10 ways to raise diabetes awareness this November (and why it matters)

diabetes awareness activities

The biggest month for diabetes awareness activities is November, and it’s the perfect time to raise your voice to increase awareness about diabetes! You might ask: Why? How does more awareness meaningfully impact the lives of people with diabetes? The question is a good one, but the answer is simple. Awareness is the first step to any kind of change. More funding for research, better public support for legislation issues. More understanding and empathy. Less blame and shame. 

Awareness + education is even more powerful. Knowing symptoms of type 1 diabetes can be lifesaving when a diagnosis is right around the corner. If you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes, education can help prevent or delay the progression of the disease (in cases where you’re able to do that). Education that helps our communities offer support (instead of blame) through a very challenging disease is invaluable. 

Here’s a list of different ways you and your family and friends can make an impact for diabetes in your community.


1. Join an event with JDRF

  Once again JDRF kicks off National Diabetes Awareness Month on November 1st with type 1 diabetes awareness day, “T1D”, a day devoted to raising the voices of people touched by type 1 diabetes.  Join any of JDRF’s engaging virtual events to learn more.


2. Join the #BlueBalloonChallenge

  Living with diabetes is a constant balancing act. 

Join the #BlueBalloonChallenge to raise awareness of the burden of managing diabetes. Simply capture yourself bouncing a balloon in the air while doing routine activities or embarking on an adventure. Then share it on social media using #BlueBalloonChallenge and tag @medtronicdiabetes.*

Lenny the Lion bouncing a ballooon


3. Take the Big Blue Test

  Another annual favorite, the Diabetes Hands Foundation asks you to take the Big Blue Test by testing your blood sugar, doing 14-20 minutes of exercise of your choice, testing again, and sharing your results online. 

Big Blue Test


4. Hope in the hand

  D-Mom, Cathy Knight KcConkey, wanted to show children with type 1 diabetes they’re not alone. Since 2009, she’s been encouraging others to write “Hope” on their hand, take a photo of it, and post the picture on Facebook. You can do this any day of the year, but just be sure to do it on World Diabetes Day, November 14th!

Hope in the Hand  


5. Submit your #insulin4all image

  Two charities, The Pendsey Trust and T1International, wanted to raise awareness about the lack of access to essentials (insulin, test strips, education, healthcare, etc.) that many people with type 1 diabetes face around the globe, so they launched the #insulin4all campaign in 2014. Support by submitting your #insulin4all image.


6. Take a blue circle selfie

  Take a selfie with the global symbol for diabetes, a blue circle, through the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) WDD selfie app. Share it on your social media pages and be sure to encourage your friends and family to have fun and be creative with this app too. The more, the merrier! If you have a larger group of people, you can invite your loved ones or coworkers to do a “human blue circle”. We do this every year at Medtronic and always look forward to it!

Blue Circle Selfie


7. Share educational facts

  Use your social media to educate others about type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Share one of IDF’s visual infographics, or ADA’s statistics.

IDF Facts infographic


8. Wear blue on Fridays

  Wear blue on all four Fridays of November (and on World Diabetes Day) to advocate and bring awareness for diabetes and the people living with it. Help spread the word and search the hashtag #bluefridays on social media to see who else is wearing blue! If you want to advocate all year long, you can even wear blue every Friday throughout the year, like the innovator behind this idea: Cherise Shockley!


9. Participate in a fundraiser walk

  Join the JDRF and American Diabetes Association (ADA) in one of their walks, held nationwide, to fundraise for diabetes education, research, and advocacy. Register to join your local JDRF One Walk or ADA Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. If you can’t attend in person, you can also sign up as a virtual walker to show your support. Here at Medtronic, we had a blast at the JDRF One Walk in San Antonio and Los Angeles and are excited for the upcoming ADA Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes events.  


10. And there’s more!

For an ever-growing list of new and creative activities, visit Project Blue November. 

Have something new to add to the list? Share with us how you plan to raise awareness this November! 


*Challenge must be performed in safe environment. Children should be supervised.


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Blog comments

Love this! We are all about raising awareness to T1D!!

Debbie, I’m happy to hear you loved these tips and are all about raising awareness for diabetes! We’d love to hear about the activities you’re participating in to raise diabetes awareness.

Submitted by FERRI (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

This is a very useful article, thank you for sharing this article.

Submitted by Amanda Sheldon (not verified) on

In reply to by FERRI (not verified)

I’m happy you found this article helpful, Ferri. Please let us know if you have any activities to add to the list.

What about the consequences of overweight ? don't you think it should have been added too ?

Thanks for your comment! We chose a list of different diabetes awareness activities people can partake in to make an impact for diabetes in their own community.

I would like to know if this fund raiser to find a cure for diabetes will be some where here on Long Island because I would like to be a participant of this event because I too have type 2 diabetes and have been living with this for a long period of time and it's been a very hard struggle for me at all times

Rhonda, I'm sure there are a few different fundraiser opportunities in your area. A great place to start is your local JDRF or American Diabetes Association chapters. Good luck to you!

I want to do a fundraiser with my Avon booth. who do I need to contact about diabetes awareness month to get information and to give what ever donations are made.

What a great idea, Jessica. I would reach out to your local JDRF or ADA chapters for more info and how to submit donations. Good luck to you!

Submitted by Heba Mountaser (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

This is great article . Thank you for all your creative ideas to raise awareness. My son is type 1 diabetes and I am majoring in nutrition to be diabetes educator in the near future. I am senior now at WVU and planning an event to raise awareness for diabetes to educate people more about it.

Submitted by Michelle Williams (not verified) on

In reply to by Commenter (not verified)

Ward 7 is having a Diabetes awareness walk
On November 14th 2020 10:00am/12:30pm
Location; 53rd Fitch Street SE Washington DC

Submitted by Nicole (not verified) on

In reply to by Michelle Williams (not verified)

Thanks for sharing, Michelle!

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