When we wear blue, share our T1D footprints, speak to our political representatives, family and friends about T1D, show that #T1DLooksLikeMe—what is it all really for? These extra actions toward awareness—beyond pure fundraising—what do they contribute to?
Everyone who works as an advocate in and for the T1D community helps diminish the everyday annoyances that people living with T1D experience, the:
- “Can you eat that?”
- “Is it the bad kind?”
- “You seem cranky, do you need a shot?”
- “My grandma/teacher/dog died from type 1 diabetes.”
- “This cake is going to give me diabetes!”
But beyond that, and more importantly, spreading awareness about the realities of life with T1D—like how to spot it, what must be done to take care of it, what research is being conducted—helps everyone who could potentially cross paths with someone who has T1D to be better educated about the disease.
Because we know there are more serious stories like:
- Misdiagnosis of T1D leading to death
- Continuous denial of the medical necessity for continuous glucose monitors
- Misunderstanding of the severity of low or high blood sugar
With further awareness and a better understanding from people outside of the T1D community about the burdens that come with this disease, we can effect change. It is our imperative to ensure that healthcare providers, insurance companies, government agencies, law enforcement, elected officials, school boards, and countless others understand the true impact T1D has, not just on the life of someone with T1D, but on the lives of their friends, families, teachers and more.
The work JDRF and the T1D community do, not just during National Diabetes Awareness Month but throughout the year, helps dissipate misunderstandings, which ultimately saves lives. If you would like to help raise awareness of T1D, find out all of the ways in which you can get involved with JDRF.