But today I wanted to post about the Diabetes Hands Foundation.
We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to connect, engage, and empower people touched by diabetes so that no one touched by diabetes has to feel alone. Our communities - TuDiabetes, EsTuDiabetes, & Diabetes Advocates and our program Big Blue Test seek to bring PWD and their families the kind of engagement and support that did not exist when I was diagnosed.
My husband and I discovered TuDiabetes five years ago, just after they celebrated their first year online and just as we were embarking on our first year of marriage. I owe TuDiabetes everything.
The answers, the empathy, the feeling that I was NO LONGER ALONE...I could "come out" about how challenging life with diabetes was. And my friends' suggestions there made my days less challenging.
My friends offline were making babies and living lives fundamentally different than mine. I was charting blood sugars and resenting my lot in life. But then I met the women posting in the Oh Baby group on TuDiabetes. They were my age, living my life, wanting to get pregnant.
And I met women like Kristin and Kelly R who told me that dosing my insulin 20 minutes before I ate might make a difference in my post-meal blood sugars, thereby reducing my A1c. I met women like Marie who taught me about rotating my infusion sites better to suffer less from scar tissue.
I learned things I didn't know about diabetes - and living with it had made me think I knew all I needed to know. I learned that it was an autoimmune disease (I was told as a kid that I probably got it from an injury). That perfect glycemic control was not possible and that I wasn't the only one with highs and lows. That there were other pumps out there than Medtronic. That there were basal insulins better than NPH. That there were more types of diabetes than just type 1 and 2 and that there is no type better or worse off.
I like to say that I'd still be me, diabetes or no. Hubster and I will argue that point until the world looks level.
But I would not be the person with diabetes that I AM were it not for the Diabetes Hands Foundation and the initial vision of Manny Hernandez and Andreina Davila.
Through TuDiabetes, I learned about the Diabetes Online Commmunity. I started a blog. I joined Twitter. I saw a tweet one day about a new group called Diabetes Advocates, and I joined that, too. Through that growing program, I hope to change the world for people with diabetes by connecting with other activated members of my community.
I now serve on the Board of Directors for the Diabetes Hands Foundation. I receive no compensation. I pay for my own travel. I give of my time generously, serving on committees, drafting documents, participating in conference calls, flying around the country for meetings. And beyond that, my husband and I donate hard money to the organization beyond what I am about to ask you to do.
Nonprofits have overhead and the rest of the world seems to think we shouldn't. But we do. We have staff to pay who implement our programs, harness their creative energy into marketing materials to get our message out to health care providers, devote time and resources to things like our video chats and the Big Blue Test app development. As Dan Pallotta, nonprofit fundraising expert says, "We have a visceral reaction to the idea that anyone would make very much money helping other people. Interesting that we don't have a visceral reaction to the notion that people would make a lot of money NOT helping other people."
Nobody at the DHF makes very much money. Their energy and drive are an inspiration to me on a daily basis. As a board member, I am one of a group of 12-15 people responsible for the oversight of our overhead. I believe we are responsible with our finances, meager with our budget, and ambitious in our program goals.
But during this annual spring campaign, as I watch my precious TuD blow out those six candles, I know he is just wishing we could help more people.
Your donation can help us make that wish come true. Will you help us? Six dollars? Sixty dollars? Six hundred dollars?