I do what I can to spread awareness online through the efforts of others (albeit not as much lately). Given how infrequent my eloquence with words strikes me and this blog, I always enjoy sharing the thoughts of others – especially when it comes to describing what diabetes is like. For as long as this disease is a thing, we can never have enough posts, tweets, status updates, tumbles, vlogs, speeches, or anything else describing what it’s like to live with diabetes.
For as much as this blog is for me and connecting with the community at large, I also know there’s a benefit for people close to me that don’t have a broken pancreas. If they want to get a better understanding of what I’m going though (first, more power to them), my archives are littered with emotions directly influenced by diabetes. That’s why I was excited to see the JDRF stepping up their awareness game in November with their ‘Be T1D for a Day’ campaign.
From their page:
When you sign up for the T1D for a Day text challenge, you agree to receive as many as 24 text messages over a 24-hour period that simulate the constant blood sugar testing, insulin injections, and dietary decisions that confront people with T1D.
While no virtual campaign can recreate the many needles required or the physical and financial tolls of this serious disease, T1D for a Day seeks to deepen understanding of the many heroic steps our friends and loved ones with T1D take each day.
I’m all for this.
Of course the web analytics side of me says ‘hey, what a great way to get a bunch of phone numbers for future mobile donation campaigns’, but the diabetes side of me thinks that this is a great attempt at a first-person experience in understanding diabetes. Going through a pump simulation with saline or wearing a CGM for a week are other great examples of understanding, but from a cost perspective, this may not necessarily be an option for everyone. But cell phones are pretty much standard issue tools for the 21st century – why not take advantage of this technology in a cost-effective way?
I don’t know what the text messages will say. I don’t know how often they will be delivered. I don’t know if they’ll account for over-treating lows or the inevitable post-overtreat high. I don’t know if they’ll follow the 15 minute “rule” for treating a low. 24-hours may seem like a long time, but the key to this campaign is that participants will hopefully come to the realization that this one-time experience gets repeated every day, often times with no logic to govern what happens next.
Awareness comes in all shapes and sizes, hopefully this campaign will move the metaphorical needle a little bit.
If you’re reading this, you don’t have diabetes, but you want to know what it’s like, give the Be T1D for a Day campaign a try.