American Diabetes Month: 10 Ways to Get Involved Together

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November is American Diabetes Month, a time to raise awareness of diabetes and the importance of diabetes research. Here are some noteworthy events happening across the country, along with some other ways you can get involved as a family.


  1. "A Day in the Life of Diabetes" Photo Project
    The American Diabetes Association asks you to share a personal image on its Facebook page representing what "A Day in the Life of Diabetes" means to you. This image can be a picture of yourself or someone you care about and should show how the disease impacts your daily life.


  2. World Diabetes Day "Go Blue" Campaign
    November 14 is World Diabetes Day, and it's observed all across the globe. The "Go Blue" campaign encourages supporters to do just that for the occasion. Even iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building will be lit blue that day. To mark World Diabetes Day, dress your family in blue and "go blue" at home by putting a blue bulb in your porch light or lighting a blue candle. Let it shine!


  3. Celebrate T1 Day on November 1
    Last year, the JDRF held its first-annual "T1 Day" for type 1 diabetes awareness on 11/1/11. They ask all members of the type 1 diabetes community to help make their second-annual day a huge success by raising awareness about type 1 diabetes. How? Talking to your child's classroom about type 1 diabetes or posting on Facebook or Twitter about how type 1 diabetes has affected your family are two ways you can help.


  4. Blue Fridays
    In November, Diabetes Social Media Advocacy founder Cherise Shockley encourages you to wear blue on all five Fridays of the month, as well as on World Diabetes Day (Wednesday, November 14). Shockley started this initiative to bring attention to World Diabetes Day and awareness to diabetes and the people living with it. So wear your blue and spread the word!


  5. JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes
    This event is fun for families and provides hope, empowerment and a sense of community. Your participation shows your commitment to the large-scale movement to conquer type 1 diabetes one step at a time. Many walks are held in October and November, and you can find a walk near you here. Your fundraising efforts will support JDRF-funded research that will help those living with type 1 diabetes look forward to longer, healthier lives.


  6. Sponsor a NYC Marathon Runner
    On November 4, 2012, Team JDRF will run in the ING New York City Marathon to raise awareness for type 1 diabetes and collect donations to benefit their mission. Their goal is to raise $300,000. All funds donated to Team JDRF through its website will benefit JDRF's mission of finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Watching the marathon on television with your kids that day is a great way to show them that people with type 1 can do anything they set their mind to -- including running 26.2 miles!


  7. World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange
    The Postcard Exchange is an initiative to connect people affected by diabetes from around the world during the month of November. After registering on the organization's website, participants exchange handmade postcards with assigned "Postcard Buddies." Each postcard should use the blue circle -- the international symbol of diabetes -- in its design. The postcard exchange was founded in 2011 by art therapist and counselor Lee Ann Thill to help promote healing through creativity, connection and activism.


  8. Ask Google for a Frederick Banting Doodle
    November 14 is the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, one of the main discoverers of insulin. That's why the United Nations designated this date as World Diabetes Day. Help request that Google create a doodle to honor his birthday by signing and sharing the petition located on the website of the Diabetes
    Hands Foundation.


  9. Hold a Flash Mob for Diabetes
    Raise diabetes awareness in your town or city by taking part in the World Diabetes Day Flash Mob Challenge. In case you haven't been lucky enough to see one in action, a flash mob is a group that gathers together in a public place, behaves in a predetermined manner for a predetermined amount of time (think: choreographed dance routine), and then quickly disperses. Help make this a coordinated global celebration by getting your friends, families and colleagues together and organizing a special World Diabetes Day performance in the town square, local shopping center or other public place in your area. You could dance, do a physical activity (such as jumping or calisthenics), form a blue circle, or just shout out an awareness message to alert the public to the urgent need to act on diabetes now.


  10. Have a Photo Finish
    Lastly, share photos of how you're celebrating World Diabetes Day with the flickr® World Diabetes Day group. There are over 10,000 photos at your disposal there that show how the occasion is celebrated around the world. Browse before the big day to
    get inspired!


Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring.

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