gets paid to work on this. We do what we can with what we have (and with the time we have outside of our “real world” jobs) because we are passionate about helping others find peer-to-peer support.”

I will also add this: You Can Do This Project has positively affected the lives of people living with and affected by diabetes by providing a window through which viewers can see that their experiences are not unique; that their challenges are not easy; and that their failures and successes should always be met with support and encouragement.

Started over three years ago by Kim Vlasnik of Texting My Pancreas fame, YCDT Project has, over the years, shared video from Type 1s, Type 2s, those living with LADA, athletes, parents, and just recently, parents of kids that were diagnosed under the age of two. They’ve covered topics like diagnosis stories, diabetes burnout, going to college, and much, much more. The whole spectrum, really. Whatever you’re dealing with, you’re likely to find a video about it that will help you feel less alone.

Look, I know that You Can Do This Project isn’t going to cure diabetes. But for me, just spending a little time there is pretty powerful medicine. And I am far from alone in this belief. Just a look at their media page will tell you how many others find this space pretty therapeutic too.

And don’t forget: This is all being put together, hosted, and promoted (often in person, in various locations) by people working on their own time, free of charge. Doesn’t that make you want to support them all the more? Obviously, any support you can give will make a huge difference.

You Can Do This Project is not a non-profit organization. Instead, it is a for-power vehicle that enlightens and uplifts every single day.

To make a donation to You Can Do This Project, simply go here and join the movement:
http://youcandothisproject.com/donate/
 
 
Wednesday, another look at a diabetes organization worthy of your time and money.
 
 
 

So Worthy: Diabetes Hands Foundation.

With the end of the year approaching, I wanted to write a few blog posts with the idea of pointing you toward some important (to me, anyway) diabetes organizations.

I recognize that JDRF and the American Diabetes Association are important non-profits that deserve your support as well. But I want to dedicate these posts to other organizations that are doing important work to further the cause and improve the lives of everyone living with diabetes.

If you have a few dollars left at the end of the year, consider making a donation to these worthy organizations.

One other thing: I was not asked to write nor am I getting anything for writing about these groups.
 
 

Diabetes Hands Foundation

Where do I begin? Diabetes Hands Foundation delivers so much value to the diabetes community, it’s hard to overestimate the importance of their impact to the diabetes landscape.

Founded in 2008 by Manny Hernandez and his wife Andreina Davila, DHF has grown to include many initiatives that benefit, educate, and provide relief to People With Diabetes everywhere. Here’s just a sample of their impact:

TuDiabetes and Es TuDiabetes: In English, TuDiabetes, and in Spanish, Es TuDiabetes, provide a place for people living with and affected by diabetes to go for support, encouragement, information, and connection. The two social networks boast over 50,000 members, and to me, that’s a heck of a village. But that’s not all.

Diabetes Advocates: Diabetes Advocates is a place where people advocating on behalf of those living with and affected by diabetes can connect, educate and empower each other. We learn how to be better advocates, we coordinate efforts to more effectively impact issues affecting us, and so much more. On its own, Diabetes Advocates is a remarkably impactful organization.
Full Disclosure: I am a member of Diabetes Advocates (note the DA button in the left column of this page).

The Big Blue Test: A popular happening during Diabetes Awareness Month every November, the Big Blue Test is a way to both get more active and help raise money for people in need, because every time you exercise and log it at bigbluetest.org, a donation is made to help people living with diabetes. So it’s a way to see the benefits of more exercise, and the benefits ($) of more exercise. Win-Win!

Those three are only the beginning. Just in this year, Diabetes Hands Foundation has been instrumental in delivering MasterLab at the Friends For Life conference in Orlando in July, and they were a big part of the historic #DOCasksFDA meeting that occurred back in November. They also provide scholarships for people to attend conferences throughout the year, which is why I first donated. Regular education and discussion is ongoing nearly every day.

If you have a few dollars you’d like to devote to a non-profit that will put those dollars to great use, you’d have a difficult time finding a better place to direct those dollars than Diabetes Hands Foundation.

If you’d like to donate, all you have to do is go online to
https://diabeteshandsfoundation.org/donate/
 
 
Monday, we’ll look at another special diabetes group helping to make our lives better every day.
 
 
 

My holiday message: I’m grateful.

Because it’s an important holiday for me tomorrow, I just wanted to take a moment to say Merry Christmas, and wish each of you a healthy, happy, and safe New Year.

MC
DSC01846

It’s been a whirlwind kind of year, and as difficult a December as any I can remember. Still, I’m grateful to have access to drugs and therapies that help to keep me alive every day. I’m grateful to have a roof over my head and a job to go to.

Most of all, I’m grateful for my diabetes friends, who have all been kind, helpful, friendly, and supportive throughout this year. You know who you are, and even though I’d like to find a way to do it, I can’t thank you enough.

Enjoy your holiday season. Be safe. And remember:

I support you… no conditions.
 
 
 

It’s all intertwined.

I’ve been feeling a little off the past few days. Physically off. It’s not an “I feel like crap” feeling. More like, “I’m definitely not one hundred percent”.

But when I get this way, I can’t help but think about the autoimmune origins of my Type 1 diabetes. Having an autoimmune disease makes you more susceptible to other ailments.

I had a tooth problem a couple of weeks ago. There was an infection, and I needed to take an antibiotic prior to getting a root canal last week. And now that the infection is at bay, and I don’t have the root of the tooth left (which means I shouldn’t experience any more pain there), I feel kinda lousy this week.

Which makes me ask certain questions:

Since I already live with Type 1 diabetes, is my immune system compromised to the degree that I’m more likely to experience these kinds of issues back to back?

Do I have to worry that each time I take an antibiotic I’ll be less likely to be helped by it? Will that be compromised by my faulty immune system?

Will all of this get worse as I get older?

If that’s true, how do I mitigate the effects of, well, getting older?

It’s that last question that really gets me going. I don’t like being sick… I’m not a good patient (except for the diabetes, and it’s taken me nearly 24 years to get there). If I’m going to feel better in the future, I’ll need to become more knowledgeable about everything having to do with my health.

For now, my diabetes numbers are looking pretty good through all of this. I have to do what I need to do to feel better, and then learn more about my diabetes, my overall health, and how they go together. We never stop learning. I hope.
 
 
 

%d bloggers like this: