Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Talking Type 1

Diabetics Unite.

No one needs to tell the Diabetes Online Community about how awesome D-Meetups are. We know it. We love them. Welcome them. Encourage them. As much as cats, bacon, and Tweet-versation.

Tapping into that meeting-loving mantra, the JDRF has come up with a plan for World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, with what it calls Type 1 Talk. Basically, it's a huge network of local D-Meetups on World Diabetes Day that will all be connected through the JDRF's use of Facebook and a live video streaming Q&A.

Participants will have the chance to meet new people in their community through "events" at homes, offices, community centers. Not just meeting, people will be able to view a live streaming video presentation from JDRF staff and volunteers, ask questions, and then continue those conversations at their local events. People can host their own event or find one to attend, using a new Facebook application being created and unveiled somewhere on or about Oct. 5. Participants will be able to post an event or search for one in your area using this online tool, and you'll also be able to talk with other Type 1 Talk participants and access event materials or resources.

Tentatively , the timing of the live streaming presentation would be 3-4 p.m. Eastern Time to accomodate for the Sunday activities on both coasts. The JDRF encourages local event planners/attendees to set aside time in the beginning for intros and afterward for followup discussions. The JDRF Advocacy wants everyone to submit ideas and preferred topics in advance. In early October, we can vote on the topics for discussion using Google Moderator. I've already introduced one topic: specifically how the Diabetes Online Community is an incredible resource for diabetics to tap into, and the JDRF has expressed some interest in this topic for Type 1 Talk.

Three main reasons for creating this concept: 1.) JDRF Advocates most often say they want connections, more relationships among fellow Type 1s. 2.) The JDRF has been asked what it's doing for WDD and hasn't had a clear answer. 3.) Advocates want more on the progress being made on treatment and a cure.

First, I applaud the JDRF efforts here. This is sorely needed, and I hope this does tap into more of the Adult Type 1 community. However...

One, I'm not all excited about this for a "meeting" aspect... Frankly, I just want to be able to get together and meet with other diabetics and talk about whatever we might want to talk about. No boundaries, as far as I'm concerned.

Mainly, this doesn't appear to specifically address the whole Adult Type 1 demographic, except for the fact that we happen to fall into that larger Type 1 category. So there's that. I admit that I've not historically been much of a JDRF fan, except for my continued and regular involvement in the JDRF Walks back in the home state of Michigan. The organization founded in 1970 has a noble goal of funding research to cure diabetes. While that's important to me, it's not all that I advocate for. Mostly, I advocate for better understanding, awareness, and management of diabetes. Very often the JDRF seems to lose sight of these aspects and critics slam the group anytime they focus on something that's not "cure-focused." So rather than be seen as a "fundraising tool" or "advocate to get more JDRF involvement," I do my own thing and let the JDRF do its own. Scott Strange over at Strangely Diabetic has already written about this a couple times.

That's changing, and this is another step in the right direction to at least getting me back. World Diabetes Day may be a start, on top of my dive into the Politics of Diabetes Advocacy and JDRF Indiana Outreach Committee involvement earlier this year. We'll see.

You can get involved. Setup your own D-Meetup, and key up the internet live-stream connection for what should be a fun and informative presentation! Find out if your local JDRF chapter is doing any Type 1 Talk meetups on Nov. 14. They might not yet be aware of this, so you can contact the national Grassroots Advocacy office.

 What are YOU doing for World Diabetes Day? What Type 1 Talk topics should be mentioned? Please share those ideas. You can leave them here, over at the Juvenation Advocacy blog, or by contacting Melissa Smicker in the JDRF Washington D.C. office at msmicker@jdrf.org or (202) 465-4105. This is your time to talk, so make sure you raise your voice. Thank you.

4 comments:

Lorraine of "This is Caleb..." said...

I think it's great that the JDRF is addressing concerns presented to them. This sounds like a creative start.

thisiscaleb said...

I just this moment received an invite to a local skating event for WDD sponsored by the JDRF! How great is that?

Scott Strange said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Mike. Very good post and I'm very interested to see what lies ahead for the Adult T1 community, esp those of us who have been out here a while.

Karen said...

I'm just piping in to agree with what you said. It's nice to see they are taking a step in the right direction. However I'm disappointed that, at least in my local area, Adult T1 continue to be overlooked. I received the same WDD Skating Event invite that Lorraine did. I think it's a great event for her and her family and the other T1 kids in the area. But as an adult, it isn't quite the WDD event I had been hoping to see. Perhaps I need to start working on putting my own event together.