My Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of diabetes awareness campaigns and it is only going to get busier in the next few days. World Diabetes Day is a global event, and around the world there is much going on to help get people talking and thinking about diabetes.
My favourite campaigns are those that strive to shoot down diabetes myths and one that is getting some well-deserved traction this week is Walk With D.
The aim of Walk with D is to help people without diabetes understand what life with diabetes is all about. But more than that, it hopes to address the misconceptions within the diabetes community too.
Diabetes myths are rife. Every day, I hear things that are simply not right about what diabetes is all about. It frustrates me; it angers me; it infuriates me – never more so than when it is coming from within our own community.
I am filled with despair when I see people with type 1 diabetes perpetuating myths about type 2 diabetes with incredibly destructive ‘type 2 bashing’. I don’t know how many times I’ve said the words ‘No one asks to get ANY kind of diabetes’, but believe me when I say if I had a dollar every time I’d uttered that sentence, I’d be wearing a new pair of Manolos almost every week!
‘Even within the diabetes community, there are levels of misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and mistaken messaging, often creating a divide where there should be a bridge.’ – Walk With D website
Help stop the stigma!
As with any successful social media campaign, it’s easy to get involved with the Walk With D campaign. Share your story and use the #WalkWithD hashtag. Make it personal and make it real. Visit the Tagboard on the Walk With D website to see what others are saying about their real life with diabetes. And share. Share. Share.
And if you need more of an incentive to get on board, Lifescan Inc will donate 100 BGL strips to Life for a Child every time the #WalkWithD hashtag is used during November. Get tagging, good people!
Everyone’s diabetes story is going to be different – the diversity of our community is actually one of its strengths! But we can surely unite in our aim to have diabetes spoken about respectfully and with courtesy. Surely we can bond over the fact that diabetes just plain sucks. Surely we can walk together with diabetes, united, with our heads held high and our arms linked.