World Diabetes Day 2013 | DSMA Twitter Chat #wddchat13

Original creation by Lorraine of thisiscaleb

Original creation by Lorraine of thisiscaleb.com

Two years ago, Caleb and I made this photo. I’m happy to see that is actually comes up as an image when “World Diabetes Day” is googled and that people choose to use it as a profile photo or just share in general.

I made the above this year as a cover photo size. You are welcome to use and share this also if you wish.

Today is Dr. Frederick Banting’s birthday. We honor him, the man who discovered insulin in 1921, by recognizing World Diabetes Day on this date every year. One of my favorite parts of World Diabetes Day is the lighting up of all the buildings and monuments around the world in blue (feel free to share the video linked here). They are not only beautiful, but the recognizable images with the blue hue screams unity and support, which I love.

Today DCAF is hosting an all day twitter chat. I will be moderating the 11AM EST hour and the topic will be “Letting Go Yet Still Involved”. I know it’s not all that catchy, but hopefully it at least connote’s the intent of the chat. :)

Please join in at any time and Happy World Diabetes Day to one and all!

#WDDCHAT13

Diabetes Awareness | World Diabetes Day from Lorraine Sisto on Vimeo.

“High Blood Sugar Demon” and more by @madeulookbylex

Video

I came across Lex yesterday when I was doing a little research on a curling wand.

Lemme ‘splain – since creating my own Barbie head which compensated for the one Santa never brought despite requesting one year after year (yes I’m talking about Lila) I’ve been doing various hair things which brought me to this particular investigative work.

After watching the review by Lex, and enjoying her presentation, I looked at her other YouTube videos and was surprised to see one titled “High Blood Sugar…”

Yup, Lex has type 1 diabetes. Oddly, I found this pretty cool. That’s morbid, right? But Lex seems cool, so it seemed cool to just “come upon” this tidbit about her when I actually was not looking for it, ya know?

And check out this video too – she TOTALLY nails it!

Last Minute Scramble for A Valentine’s Day Gift? | #SpareARose

Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 9.58.02 AMHave you heard of IDF’s Life for a Child Campaign? I’ll boil it down simply: there are places in the world where a diagnosis of diabetes is a death sentence. Families are told their child has only months to live.

We know that should never be the case. Although not a cure, insulin is a life-saver and should be available to anyone in the world diagnosed with diabetes whom needs it.

You can help.

The Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign is the idea of some of our dear friends in the diabetes community. The idea is simple: rather than buy 12 roses for your Valentine, purchase 11 and donate the value of the 12th to save a child’s life.

I challenge you to take it a step further. Skip the roses. Tell your Valentine you love them and that you spent the rose-money to keep someone else alive in their honor.

Donate now. It’s easy. You don’t have to visit any store. It’s meaningful.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

#WDD Powerhouse Family for Awareness in Minnetonka

I’d like you to meet Sarah, Virginia and her family. They held a far-reaching awareness campaign at Virginia’s school last year. This year they are extending their reach farther through their school district.

In addition to showing the Monument Awareness Video to all students in classrooms, in 2011 they made and distributed blue ribbons to the entire school population – more than 1,200. They also created an awareness card with facts about diabetes and a fun word search – how creative!

Sarah also went around the nine district schools to hand out ribbons to administrators and nursing staff. She was received warmly and even hugged by one of the school nurses who is type one herself.

In preparation for this year’s World Diabetes Day, Sarah has had students flowing through her house almost nonstop making another enormous inventory of blue ribbons.

They are incorporating the Big Blue Test into their plans as well and have the potential to have an enormous impact to help people with diabetes in need.

Here’s a very recent update on their preparations and an added element to their campaign from Sarah, herself:

“We’re in full swing with WDD!! Attached is a pic of some middle schoolers and the display they made in their front hall. (My daughter Abby is far left.) We’ve also added a neat step for middle schoolers called a “caring chain.” Every student will receive a ribbon, info card, and strip of blue paper. On the paper they’ll write 1.) a wish/hope for people with diabetes and 2.) someone they know know has diabetes (eg., “my sister Virginia”). Then the service club kids are stapling the 1000+ strips into an enormous caring chain to hang through the halls (and hopefully stay up for a while). It will help personalize the day, inspire compassion, and leave a lasting project in the school.”

I’m totally and utterly inspired by and in awe of Sarah and her family’s effort, dedication and spirit for diabetes awareness. All these photos and messages are hers. Give them a look and try not to be equally inspired!

Visit their newly created website for more on the great things they are doing: Tonka Diabetes Day.

World Diabetes Day | School Blue-nity How To Guide

Original creation made by Caleb and Lorraine

For the past three years we have acknowledged World Diabetes Day at Caleb’s school. This was born from the need for awareness – Caleb’s first year in elementary school included some unfortunate bumps in the road. As his principal and I took steps to improve protocols, at her suggestion, we decided an annual World Diabetes Spirit Day would not only benefit Caleb emotionally and physically, but also serve to educate the community at large.

It has been an enormous success!

The first year we asked staff and students to wear blue and donate $1 to the JDRF.

His classmates showed support

His classmates showed support

The next year we asked staff and students to wear blue and I created an awareness video that was shown during each lunch wave. (Please feel free to download it and use it too!)


Last year, we asked staff and students to wear blue, we showed the awareness video, assembled all of Caleb’s grade in a blue circle and asked people to donate dollars and supplies to support Team Type 1′s initiative to assist the children of Rwanda living with diabetes.

We like to call this annual initiative School Blue-nity.

There are many ways you can coordinate something similar at your child’s school, your workplace or both.

Check out Sanofi’s blog, Discuss Diabetes, and how they’ve mapped out how you can “Make Blue Cool at School.

Mike Lawson from the Diabetes Hands Foundation gives you simple instructions on how you can incorporate the Big Blue Test as an event. Each person that participates translates to $5 donated to people living with diabetes in need. Do you have ten people in your office? That’s $50. 100 people? $500. 400 staff and students at your child’s school? That’s $2,000!!! So easy and such a worthy cause!


I created a flyer that can be used to promote the Blue Fridays initiative of “Think Blue, Wear Blue.” and The Big Blue Test in one. Copy and distribute – IT COULD NOT BE EASIER!!

If you’ve ever wanted to do something for diabetes awareness or to recognize World Diabetes Day but didn’t know where to start, please check out any or all of these resources!

It’s easy and it makes a difference.

The Big Blue Test Needs You!!

The Big Blue Test is a program of the Diabetes Hands Foundation. It seeks to empower, engage and connect people living with diabetes.

An important part of managing diabetes is leading a healthy, active life. Exercise helps manage blood sugar levels.

An important part of maintaining good, overall well-being is leading a healthy, active life.

The principle is the same for all people – those with and those without diabetes. People with diabetes have the added component of blood sugar control.

The Big Blue Test asks ALL people to get active. Doing something – walking, dancing, yard work, house work, trapezing – it all gets your heart pumping. You feel better for it.

The program continues through World Diabetes Day – November 14th. We want YOU to get active every day, multiple times a day if you can. Then, LOG IN your results at www.bigbluetest.org.

EVERY TIME A BIG BLUE TEST IS LOGGED, $5 WILL BE DONATED TO HUMANITARIAN DIABETES CHARITIES. The goal is $100,000 to deserving organizations that provide supplies and education to people living with diabetes.

Help yourself while helping others. It’s easy and it’s good for you. There’s even an app for it to make it easier!

But there’s a catch:

We need to get 20,000 tests logged in order to qualify for a penny. Each test accounts for $5, but we need the full 20,000 to get any of the $100,000 generously pledged by Roche Diabetes. More than half the timeframe has passed and we are only have about a quarter of the tests we need logged.

So I am asking you to get active and log it in. Do it now. Do it later. Do it tomorrow. Then to it again and again and ask friends and family to do it with you! The hope is that the Big Blue Test will encourage positive change in people living with diabetes, but also all people, and getting active will simply become part of your daily routine.

If you are wondering where the money goes, watch this video to get an idea.

Help yourself while helping others. It’s a win-win.

Diabetes Hand Foundation Announces 2012 DHF Seeds Grants Awards

Photo Credit – Diabetes Hand Foundation

I am pleased to announce that 9 mini-grants have been awarded to deserving applicants who are making a difference in the lives of people living with diabetes in areas of EMPOWER, EDUCATE and CONNECT. Each advocacy project will receive $2,000 as part of the DHF Seeds grant program for 2012.

Manny Hernandez, President and Founder of the Diabetes Hand Foundation, has this to say about the program:

“Our goal is to support promising projects and help advocates through grants that assist them in taking their projects to the next level.”

Among the recipients are the You Can Do This Project, The World Diabetes Postcard Exchange and Riding on Insulin. Please take a moment to check out all the winning advocacy projects on the Diabetes Hand Foundation Website and their video applications here.

I mentioned our experience at Riding on Insulin yesterday. Their video application is a fabulous summary of of the great things they do:

Disclosure: Earlier this year, I was named to the Board of Directors of the Diabetes Hand Foundation for a three year term. 

#WDD Jewelry | November 14th is Coming!

November 14th will be here before we know it! Cari is having an AMAZING sale through July 31st. Now is a great time to get one or two (or three…) of her beautiful awareness pieces. She accommodates special requests, has super fast delivery and her work is so lovely. We own several of the items shown below (and more) and they do indeed create awareness – people are always asking about them. I’ve also been touched by friends and family with no other connection to diabetes than Caleb who have bought Cari’s pieces – love  you guys!

Necklaces, earrings, cuff links, pins, bracelets – there’s something for EVERYONE!

Thirty percent off, people! And best of all, all proceeds benefit the JDRF!

Link to CCARIA on Etsy

Lilly Diabetes and Disney | Tween Book Series and More

Do you remember Coco? She and her book series were introduced by Lilly Diabetes and Disney at Friends for Life in Orlando last year. Coco has since been received warmly by many and received wonderful reviews.

Yesterday, at the Lilly Diabetes Summit held at their corporate center in Indianapolis, stories about the impact that Coco has had were shared. A young, newly diagnosed girl was able to comfort her worried parents after reading the book and tell them she was going to be okay. Grandparents living with diabetes have used the book to explain what diabetes is to their grandkids. The overwhelming opinion of those at the meeting was that Coco’s story is a wonderful way for kids to feel better about living with diabetes and to help others understand what it means. This picture book really stands out as THE book to get the message across to kids. Not just newly diagnosed kids, but all kids.

In addition to the Coco book, the Lilly Diabetes/Disney collaboration produced the first two books of their tween series. One is titled Power Forward, featuring newly diagnosed Justin, and the other is Up for the Challenge, featuring newly diagnosed Allie. Both have a sports focus which is clear from the picture and the inclusion of “ESPN” on the cover.

Both books are about middle schoolers who are very skilled athletically and play key roles on their sports teams. The main characters are new to diabetes and their biggest difficulty seems to be telling their friends about it. Other issues come up, but the central theme is whether and when they will share the news of their diagnoses.

These books are great for newly diagnosed kids. I don’t know of anything else out there like this available for kids of this age. I think the characters are relatable, the issues are authentic and the message of what it means to be living with diabetes are, for the most part, properly portrayed.

The struggles featured for these characters were more emotional as opposed to physical. For tweens that may indeed be the priority at first. The books are not intended to be a fully inclusive depiction of every issue a newly diagnosed person is presented, nor are they meant to be medical advice. There were times that both characters’ blood sugars went low due to activity – managing sports with diabetes is a focus for both books and hypoglycemia is a real issue we see often when Caleb is active. I found myself anticipating an out-of-range blood sugar at one of the many times the characters responsibly checked their bg. It might be better to say I was actually rooting for an out-of-range blood sugar to see how the story would address it because so many other things were being portrayed well. Those opportunities were few. I worry that a newly diagnosed person would read this and think he/she was doing something wrong if their numbers weren’t as in range as these characters’.

Caleb read Power Forward and Lila, who is 6 and does not have diabetes, read Up for the Challenge. They both enjoyed the books. The stories kept their interest. Lila has been inspired to become a soccer player. Neither of them are the target audience so the impact would be better measured from someone who reads them just after being diagnosed. Nevertheless, the stories do stand alone as just good stories. Lila sought out Up for the Challenge to read a second time just because she liked the theme of friendship.

There was clearly purpose in the writing of these books. At the end of each there are questions to think about, like – did you feel the same way about having to wear a medical alert bracelet? Or – when you went back to school did you feel differently? I think that is a really great tool for parent and tween to start discussions to get feelings out there. I think that’s very valuable right after diagnosis when it can be hard to focus in on all the emotions you are experiencing.

I was happy to hear that these books are not the end – we were presented another tween book, a family cookbook and the promise of another sports oriented book soon on the way. What I saw and heard from the Lilly Diabetes people both last year and this year was a desire to understand what they could do to make things better for people with diabetes on the emotional side. Creating these books, when there is nothing else out there like them, in the authentic way that they have, I think is a great way to do it. I hope they will continue with books focused on some of the other issues our kids deal with through the varied stages of living with diabetes.

I know what you’re going to ask – “Where do I get these books, Lorraine?” Distribution is through endocrinologists’ office. Lilly Diabetes’ hope is that this will provide a link from real-life issues to real-life medical solutions with the proper medical personnel. Please ask your child’s doctor, and if they don’t have them, please have them ask their sales representative.

Lilly Diabetes invited me to attend an event at their corporate center and paid for my airfare, travel, hotel and meals while I was at the event. I was not asked to write about the event and the opinions expressed herein are my own.

Happy Mother’s Day!

A special weekend post for Mother’s Day thanks to DiabetesMine.com. I wasn’t familiar with this series of videos before Amy contacted me. I got a chuckle out of them. My “mom of a D-Kid” version doesn’t quite measure up, but I am so thankful for the response it’s gotten – thank you!

For all moms who will do anything to support, advocate and love their kids above all else, particularly my mom, from whose example I have learned how to do this, this is for you.