Thursday, October 11, 2012

My chance to make a difference



There is something amazing about helping others.  The idea that I might have some knowledge that would benefit someone else is sometimes difficult for me to comprehend.  As I’ve said before, I didn’t start out to be an advocate but that seems to be what I’ve become.  The feeling I get when I realize that someone has benefitted from something I’ve blogged about or mentioned in a forum is priceless; a warm fuzzy; a shot of “go juice”.  I love blogging about diabetes and I hope to continue doing so for a long, long time. 

Earlier this year I wrote about my wishes for 2012.  I spoke during my DSMA Live interview on February 23rd about how I’d like to do some “in real life” advocacy.  I dreamed of doing something more, and now I have. No one would mistake me for a Tasmanian devil, whirling dervish or speed skater.  I’m not the hare; I’m more like the tortoise.  I’m slow, but I get there eventually.  October 2012 has turned out to be my “in real life advocacy” month. 

On October 6th I volunteered at the local health fair at the diabetes booth.  A woman was doing blood glucose tests and I was sort of a greeter and assistant.  My experience wasn’t stellar (more about that another time) but it was awesome to be there and meet some folks who were interested in learning more about diabetes.

On October 20th I will be participating in my first-ever Walk to Stop Diabetes.  I will have to get up at the butt-crack of dawn and drive for 1 ½ hours to get to the location of the walk but I’m SO EXCITED!!  I have received $608 in donations which exceeds my goal of $500.  I have the most awesome family and friends!  I plan to do the 4 mile walk.

On October 27th I’ll be attending my first-ever diabetes conference.  I’m going to the TCOYD conference in San Diego. (Taking Care of Your Diabetes).  While this might not be considered advocating, I’m hoping to make some contacts and pass out the business cards I made up for my blog.  I hope to shake hands with David Edelman of Diabetes Daily and Manny Hernandez of Tu Diabetes who will be presenting there.  Sweet!  I will finally meet some other D peeps from the DOC face to face.  On top of that, I’ll get to sit in on some great presentations.

I’ve saved the best for last.  It took me awhile but I have finally started a diabetes support group in my little town.  Yup, you read that correctly.  Kate started a support group!  There was a support group in this small town for several years, spearheaded by an awesome lady whose dedication spanned 17 years.  She finally stopped so she and her husband can enjoy retirement and maybe travel some.  I met with her to see if I could take up the reins and she was happy to have someone take over.  We had our “organizational meeting” this past Tuesday evening.  6 folks showed up with the promise of 3-4 more at the next meeting.  I had so much fun!  My dear friend Liz was there to help me and she has no idea how great that felt.  It was awesome!  Now the work begins: finding people to come and present as well as planning for group discussions. 

The people who came to the meeting were great; open and willing to share.  I can see that it will be a struggle for me to keep my mouth shut when I’m in disagreement with something someone else says.  I think I handled one such incident already with some semblance of tact (gastric bypass surgery).  There was discussion about how to give up the beloved soda and there is a desire to learn how to tweak recipes and cut back on carbs.  I’m so excited!!  I could go on and on and on and on but I’ll stop now.  I hope this turns out to be as wonderful as I envision.  If nothing else, this gives me an opportunity to help others face to face.  I’m not a CDE or nurse or any type of medical person but I am a person who knows what it’s like to live with diabetes and I have a passion to help others dealing with this frickin disease. So begins a new chapter.

10 comments:

  1. Yay! Congrats to making your wish come true! if I lived nearby I would join your support group. i could sure use something like that.
    have fun at the conference! i look forward to hearing/reading about your experiences with the conference/walk/group.
    blessings
    ~*~

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  2. You are such a rock star! Every time I read a post you are doing some sort of amazing new advocacy activity!

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  3. Thanks guys, I'm grinning all over. :)

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  4. This is AWESOME STUFF KATE!!! WOOHOO!!

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  5. Oh Kate, this is all so fantastic! I'm so thrilled for you and so proud that you have started your own support group. You are awesome!

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