What does advocacy mean? Is someone who advocates for a cause they believe in — not to be confused with a paid advocate — actually able to make things better, to make change happen at a local, regional or national level? Well, it’s time to find out.
I did not prepare a speech, but I am very honored and excited to have my membership application accepted by the Diabetes Advocates non-profit group. Thank you to the Academy!
The question for me to answer is — how do I actively participate and how do I add my time and voice to the growing chorus of Diabetes Online Community (#DOC) leaders who are real people, not actors on TV, who wake up each day with Type 1 Diabetes and envision a better future for themselves and the next generation of Americans who get this game-changing diagnosis. The DOC has done great things for all of us connected to diabetes.
Are we advocates or practical agitators. Or something in between? The recent article in Insulin Nation about The Juvenile Diabetes Cure Alliance (JDCA) — Practical Cure Advocates — should make all of us stop and think. What change do we advocate for? If we want more human clinical trials, higher-tech technology and a medical cure for Type 1 diabetes — it’s up to us to make it happen.
“Scientists have made careers in proving a concept in mice…we want to push against that gravitational pull” of mouse-only research, Phil Shaw of the JDCA told Insulin Nation.
I’ve been a volunteer and fundraiser for many years with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation — the Central Virginia Chapter. Thru my volunteer work I’ve met some incredible children, teens, adults and selfless parents — and developed friendships with some of the best people I’ve ever met — the people you wish you never had the good fortune to meet. I’ve also been a participant in and an advocate for human clinical trials, and I see how the money raised for Type 1 research does make a difference in our daily lives. However, no matter how hard we all push, we’re still waiting for better tech, better solutions and a future free from Type 1.
For today, it is my honor to be a new DA and to proudly post the group’s goals. Tomorrow is a new day. Together we are stronger.
Diabetes Advocates is a program of the Diabetes Hands Foundation, a nonprofit organization that brings together people touched by diabetes for positive change so that nobody living with this condition ever feels alone.
To connect advocates dedicated to improving the lives of people living with diabetes in order to accelerate and amplify their efforts
1. Continue growing the reach and impact of the program, by:
- Creating paths for diabetes advocacy for members of the diabetes online community.
- Increasing the number of Diabetes Advocates members focused on type 2 diabetes.
- Increasing the number of Spanish-speaking Diabetes Advocates members.
- Increasing awareness about Diabetes Advocates, starting with an emphasis in the US.
2. Increase the measurable impact of the program through:
- Increasing member engagement in Diabetes Advocates initiatives.
- Expanding benefits that impact sustainability and member development.
- Hosting an annual Diabetes Advocacy Congress.
- Consolidate Diabetes Advocates as a hub for collaboration among diabetes advocates.