A Brief Journey in Diabetes Advocacy

Last night I gave a presentation to some of Stanford’s Medical students as part of a Design for Health class taught by Medicine X Executive Director Dr. Larry Chu and Dr. Kyra Bobinet. The theme of last night’s class was Design for Wearables, featuring Dr. Matthew Diamond from Misfit Wearables.

The class opened with my 5 minutes of fame, followed by Dr. Diamond’s talk, and ending with a questions and answers session that I moderated.

I think it went well.

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I Wrote About #dayofdiabetes for Symplur

While I continue to update http://dayofdiabetes.tumblr.com with new entries from last week, I invite you to hop on over to Symplur to read a guest post I wrote about the social metrics to come out of last Thursday. They provided me with some very cool graphics, like the one below, and some insightful numbers that helped prop up some of my analysis of what happened.

Image links to guest post on Symplur

Here’s a snippet:

My hope is that of those 2.5 million impressions, at least one of them helped someone new find the motivation to improve their own diabetes management. I hope that at least one of those impressions turned a Twitter lurker, to a thought-leader within the diabetes community. I hope that at least one of those impressions helped someone with a loved one living with diabetes understand what we go through on a daily basis a little bit better.

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Just Talking with Cherise Shockley

I spend the next hour catching up with Cherise Shockley, founder of the Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation. We discuss how her life has changed after getting a dog, the unexpected value in having a second grader take a personal finance class, the calculated growth of the Diabetes Community Advocacy Foundation (DCAF), and knowing when to establish healthy boundaries. Enjoy!

You can learn more about DCAF diabetescaf.org and be sure to follow Cherise on Twitter @SweeterCherise.


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Always Educating

I like this.

As I continue to mull over ways to improve awareness within the diabetes community, I need to remember these educational moments are an opportunity, not a burden. I shouldn’t walk away from misinformation and ignorance, I should confront it. I shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for what I believe in.

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More Thoughts on #dayofdiabetes

As I begin to curate and publish Day of Diabetes stories from yesterday, I’m starting to think about larger takeaways beyond the mere presence of tweets over the past 24 hours. I’m trying to keep track of the questions I’m asking, not with the hopes of finding immediate answers, but because I think there’s an extended conversation we can have as a result of your collective participation.

What can be gained by people with diabetes who observed #dayofdiabetes, but did not participate?

What can be said about the people who started sharing their #dayofdiabetes, but could not finish?

Why is sharing this level of detail important?

How can these stories become the foundation of something bigger? What does bigger look like?

Are there other patient communities that could engaged in a similar live-tweeting?

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Just Talking about mySugr

Kyle Rose, mySugr’s Managing Director for North America is my guest this week. We cover Kyle’s work with mySugr, the complexities of an international business with respect to localization and government approval. As well as covering the basic of the mySugr suite of applications, I also ask about the future of mySugr and do my best to learn about future product updates without getting Kyle in trouble. There’s also, for reasons I cannot explain, some mention of Cornell’s A Capella scene. Enjoy!

You can learn more about mySugr at mysugr.com and by following them on Twitter @mySugr.


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Revisiting #dayofdiabetes

And with that, we’ve settled on Thursday, April 10 as a new #dayofdiabetes.

I’m calling this a revisit because I shared my first #dayofdiabetes last May and a bunch of people gave it a go after that. Engaging with this project is not something that I recommend on a daily basis. Looking this hard at my diabetes management, recognizing every action that I take that has a diabetes influence, and remembering to share that thought with Twitter…it’s exhausting (more so than simply living with diabetes.) That said, the advocacy and awareness impact of doing this is immeasurable.

For all the blog posts and independent tweets we share with the world, putting them back to back for a full day provides real insight into what it’s like to live with this disease. That’s the power of sharing a #dayofdiabetes. It’s just one way we as a community can spread diabetes fact rather than let diabetes myths pollute the conversation. It’s one of the most personal ways we can educate each other, and the general public, about the similarities, differences, struggles, and successes that come with living with diabetes.

So this Thursday, I invite you to share your Day of Diabetes. If you’re interested in participating, let me know in the comments or send me a message on Twitter @iam_spartacus. If you want to Storify your own tweets after you’re done, feel free. I’ll do my best to capture each of your days and post them up on the Day of Diabetes blog.

If you want to see what past entries look like, you can visit dayofdiabetes.tumblr.com.

And if you are afraid you’ll be alone in your tweets, fear not…

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