Since we’re nearing the end of the year, and with a nod to Barbara Walters’ list of the ten Most Interesting People of 2015, I thought it might be nice to narrow it down a bit and give you a list of the ten most interesting diabetes people of 2015.
Ha! You thought I was going to give you a list of names, right? I just can’t do that. Even if I tried, I know I would leave someone deserving out of the post. So I’m not going to go there.
Instead, I’d like to list ten people who really made a difference this year, but by category rather than by name. If you still think I left someone out, leave a comment and maybe I’ll have to do a part 2.
Anyway, in no particular order, here’s the list:
1. Clinical Trial Participants
You’ve heard me say it a thousand times. We don’t get the new technology, or the new drug, or the new anything without clinical trials. People who sign up to be a part of clinical trials are brave, at times patient, and absolutely necessary. If you meet someone who’s been part of a clinical trial, ask them about it. I know you’ll find it to be fascinating conversation, and you’ll appreciate them even more.
2. Social Media users
Because it’s become such a part of our lives now, it’s easy to forget the impact that social media has made with regard to diabetes and people living with diabetes. But make no mistake: there may be more voices, there may be more avenues for expression, but the results are the same. People feel less alone. People are welcomed. People are not judged (we hope). Social media has its drawbacks, but it continues to bring more people toward diabetes enlightenment every day. Doesn’t that make them healthier too?
How about those researchers anyway? It takes an awful lot of dedication to conceive an idea and try to see it through the process of ups and downs, starts and stops that come with bringing any new idea to the forefront. From new insulins to water soluble glucagon to new treatments for retinopathy, researchers continue to bring their A game every day.
4. Technology Developers
Nightscout. Artificial pancreas. CGMs that won’t need finger sticks for calibration. Whether it’s something just rolled out or something we’ve been waiting for for a long time, diabetes technology is still, in many ways, the undiscovered country. Creating new devices, mapping algorithms and figuring out how to keep it all working safely and securely is hard work. And to me, it’s wicked cool too.
5. Diabetes Advocates
There are people… dedicated people, all over the world who are speaking on our behalf in front of governments. Lobbying for research dollars. Dispelling diabetes myths in the checkout line. For everything that they do, and you do, big and small, you have earned my gratitude and admiration. Forever.
Thirty years. Forty years. Fifty years and more. There are more of us living longer and longer with diabetes, and that is encouraging beyond belief. From someone who is nearing 25 years with Type 1, to all of you living longer than that after diagnosis: Thanks for showing me how it’s done.
7. Diabetes Writers
Telling a story is still so important when it comes to empowering that “Me too!” feeling we’re all so fond of. Hey diabetes writers: I still love reading your blogs, your books, and your Facebook posts. Keep it going for the next person who is looking for a connection.
8. Diabetes Podcasters
How about all of those new diabetes podcasts? How about all of those old diabetes podcasts? Whether you’re an adventure sports enthusiast, a parent of a Child With Diabetes, or someone looking for information from the Centers for Disease Control or the American Diabetes Association, you now have more podcast options than ever to choose from. A recent iTunes search on “diabetes” yielded around 80 podcasts that partly feature or totally feature diabetes. More information, and more ways to get that information, is always good.
9. Our Healthcare Team
We all know about situations where a doctor’s behavior or actions did not work with what a patient needs. But when the doctor(or nurse, or physician’s assistant, or CDE)-patient relationship does work, it yields tremendous results for both the treated and the treatee. So, those of us with terrific doctors: let’s thank them for being an integral part of helping us manage our lives with diabetes.
Let’s recognize that it’s been a long year. However we’ve lived it, we’ve survived. And the best part is, we’ll have a whole new story to tell next year. Because things don’t always stay the same. That’s true if we’ve had a super year or a terrible year. Our future stories remain unwritten. I’m kind of excited about that. How about you?
That’s my list… Who were the most influential and interesting diabetes people of your life this year?