This post is sponsored by Medtronic
The biggest month for diabetes awareness activities is here, and it’s the perfect time to raise your voice to increase awareness about diabetes! You might ask: Why? How does more awareness impact the lives of people with diabetes in a meaningful way? The question is a good one, but the answer is simple. Awareness is the first step to any kind of change. More funding for research, better public support for legislation issues. More understanding and empathy. Less blame and shame.
Awareness + education is even more powerful. Knowing symptoms of type 1 diabetes can be life-saving when a diagnosis is right around the corner. If you’re at risk for type 2, education can help prevent or delay the progression of the disease (in cases where you’re able to do that). And education that helps our communities offer support (instead of blame) through a very challenging disease is invaluable.
Here’s a list of different ways you and your family and friends can make an impact for diabetes in your community.
1. ADA This Is DiabetesTM Campaign
The ADA is showcasing real-life stories of people with diabetes and their care partners managing the everyday successes and challenges of diabetes. Help the ADA raise awareness by submitting your own story to communicate the experiences of those who know and understand diabetes the best. Share your story, photo, or video on social media using #ThisIsDiabetes.
2. Take The Big Blue Test
Another annual favorite, the Diabetes Hands Foundation asks you to take the Big Blue Test by doing 14-20 minutes of exercise of your choice, testing your blood sugar, and sharing your results either online or through your smartphone app. Each entry you log between October 14th and November 14th triggers a $3 donation on your behalf to nonprofit groups, including DiabetesSisters, that are providing life-saving supplies, services, and education to people with diabetes in need.
3. Medtronic Diabetes Myths Awareness
All month long, Medtronic Diabetes will be breaking common myths associated with diabetes. A great awareness campaign to allow others to truly understand what people living with diabetes CAN do. Make sure to head over to our Facebook page and share these myths with your diabetes community.
4. Submit Your#insulin4all Image
Two charities, The Pendsey Trust and T1International, wanted to raise awareness about the lack of access to essentials (insulin, test strips, education, healthcare, etc.) that many people with type 1 diabetes face around the globe, so they launched the #insulin4all campaign in 2014. Support by submitting your #insulin4all image.
5. Take a Blue Circle Selfie
Take a selfie with the global symbol for diabetes, a blue circle, through the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) WDD selfie app. Share it on your social media pages and be sure to encourage your friends and family to have fun and be creative with this app too. The more, the merrier! If you have a larger group of people, you can invite your loved ones or coworkers to do a “human blue circle.” We do this every year at Medtronic and always look forward to it!
6. Join Test2Prevent
One in two people currently living with type 2 diabetes is undiagnosed. IDF wants to identify people with undiagnosed type 2 and those at risk for developing it in the future. Encourage others to take the online risk assessment to see who might be at risk. Anyone participating in a screening activity is encouraged to use the blue circle app and hashtags #test2prevent #eyesondiabetes #WDD.
7. Wear Blue on Fridays
Wear blue on all four Fridays of November (and on World Diabetes Day) to advocate and bring awareness for diabetes and the people living with it. Help spread the word and search the hashtag “#bluefridays” on social channels to see who else is wearing blue! If you want to advocate all year long, you can even wear blue every Friday throughout the year, like the innovator behind this idea: Cherise Shockley!
Here’s our customer support team who helps respond to you on social media—all sporting blue! Back left to front right: Nicole, Rueben, Ted, Jesse, Rae.
8. Participate in a Fundraiser Walk
Join the JDRF and American Diabetes Association (ADA) in one of their walks (held nationwide) to fundraise for diabetes, education, research, and advocacy. Register to join your local JDRF One Walk or ADA Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. If you can’t attend in person, you can also sign up as a “virtual walker” to show your support. Here at Medtronic, we had a blast at the JDRF One Walk in San Antonio and Los Angeles in October, and are excited for the upcoming ADA Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes events.
9. And There’s More!
For an ever-growing list of new and creative activities, visit Project Blue November.
Have something new to add to the list? Share with us how you plan to raise awareness this November!