The Wego Health prompt for today: Thank a few of your fellow activists for what they have done.
I have a wonderful circle of friends who double as my diabetes compatriots. Some have been around since before the proliferation of online health activism, blazing the way and impacting the way that Pharma looks at us. Others are newer to the Diabetes Online Community but no less important in my circle.
(A little background: Before there was theperfectd, there was a podcast called DiabeticFeed that John and I did for a while in 2005 and 2006. It got play and will forever be remembered as the first podcast dedicated to diabetes. We did interviews and gave voice to research studies. It was on iTunes and while we loved doing it, we had to let it “podfade” because we moved and changed jobs and all of a sudden I was traveling way too much.)
I know I will have missed someone after I finish this post. It’s like trying to thank an entire cast and crew during an Academy Awards one minute acceptance speech before the theme from Jaws begins to drown you out.
These are just a few of the people I look to for support, laughter, research, insight, and hope and for whom I give thanks:
Kerri Sparling – a few months after she began her blog, Six Until Me, I interviewed her for diabeticfeed. What was supposed to be a short discussion became a long discussion, then hysterical phone calls that lasted late into evenings, and my first T1 friend. Neither of us were married at the time and both of us dreamed of having children. I went to her wedding. She was one of my first phone calls after I found out I was pregnant the first time – and one of the first after I miscarried. She has been virtually by my side at the highest and lowest points in my life. Her “little blog” has grown to be the most popular patient blog for T1 diabetics and a humungous source of information for those needing a real world perspective on pumps and Dexcom and pregnancy with T1 diabetes and how to be a silly person. She speaks for many of us at Pharma and medical conferences as a patient advocate.
George Simmons – diabeticfeed, or so he tells me, helped him get onto the road of reaching out through his blog and meeting other online diabetics. I found this from February 9, 2006… which I think is funny for two special reasons – it’s most likely the first time Kerri and George “met” – she commented on the blog post and added his blog to her blogroll… and it was the first time I commented on his blog, too. Since then, he’s been a huge uplifting diabetes advocate, sharing his own diabetes struggles and helping others when the burden seems to get to be too much. His song, Not By Choice, is not only beautiful, but is a reminder of what we all go through. He’s known as Uncle Ninja by my daughter, and his family are much loved by ours.
Scott Johnson – The strange thing is that I don’t remember when I first encountered Scott online, because in my head, he’s just always been in my life. He’s the Frick to George Simmons’ Frack, the Tango to his Cash, the Diet Coke to the Diet Pepsi (it make sense if you know them both…). He’s an amazing voice in our community, connecting people to each other through his Blog Roundup on Diabetes Monitor and sharing his own life with diabetes on his own blog. He speaks across the country for diabetes advocacy and online activism. (And he’s known as the Baby Whisperer in the DOC, because little ones just like to snuggle with him…)
Bennet Dunlap – parent of two T1s and part of the “bad ass posse” of online advocates. (We have a special handshake and everything.) His outspoken nature is much needed for asking the tough advocacy questions and he’s an inspiration to me. Pharma has learned not to ever put the two of us at the same table…or the same room…or even the same state. He’s active in the FDA/research component of diabetes activism and I’m grateful for that. (He and his wife are also the people to talk with about doing Disney with diabetes.)
I am teaching my daughter to draw circles and someday soon, she will understand that circles can be large and filled with something else she loves…
“Hearts, Mommy! Hearts!”