Friday, July 9, 2010

Accolades, Cupcakes & Community (Plus The Cat)

This post is somewhat overdue, but it's been a couple crazy Fridays in a row... and so it's finally the right time!

As you likely know, I had the honor of attending the second Roche Social Media Summit on June 29, traveling to Orlando to meet some of my fellow Diabetes Online Community members for the first time. But before I found myself Leaving On a Jet Plane for that trip, there was some fun "You've Got Mail" action that brightened the day and added coolness to my D-World:
  •  From Boston With Love... You may recall that I celebrated my 25 years of Living With Diabetes in the spring of 2009, and was eligible to receive the quarter-century recognitions given out by both Eli Lilly (in Indy) and Joslin Diabetes Center (in Boston). My mom, who has been Type 1 since the age of 5 and has celebrated her own half-century Diaversary, told me about the two awards and suggested I apply. So, last summer I vowed to pursue these awards. Well, it took longer than that and I really didn't get around to getting all the letters and needed documentation until this summer. The one or two page applications aren't all that burdensome, it was just a matter of getting some letters from current and former Endos and those who could speak about my initial diagnosis back in 1984. Finally getting all that was needed by mid-June, I mailed off the materials to both places and prepped for at least a month of waiting before hearing anything. But as it turned out, Joslin took MUCH less time and quickly sent out my cool 25-year personalized certificate. It came in a red certificate holder and complimented my chronic condition care that had someone gotten me to this point where I could receive some type of recognition for it. It's got the signature on it from Dr. Kenneth E. Quickel, President and CEO, and briefly delves into the history of the award dating back to 1948 before congratulating and sending "best wishes for continued good health." A cool bonus is that it's dated June 22, which happens to be my D-Mom's birthday! That's awesome timing, I think. Now, I'm just waiting on the medal from Lilly to complete my 25-year set of honors!
  • Carb-Free Cupcakes from Cara, over at Every Day Ever Hour. You may recall that she had a contest. A fun contest, where you could win awesome Carb-Free Cupcakes. Actually, they are not yummy eat-them-up cupcakes like the ones Cherise has become a master at making. Rather, they're cupcake-shaped crayons made by Gaddy Nipper Crayons. Apparently, I had made a comment on one of Cara's blog posts and been entered into a contest where she later pulled my name from a hat - the prize being these crayon cupcakes. The cute little care package arrived by mail and I got a picture message from home that they'd arrived! It was an awesome gift, so thank you so much for the AWEsomeness, Cara! You rock.
Those two mail greetings brought the Diabetes Community to the forefront of my mind amid some massively stressful times at work, and set the stage for what would prove to be an amazingly awesome time in Orlando among fellow DOC friends. Meeting some of the people I've been following and reading and interacting with online for so long (years in some cases), and being exposed to the incredible passions of these D-Advocates, was about as cool as you could imagine. I felt at home, away from home, among these great people from across the country. We had some great discussions, but also so much excitement - there was the Hat de Roche, the Ninja Welcoming Committee (boo hoo for delays, but glad G made it!) an ER visit (boo hoo hoo, but fun), PhotoBoothFun, WiiGames & PingPong For Charity, FunFactDance, and Bennet's B.S. or Gosh Darn Signage. An all around great time, with many people who aren't afraid to BE BOLD. (See more goofy Flickr Photos at DBloggerSummit here.)

This experience was an award in itself and as good as a cupcake (or bacon), and it's already evolving into more awesome meetings as we're hoping to setup an Indiana D-Meetup next weekend when Sarah Jane comes through the state to visit. Community is what it's all about, online and offline, and these gifts and friendships are some key points that make it all worth doing.

Of course, this story wouldn't be complete with an additional tale about The Shadow Cat. Obviously feeling neglected and not part of the Community, Shadow apparently decided at some point to interject herself into this whole crazy Diabetes Community and make her presence known. First, she has more frequently been stationing herself next to or on top of my laptop keyboard - an apparent attempt to communicate with Siah about World Domination. Secondly, on my first real day of relaxation on Saturday (post-Roche), I awoke and stumbled downstairs to find:

Yep, that's Shadow - who at the time was sitting half-asleep on top of my Joslin Certificate, which I'd left open on the arm of the couch after reviewing it one night. As I whipped out the camera, she of course decided to start darting away but I managed to get a shot of her taking one last sniff of the certificate! It is quite clear to me from these two instances that Shadow is no longer content playing second string to this thing called the DOC... Rather, she's going to be be a part of it. Or else. I now worry that our future is destined to play out like the Psychedelic, Mayflower-Fish Friskies Commercial. We should be afraid, very afraid. But at least, we'll be an award-winning Community complete with Cupcakes and Fun Adventures as we endure the Cat Wars. At least.

Thanks, Shadow, for bringing it all together for the weekend.

Happy Friday!

6 comments:

Meri said...

Congratulations on 25 years!! You are an inspiration! Thank you also for representing at the summit. It feels so good to know so many great people were there on behalf of us all!

Penny said...

Congrats on 25 years Michael! Glad you were at Roche too - sounds like some progress is being made - love that they are using real people, with real diabetes #s in their ads!

Scott said...

Congratulations! My T1DM sister and I SHOULD get around to doing the certificate/medals ... someday! I am hopeful the ADA will keep its word about keeping the conversation goint, too!

Cara said...

Congrats on 25 years. I am going to apply for mine next year. It's coming so quickly!
And, I'm glad you got the crayons. I'm always paranoid stuff's going to get lost in the mail. :P

Brenda W said...

WOW 25 years, congrats!! You are awesome! I feel like such a diabetes baby compared to you (with my four years just this month). We all really are super heroes!

I'm glad that you had a good time at the Roche thing, I am absolutely jealous (not the mean kind of jealous, but the yay for you boo for me kind). It must have been amazing to meet all the various d bloggers!!

Oh and here's to another 25 years of living successfully with diabetes!

Karmel said...

Congratulations on 25 years, and fingers crossed that by the time your 50th rolls around, we'll all be celebrating a cure :) It was great to meet you at the Summit, and I look forward to seeing you around this d-world.