You’re about to read a sentence that likely make your eyes roll. I swear, I’m not trying to be that guy. If you’ll stick with me, I’ll bring it back around by the end. Full circle and whatnot.
I met a number of people at Friends For Life who “knew who I was”, but I wasn’t familiar with their blog or their twitter name.
The first time it happened it was silly but understandable. After the fifth or sixth person it was embarrassing. It’s hard to keep up with the diabetes community. I knew this before going to Orlando but now that the dust has settled, I have infinitely more respect for the people who can keep track of everyone. You are the real heroes.
As horrible as I was at connecting faces to online personalities, I did, however, do my fair share of connecting people to the You Can Do This Project (see what I did there?). We set up shop Thursday afternoon with all kinds of goodies – wristbands (both adult and kid size), flyers, stickers, a super poster and other interactables (because that’s a word). After a late-night movie, a good portion of Friday was spent at the booth describing the project to exhibit hall attendees.
You know how cartoons always use a light bulb turning on when the character has an idea or connects the dots with his or her current situation? It sounds cheesy, but I saw that light in the eyes of the people I was talking to at the booth. Describing the impact of emotional support in diabetes management and how this project was designed to fill that void.
We all get a little down. We all feel alone sometimes. There are plenty of days that diabetes wins. But tomorrow is another day, and that’s where all of these videos come in handy – to remind us that despite the solitude, we’re never alone with this disease.
Among the goodies at the booth were two small white boards. We encouraged willing participants to write a message for a future montage. We did our best to keep the intent vague: What would you tell yourself at your (or your child’s) diagnosis? What have you done despite diabetes? What advice would you give other people with diabetes? The response was overwhelming, immediate, and awesome.
Now that this video is public, I’ve opened up my Flickr album with all of the pictures I took at Friends for Life. I’ll highlight some of my favorites next week but feel free to check them out on your own time.