‘You’ll be pleased to know that I represented people with diabetes very well in the meeting that I attended yesterday.’

The meeting was all about people with diabetes; making decisions about people with diabetes; looking at processes and practices for people with diabetes; discussing how people with diabetes access healthcare.

And in the room? Not a single person with diabetes.

I looked at the healthcare professional who told me that she had so well represented ‘my people’ and shook my head.

And yet,’ I said. ‘You are not a person with diabetes. Can you imagine how much more powerful it would have been to actually have people affected by the things being discussed in the room?’

I was reminded of this conversation, which took place a few months ago, this morning when I saw this from the folks at T1 International. (I’ve written about them before, but please check them out. Their work is so important.)

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T1 International is working towards adequate access to insulin and diabetes supplies, as well as healthcare for all people across the world living with type 1 diabetes. They are giving a voice to communities that are most often not heard by sharing their experiences and amplifying their stories.

But I wonder, what hope can there be for people in countries where diabetes is so tough if in places like Australia, where we have heavily subsidised medication and supplies (I know, I know – CGM is not subsidised), we are still not being given the microphone?

I never doubt the amazing advocacy initiatives that many healthcare professionals undertake for people with diabetes. It is important and necessary and I am so grateful for it.

However, there is an authenticity that can only be delivered by those walking the miles in our (diabetes-appropriate – pfft!) shoes; not those walking alongside us.

Bringing home the point again was this cartoon that has appeared frequently on my SoMe feeds this week.

Copyright - SocialMediaPearls

Copyright – SocialMediaPearls

Let us in the room. Don’t speak for us. We have voices. Hand us a microphone so we can be heard.