World Diabetes Day Image Update |#wdd

For the past couple or maybe few years I’ve created a World Diabetes Day image to use as a profile picture for World Diabetes Day (or here’s one that works for a Facebook cover photo). I’ve shared it publicly if others would like to use it. Here are a couple updates for this year. You are welcome to use them and although not necessary, it would be nice if you could give a nod to the creator! My best to you all this diabetes awareness month in any and all advocacy efforts, big or small.wdd2014wddnov14

World Diabetes Day 2013 | DSMA Twitter Chat #wddchat13

Original creation by Lorraine of thisiscaleb
Original creation by Lorraine of

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!


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

#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.

#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

Personal Connections on World Diabetes Day

For the past three years we have celebrated World Diabetes Day as a community at Caleb’s school. Each year has been a little different.

There were three things that made 2011 unique: supporting Team Type 1, making a human blue circle and meeting Mr. B.

These were all special nuances to Caleb, but perhaps the most impactful one on this day was meeting Mr. B. He is the husband of Caleb’s teacher. He came in to visit with Caleb just for World Diabetes Day. Caleb and Mr. B. both love baseball. They are both fans of the New York Yankees. They are both living with type 1 diabetes.

I went into school during Caleb’s lunch period while his awareness video was being shown. I saw Mr. B chatting with Caleb. I saw Caleb’s smile. They spoke about baseball. Mr. B showed Caleb his insulin pump. Mr. B shared with Caleb what it was like for him growing up with diabetes. He told him he thought Caleb was brave because he’s so open about his diabetes.

Caleb has had a great school year with Mrs. B. Having someone who understands, who is accepting, who isn’t afraid and does not panic makes all the difference in the world for a student with diabetes. Our children cannot help but be singled out at school. There are things that they must do that their peers do not. Things that, despite our best efforts to normalize their school day, are indiscrete. Things that are simply non-negotiable and we cannot change them.

Spending his school days with someone like Mrs. B, who gets it, means that Caleb can focus on being a student first. He can focus on his favorite books, enjoy the new world of science uncovered for him, be challenged in his math group, play his violin, and joke with his friends.

It lets Caleb just be Caleb. A boy who, like his peers, has many dimensions. One just happens to be living with diabetes, like his new friend, Mr. B.

Another great teacher: Mrs. Muller | The Standard

Mr. and Mrs. B, Caleb, Lila, Nurse M and Mrs. Muller are in the upper right part of the blue circle.

Super Class Moms – World Diabetes Day | Friend Parade

Fellow Class Moms Dawne and Gigi with Caleb holding his special note

For the past three years, we have held awareness events at Caleb’s school for World Diabetes Day. This year, in addition to asking friends to wear blue, we collected dollars to support the efforts of Team Type 1 in Rwanda.

We did our usual – created an awareness flyer and made daily announcements at school. The community answered and we were able to contribute $500 and 600 test strips to Team Type 1’s cause.

I was on campus that day and was touched to see so many people wearing blue. I even noticed my friends and fellow class moms, Gigi and Dawne, were there, sporting their blue. “How nice,” I thought, “that they remembered to wear blue today.”

I was taking care of a few things in conjunction with the awareness video we showed the students and Gigi asked me if I would be heading to the classroom. I said, sure. I was a little confused trying to think of what was happening in class that day that I couldn’t remember.

I eventually made my way back to class where Gigi, Dawne and the class were waiting. They presented Caleb with a special note signed by each of them with the following sentiment:

In honor of our friend and classmate, Caleb Schlissel, for his dedication to the Team Type 1 project to help the children in Rwanda, we would like to donate $40 as a class to show our support and friendship.

Caleb and his family are helping less fortunate children receive the proper medications and supplies they need to manage their diabetes on a daily basis.

Way to go, Caleb!!!!

We had asked people to wear blue and contribute a dollar to the cause. Caleb’s class raised more than twice that and accounted for the biggest class donation of all the campus.

I was so surprised and touched that they would go out of their way and come into school just for Caleb. In retrospect, I really should not have been. They are wonderful moms and good friends. As I sit here today, five months later, I still get choked up by their thoughtfulness.

Thank you, Gigi and Dawne, for your kindness and generosity. It is a comfort and a blessing to have you as neighbors and friends. This will always be a special memory for Caleb and me.

Blue Circle Pendant by @C_Caria

Sterling Silver Blue Crystal Circle Pendant - World Diabetes Day Awareness - Support JDRF

There are currently four of them. They are owned by:

Cari – the creator,

Cherise – the inspiration,

Rachel – the hunter,

and me.

Among other things, Cari is a jewelry crafter and her son, Nate, has type 1 diabetes. Cherise was looking for something last November to commemorate World Diabetes Day. The two brainstormed and voilĂ ! The necklace was born.

I remember Rachel being on the hunt for something like this long ago. She caught wind of it and got her hands on one.

I must have seen a tweet of Cari’s and ordered my own.

I love it. It is both beautiful and meaningful. The World Diabetes Day Blue Circle has always been the diabetes awareness symbol to which I most relate. You can read about its meaning here.

I cannot wear this necklace without someone asking me about it. Often it is someone who already knows Caleb, but I’ve also struck up conversations with strangers at the bank and grocery store (that’s the exciting life I lead). They first notice its beauty and then get an appreciation for its symbolism. It has the power to spread awareness.

Cari is donating all the proceeds from the sales of this necklace and her other diabetes awareness jewelry to JDRF. You can read the full description on Cari’s Etsy page, but here is an excerpt:

My son was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes in 2008 at age 8. We have no history of Diabetes in our family at all. It’s been a struggle and a learning experience, but it has made us all stronger. A cure for Diabetes can be within our reach, and I tell my son all the time, he may see a cure in his lifetime. I am doing my part to promote awareness. All proceeds from my Diabetes Awareness Jewelry will be donated to JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Help us find a cure and wear your jewelry proudly!!

I caution you, you might not be able to stop at just the one piece. She has an Etsy shop full of beautiful non-awareness jewelry too. I have purchased several items and wear them proudly. I also crossed many teacher gifts off my list at the end of the school year thanks to Cari’s creations. The pieces are well made and her service is impeccable.

Cari did not ask me to post about this. I am getting nothing in return other than the chance to share my joy in finding such a great piece of jewelry that allows me to show my pride in my son and the diabetes community. Given the fact that the four of us are so happy with our necklaces, I thought there might be others out there who would be interested in having one of their own!

UPDATE TO POST: Due to demand, you may see the item listed as “SOLD” when you click on the link. Do not fret! You can either check back to see if it is relisted, or contact Cari directly to find out timing of availability. Thanks for your interest folks! I would definitely love to hear from everyone who gets one. Perhaps we can start a photo collage!

School Blue-nity | #saed

calebThis is part of our story from last year’s World Diabetes Day. We are currently in the planning phases of this year’s School Blue-nity event which will be a little bigger and hopefully at least a little bit better.

When my son’s principal and I discussed holding a school spirit day to recognize World Diabetes Day, I imagined it coming and going like other ones – rather uneventfully.  I am happy to say that was not the case.

Our plan was to ask students and staff to wear blue and donate a dollar to support a cure for type 1 diabetes.  My son, Caleb, is living with diabetes, and the hope was to increase awareness.  Simple enough.

It turned into so much more than that.  I was able to personally draft a message to explain what World Diabetes Day is and a little about what living with diabetes is like.  Caleb was invited to announce the event over the loudspeaker in the principal’s office.  He was asked to count the dollars that were collected.  He was given the privilege of announcing the fundraising results and his thanks.

The impact was palpable.  Every staff member was donned in blue, several from head to toe.  Most students were dressed in blue.  I saw several that know and are friends with Caleb and I smiled knowing they did this for him, because they care for him.  I saw children who Caleb does not know and I thought they did this simply because they were asked to, and maybe they now know a little bit more about diabetes.  Or maybe they have a loved one living with diabetes and they did it in honor of them.  In any case, there was a sea of blue swarming through Caleb’s school and it made us feel good.

It was unifying.

During the day, Caleb followed his normal routine and he had blood sugars that were less than cooperative.  The school nurse commented how he couldn’t even catch a break on his special day.  She too, however, has come to realize that diabetes does not give any breaks.  She followed her empathetic statement with, “well that’s just diabetes, isn’t it?”

Yes it is.

What Caleb will remember though, is not the less than perfect blood sugar readings.  He will remember being special for a day.  He told me his favorite part was making the announcements to everyone at school.  He proudly listed all the teachers who now know him and call him by name. He will remember his friends who wore blue and gave dollars to show their respect for him and all people living with diabetes.

The day was a great success.  I am grateful to all those who took part in it and who support Caleb at school every day in such a caring way.

We are already planning how to build upon this event for next year.

Originally published at – November 2009.

Diabetes Snapshots. Of Caleb and more.

Day 6 of Diabetes Blog Week.

Diabetes Snapshots

One of those magical moments.
Caleb being Caleb.
4 months worth.
Test strip fun - a younger Caleb.
Filling an OmniPod syringe.
World Diabetes Day
WDD Big Blue Test - brotherly solidarity.
WDD - Lila with blue nails.
Lila emulating Caleb.
These are Caleb's numbers on his 7th birthday.
In the t-ball field with Dad. Always a watchful eye both on the call and on Caleb.
Heading to Yankees stadium. We had a great save on pretzel carbs by the Twitter team. Click to read.
WDD - Hands encircled in blue glow.
Total support - Caleb with father, brother, sister, mother.

Day 1 – A day in the life of…diabetes

Day 2 – Making the low go.

Day 3 – Your biggest supporter.

Day 4 – To carb or not to carb.

Day 5 – Let’s get moving.

Tomorrow’s topic: Dream a little dream.

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