The biggest month for diabetes awareness activities is only a few days away, 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.*
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Tags: diabetes advocacy
, diabetes awareness
, World Diabetes Day