In celebration of diabetes, I want to encourage my readers to get involved in the diabetes community. There are several reasons why this is important. For one, when you are personally invested, you are also personally encouraged. Secondly, you can use your diabetes experiences to motivate others. And finally, getting involved can be a way of giving back to the world that has given you opportunities to live a better life with diabetes.
Here are some ways you can get involved:
Donate. Writing a check is often the easiest and quickest way a person can assist the diabetes community. There are dozens of organizations, so do your homework and decide which one you would like to help support.
Volunteer. Join a diabetes walk or become active in an organization. Time can sometimes be worth more to a cause than money. Again, do your research and ask lots of questions so you can find the best organization to fit your skill set.
Support. Offer a listening ear to someone who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes or is supporting a family member with the disease. People yearn to be heard.
Educate. Spend some time learning about recent diabetes studies and health information to better your understanding and management of your disease. Finding reliable sources of information can be tricky, so ask your doctor, diabetes educator, and dietitian for starting points.
Live (by example). There is always someone watching you to see how you will react to your disease. The food choices you make, whether or not you exercise, how you handle a difficult diabetes day—these are all ways that people with diabetes can demonstrate to others that diabetes is a manageable disease.
No doubt we all have days where we’d rather crawl in a hole than wear diabetes on our sleeves, and I believe these moments are necessary for us to reflect and rejuvenate. But when it comes down to it, what we do in life matters. Others are watching. What are you going to do today to impact your own life and the lives of others for the better?