November 14th is World Diabetes Day. The International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization started World Diabetes day in 1991 to raise awareness about the growing epidemic of diabetes. This year’s theme is “eyes on diabetes”. Diabetes can lead to serious complications including blindness if it goes undetected for a significant period of time.
Over the past 28 years, I’ve dedicated my volunteer efforts to several diabetes related organizations in the hopes increasing diabetes awareness. These incredible communities focus on advocacy, education, and diabetes symptom awareness. They help provide support to people with diabetes around the world.
Marjorie’s Fund is a non -profit organization whose mission is to bring advocacy, education and resources to adolescents and adults with type 1 diabetes who don’t have the resources to manage their diabetes.
Marjorie’s Fund is dedicated to empowering adolescents and adults living with type 1 diabetes in resource-poor settings to not only survive their diagnosis, but to effectively control their diabetes and to thrive. Without adequate support and supplies, patients cannot maintain good blood glucose control and will become chronically unwell, developing devastating and often fatal diabetes-related complications. Marjorie’s Fund is championing the fight against that.
I’m proud to be an educational advisory for Marjorie’s Fund and support their initiatives nationally and internationally.
Marina Tsaplina the founder and creative director of THE BETES organization is a performance artist who has type 1 diabetes. THE BETES organization utilizes puppetry and metaphor, to help bring validation to people with diabetes. Folks with diabetes can come away saying, “I’m not alone, and I can do this.” The dramatic process of tension and resolution helps produce catharsis and insight. The aim is to deepen the traditional doctor–patient encounter, which is a potent locus for healing, and bring dimensionality to the therapeutic setting.
The power of puppetry has the ability to give form to the internal and invisible. For example, how does shame reveal itself in a person’s sense of self and their diabetes? How does that affect self-care? The artist’s role is to inspire in each person a sense of their own humanity and possibility. We do this by focusing on areas of diabetes that are too often silenced. As a CDE, I feel that the work of THE BETES can help people with diabetes explore their emotions, and improve their relationships with their health care providers.
I am an advisor for THE BETES organization and continue to support their vision to help people with diabetes improve their emotional and mental health.
For more information, please read our article in my column Diabetes in Real Life, Endocrine Today
Please check out my interview with Marina at AADE 16
DiabetesSisters is a non profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life of women with diabetes and advocate on their behalf. This past year I’ve been privileged to co-author a chapter of a paper on “10 Relevant Health Topics”, which was a joint effort with DiabetesSisters and the Society for Women’s Health Research. My topic was “Planning for a Healthy Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes”.
Anna Norton and I also presented this topic as a poster session at AADE 16. Please take a look at the video we recorded at the conference.
I’ve been honored to be an advisor for the DiabetesSisters for the past several years and look forward to working with Anna and this amazing organization for years to come.
Please check out the video from our poster session at AADE 16
We Are Diabetes
We Are Diabetes is an organization primarily devoted to giving support, education, and spreading awareness for type 1 diabetics who suffer from eating disorders. They are dedicated to providing guidance, hope, and resources to those who may be struggling, as well as to their families and loved ones. Founder Asha Brown is an incredible woman who has dedicated her efforts to helping women who are suffering with diabulimia and other eating disorders. She is a role model for so many people in the diabetes community.
We Are Diabetes also advocates for living well and living strong with type 1 diabetes. The daily challenges of living with this disease, as well as the emotional and financial toll it takes, can oftentimes result in a sense of defeat or isolation. We Are Diabetes strives to help those who feel alone in their chronic illness find hope and courage to live healthy, happy lives!
I’m so proud to be an active partner with We Are Diabetes (WAD).
Mr. Divabetic (Max Szadek) shows us how to do “wellness with a wow”.
Divabetic reaches hundreds of thousands of women, men, and their families across the United States with an engaging, entertaining, and inspirational approach to diabetes management and self-care. The network includes nationally recognized certified diabetes educators, beauty/fashion experts, motivators, and diabetes community peers who contribute their expertise and personal experiences to make over diabetes education and support, and to promote health and wellness in a glam new way. Divabetic’s programs provide learning in a fun, innovative and non-judgmental environment.
I’ve participated on many Divabetic podcasts and I’m excited to participate as a “Charlie’s Angel of Outreach”. I was the keynote speaker for the 2014 Divabetic conference at Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Philadelphia.
As a registered dietitian-nutritionist and certified diabetes educator, I am humbled by the work these incredible organizations do. I lend my time and expertise to Marjorie’s Fund, THE BETES, We Are Diabetes, Divabetic, and the DiabetesSisters in the hopes of educating people with diabetes and advocating on their behalf. For people with diabetes and their families, every day is diabetes day. I encourage everyone to do something, just one thing to help improve diabetes symptom awareness and education. Let’s continue to strive for improved diabetes management and continue to move towards a cure.