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 can be life-saving when a diagnosis is right around the corner. If you’re at risk for type 2, education can help prevent or delay the progression of the disease (in cases where you’re able to do that). And 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. Make Social Noise with JDRF’s Thunderclap Campaign
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. Use the web platform “Thunderclap” to join in an auto-generated, mass-shared social media post All you have to do is sign-up on the JDRF #noT1D Thunderclap page.
2. #DiabetesDoesntStopMe Instagram Contest
Show your friends, family, and the public you can live well with this disease and chase your dreams – whether that’s running marathons, travelling the world, falling in love, or advocating for a cause. The Instagram contest will ask you to show a photo of how you’re doing just that along with a few sentences on what it’s like to live with diabetes. Look for contest details (and how you can win a trip to Los Angeles!) next week. #DiabetesDoesntStopMe and #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. Each entry you log between October 14th and November 30th triggers a $1 donation on your behalf to nonprofit groups that are providing life-saving supplies, services, and education to people with diabetes in need.
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!
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 Friday’s 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 channels 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!Here’s our customer support team who helps respond to you on social media—all sporting blue! Back left to front right: Nicole, Rueben, Ted, Jesse, Rae (with a little one on the way!)
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 in October, 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!
Tags: diabetes advocacy
, diabetes awareness
, World Diabetes Day