Not All Statistics Are Boring
I struggle every November to think of ways to use my personal social media accounts to raise awareness. I've posted general diabetes facts. I've posted symptom checklists. I've shared bits of our story. I've received very little reaction to any of those posts, and those who did 'like' or comment were almost always people whose lives were also touched by this disease.
Thanks to JDRF, this year is different. The above infographic can be created by going to this page on the JDRF website. Type in a few dates and details and, voila: a personalized diabetes stats sheet.
I posted this on Facebook on Tuesday and it's still generating conversation today. People are genuinely moved by these numbers. They're big numbers, and somewhat alarming if you really look at them. These numbers invoke, in a unique way, both surprise and empathy. She's had how many fingersticks and she never complains about it? You've lost how many hours of sleep and you're still (usually) functional? The people closest to us see some of it, but I imagine there's almost nobody who realizes how much sleep we lose or how often my kid has a sharp object pierce her skin.
Last November, I wrote about how awareness-raising within our small circles of friends can not only generate more personal support for us which, let's be honest, we could always use; but also how it can also create a ripple effect, raising awareness and advocacy on a larger scale.
This year I'm grateful to JDRF for providing me an extremely effective way to start several meaningful conversations about what life with diabetes is like.