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So that was World Diabetes Day?

So that was World Diabetes Day... Good thing I have a Twitter account and this blog or I wouldn't have known. I saw a message on Twitter yesterday saying the same thing. The author wrote that they didn't hear a word on any large media outlet but that Twitter was on fire with diabetes related posts. I found myself agreeing.

Every blogger, website and person whose BG was ever above 120 took the opportunity to announce something yesterday, me included and everyone's exuberance caused a flutter for certain, tweets were flying down my timeline at a furious pace. I spent my entire day keeping up with, managing, posting and responding to things related to World Diabetes Day. I felt great, though a bit exhausted (I may have fallen to sleep on the sofa and not woken up until 4:45 am) and I'd do it all again in a second but my question is, "what did I do?"

Was I only talking to other people who already knew that it was World Diabetes Day? Did our community have a party that only we came to? I'm sure not totally but I'm betting that the answer is, in some part, "yes". It's this nagging feeling that I have that helped me to decide to follow my passion and announce my charitable intentions last week. My overall concern that while we are supporting each other and doing it well, our message may not reach far outside the community or with the same intensity that it does inside the community.

It's a huge and difficult question but I want it answered - How do you get a baseball fan to care about hockey? A serious news junky to care about the Kardashians? Is it possible to get a message to a person that has no interest, connection or concern with a topic without marketing that person to within an inch of their life, thusly ruining the message? I think the answer is "yes" and I'm determined to find a way to do it. 

None of this is to say that the amazing things that go on in the DOC everyday aren't valuable, just the opposite, they are the heart of the DOC but how do we expand? How do I leave a guy who has no connection to type I diabetes feeling what a T1 mom feels when she reads something that I've written. It is possible, I know it. I know in impart because I believe but also because it's happened to me and recently.

We took Arden to see 'Wicked' in New York last week. At the end of the first act the character Elphaba is hovering above the ground having just come to an important realization about herself. The scene ended, the curtain went down and the house lights went up - I was crying. My level of interest going into the show stopped being an issue when I was presented with a well told and interesting story. That is how I see our message about diabetes going wider. We have to stop spouting statistics and saying the same things over and over when we're presented with a larger audience. I know that it's difficult to find new and interesting ways to say the same stuff but it's doable. We need to tell more interesting stories, well.

If only diabetes was a green witch that could sing...

They didn't allow photograph in the theater so here is a picture of Arden surveying New York from the Empire State Building.

"There's nothing you can't do"


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Reader Comments (7)

Thanks for a great post
Diabetes Care

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteralison

I have to agree. I was thinking the exact same thing yesterday. But, just as I came home and watched the 6pm news, they had a short blurb about it being WDD. I think next year I'll send a letter or email asking them to highlight the Big Blue Test along with WDD.

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I had the same feeling last year on WDD. I was screaming from the roof top about World Diabetes Day and within my own little bubble people got it and listened but that was it. When I entered reality no one was paying any attention. Maybe that is why this year I went a little low key...really not way I should have dealt with it but some days take a little more then others.

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenternicole

I'm glad that I'm not alone!

November 15, 2011 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

I totally agree! My husband asked what was being done for WDD and I sputtered something about it seems it's mostly inside the diabetes social circle. I so want to see and be a part of something huge next year. I want to walk in to stores and see blue. It really needs to be in everyone's face. I guess we have a year to make it happen.

November 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Suzanne I hope that my Untitled Giving Project will show our community that we have power that can transcend the space that we currently reside in. I love what you said and hope sincerely that you or someone who reads your words can make your vision a reality in 2012.

November 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterScott Benner

there was a jdrf even downtown that amounted to basically a photo op. i agree that there needs to be some sort of 'hook' (green witch) to get people with no personal connection to care about it. keep on truckin.

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershannon

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