As time went on wanting to be normal wrecked havoc on my body and confidence as a diabetic. I was in a deep hole and was now scared to tell people I was a diabetic. Unfortunately I have heard way to many stories of other people going down the same road that I did as a child and young adult. Growing up I went to camp and had friends with diabetes for a week or two but once camp ended I would lose contact with them. I would go back home and feel like I was on my diabetes island with no one to talk to.
We now have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other social media outlets. For anyone with diabetes these social media websites have brought us together and made us stronger. JDRF has realized this has launched the "T1D Looks Like Me" campaign. All you have to do is upload a picture of yourself or someone you love that is living with diabetes, the JDRF T1D Looks Like Me text is placed on the photo and the photo is a shade of blue. That is it, what does that do for you though? Personally it has added about twenty friends to my personal Twitter and Facebook pages. It has given me friends that know what diabetes is about, they can now see my posts and see that I'm having the same blood sugar spikes after pizza as them. I can see that they just ran their first 5k with diabetes or that they are having trouble going for a bike ride because their blood sugar always goes low.
Being a crazy endurance athlete I can help my new friends if they are having trouble running or cycling with diabetes. I can also receive help from athletes that are far better than me. I may be in my mid thirties but I'm still that shy kid on the inside, I may not talk openly at races about my diabetes but I share my story online and that is where my diabetes family lives. My diabetes family is huge, I have members in Spain, Italy, Georgia, Denmark and Colorado we don't all speak the same language but diabetes does. The translation button on twitter and Facebook has been my savior lately, I can now read about what my favorite Spanish cyclist is doing when it comes to his diabetes.
I encourage everyone to change their profile picture by using the T1D Looks Like Me tool. It will do nothing but help you as a diabetic. I love that my diabetes family is growing, for every blue T1D Looks Like Me profile picture I see I click add as a friend. I have also had a lot of people add me which is great. We all have our own story and we can all learn from one another thanks to the JDRF I have more people than ever to talk diabetes with!!