This time last year I had been fortunate enough to be invited by Animas to their Bloggers’ summit in Barcelona where I met a truly inspirational bunch of T1 bloggers & patient advocates from across the world who welcomed this squib into their fold & gave me tremendous optimism about my daughter’s future.
Fast forward a year & I once again was lucky enough to be invited back for the 3rd Animas European Bloggers’ Conference. Once more, the delegates welcomed this squib as an equal & we settled into a full day’s discussion as old friends, ready to support & learn from one another.
Kerri Sparling organised an excellent programme of events, kicking off the day talking about two projects that were very close to her heart.
The first project, as a mother, was one that held particular resonance with me. I have long felt very fortunate that the happy chance of mine & my daughter’s birth place has ensured she has always had ready access to insulin & modern technologies to help manage her T1. Indeed, Pumplette also knows how fortunate she is to have unfettered access to insulin wherever & whenever she needs it.
Which is why I am so moved by the Spare a Rose initiative. A simple idea making a massive impact to children who have no access to insulin if their families are unable to afford it. The concept is simple. On Valentine’s Day, rather than giving a dozen red roses, why not give 11 & donate the cost of a single rose to provide insulin to a child in the developing world for a month? Or, even better, donate the cost of an entire dozen roses & tell your valentine that they have enabled a child with T1 to have insulin for a whole year. One whole year of a child’s life for the cost of twelve blooms. I’ll let you ponder on that for a moment.
The other project Kerri spoke about was the #WalkWithD initiative. This idea appealed to me for it encourages us all to reach out beyond our online community in the #DOC & explain to others who aren’t touched by diabetes just what it means to live with, or close to, any form of diabetes. We spoke as a group at length about the need to support ALL those who live with diabetes, be it T1 or T2, so we can help stop the stigma attached to the word diabetes & support all those in our community. We have a much more powerful voice if we’re using it positively & supportively, rather than splintering into many teams & types, sniping about misunderstanding in the wider world, rather than concentrating on educating those who’s lives are not touched by diabetes & where some of the biggest ignorance is nurtured.