Showing posts with label World Diabetes Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World Diabetes Day. Show all posts

Monday, November 14, 2011

Postcards in an Elevator

Today’s Prompt: Elevator blog. If you were in an elevator with someone and they asked about your blog, your Health Activism, your community, or your condition, what would you tell them? Make a version for a 30 second elevator ride, a version for a 1 minute elevator ride, and a version for a 2 minute elevator ride.

If we were on an elevator together today, you'd see me in my Big Blue Test t-shirt (for the last time, since it's now embarrassingly tight on me). You'd probably ask me what it was about (or ask about my enormous belly poking out underneath it).

The 30-second version would follow:

I have Type 1 Diabetes and today is November 14th - World Diabetes Day, an internationally recognized day where we try to spread awareness about diabetes - its signs, symptoms, concerns, complications. The Big Blue Test is an awareness initiative that many of us take part in by testing our blood sugars and getting active.

The 1-minute version would include this next bit:

November 14th was Frederick Banting's birthday - he was one of the men who discovered insulin, you know. Anyway, there are millions of people with diabetes in the US, but there are hundreds of millions all over the world. Many of them don't have access to that life-saving insulin, to test strips, to good medical care. If we can get enough people to do the Big Blue Test, there's a company called Roche that will donate $75K to charities to help those people.

The 2-minute version would have me digging into my diaper bag to show you this:

See this postcard? It's from someone I've never met named Jacque. She lives in Washington State. She has had diabetes almost as long as I have; we were both diagnosed in the early 1990s. And we were paired up by my friend Lee Ann Thill who organized this crazy cool artistic initiative called the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange where we would create postcards for World Diabetes Day and send them to people all over the world. Then we'd post them to a Facebook page.

I have a photo of the one I sent Jacque, too:

The cards have the blue circle logo that is synonymous with World Diabetes Day and the International Diabetes Federation....Oh, I'm sorry, am I blocking the doors? You probably need to get off here. Well, it was nice chatting with you!

Doors shut, end scene. Someone else gets on.

Hi. Oh, the shirt? Well, I have Type 1 Diabetes...

This post was written as part of NHBPM - 30 health posts in 30 days:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Big Blue Friday

Today's Prompt: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. What is working well in your community, healthcare, blogs, social media, or your work in particular? What do you like about it?

What works in my community is the UNITY part.

Yesterday, I wrote about the way that many of us come together to chat for an hour every Wednesday on the DSMA chat and I also posted a link to the Blue Circle Campaign that seeks to get diabetes organizations (particularly American ones) on board with the International Diabetes Federation's Blue Circle symbol.

Between Twitter, blogs, youtube, social networks, etc., this is a group of people who can affect change.

We've had a few really amazing initiatives take off recently.

Kim Vlasnik's "You Can Do This" Project

Similar in scope to the "It Gets Better" video campaign, many of us shared our stories on YouTube, letting people know that they are not alone in living with diabetes and facing its challenges. I did a personal video here and was included in a compilation video here when I attended Simonpalooza in Kansas City this last October.

Blue Fridays

If you're my Facebook friend, you already know about this one. Every Friday in November, we're asking people to wear blue in support of Diabetes Awareness.

This one has been pretty challenging for me as the weather has turned colder and all of my blue maternity shirts happen to be very thin t-shirts. So my lips are blue, too.

The Big Blue Test

This test just gets bigger and bigger! :)

In 2009, we encouraged people to test their blood sugar at 2pm (their local time), exercise for 14 minutes, test again, and post it.  Then we compiled the data to show how people's blood sugar levels were reduced when they exercised! We had done a similar test-in on July 14, 2009 on TuDiabetes and gotten about 1,000 people to participate.

In 2010, the Diabetes Hands Foundation secured donations from Roche (the makers of Accu-Check) to the IDF's Life for a Child program (which provides insulin to children in 10 impoverished nations) based on the number of views we received for this video.

THIS year, however, though getting the video views last year was a huge accomplishment, we want to encourage more people to actually participate in the testing and activity portion. Roche has earmarked a donation of up to $75,000 if we can get 8,000 entries into the test. The $75,000 will benefit Life for a Child again, as well as 5 US-based charities that provide diabetes supplies and medications to people here at home.

Please visit the website, watch the video (because it's stellar), and enter AS MANY TIMES AS POSSIBLE between the moment you read this and World Diabetes Day (Monday, November 14). We are about a third of the way to that goal.

For every single entry, whether you have diabetes or not (and you non-D folks don't even have to test your BG), $9.38 goes directly to help someone with diabetes live another day. 8,000 people benefit from these charities, which is why we are asking for 8,000 of the rest of us to offer their participation.

I've completed the Big Blue Test several times already and will do it several more this weekend before Monday's deadline. Here are screenshots from the first two entries I made:

As you can see, we aren't asking for your money. Just asking you to do what you already do - test your blood sugar if you have D (and don't test if you don't), and then do what we all should do - get active.

One of my 14min "walking" experiences started out as "Mommy takes the tot for a trike ride" and ended with "Pregnant lady, panting, running through the neighborhood, pushing an empty trike, chasing a barefoot toddler."

Hey, whatever gets your blood sugar plummeting, right?

This post was written as part of NHBPM - 30 health posts in 30 days: