Thursday, July 28, 2016

My Diabetes Advocacy Plan

Disclaimer: Diabetes Hands Foundation provided me with a scholarship to MasterLab 2016 which included transportation, lodging, and conference admission. However all opinions posted about the event are my own. Thank you!

MasterLab 2016 was such a wonderful experience! It was run a little different this year, but overall I was happy with the event. I would have enjoyed more time collaborating and getting to know the other advocates (especially the Latino group, full of energy!) Several people have written about their experiences. You can read about them here. I'm going to write more about what I learned about myself and advocacy.

During MasterLab 2016, we were given a workbook and asked to fill it out during and at the end of each session. The idea was that the workbook would guide us in creating our own advocacy plan. 

Confession time: I guess sometimes teachers make the worst students. I didn't fill mine out during the conference. I made notes on a couple pages, but I really didn't grasp how useful of a tool this was until I hear others reading the "Diabetes Advocates Mad-Libs" at the end of the book. The last page took key points from each of the previous pages and combined them all into a nicely written advocacy plan. Well, I finally filled mine out - tonight. Yes, 22 days later. I wish I would have done this three weeks ago! (Forgive me, Mike!)

Below you will find my advocacy plan using the template and prompts from the MasterLab "Personal Advocacy Plan" workbook. (Click on the link to get your own workbook!)

I believe that...
People with Type 2 diabetes need access to the tools they need to manage their disease without stigma and a one size fits all approach.

But it doesn't have to be that way. I want to live in a world where...
The patient and the medical team both have access to factual information and the resources needed.

If more people understood...
Type 2 diabetes does not need the stigma of blame, rather care and understanding with the tools and resources individualized to help each person live a healthy life.

Then we would eliminate...
People with Type 2 living with stigma and blame every day, making it a struggle to reach out for the resources and tools they need.

The next thing I will do to combat this problem is...
I plan to start with my own doctor, educating him in a non-confrontational way during my own appointments to help him understand diabetes in a person, not a textbook.

I recognize that I'm not the only one doing this work. When possible, I will try to partner with...
Those that are also working to make a difference, like the diabetes online community (DOC), to help guide me toward reliable and valid resources to share.

And I understand that I can make a greater impact if I am healthy. Therefore I plan on...

Doing the things that make me happy and rejuvenate me without guilt.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Can't go to #MasterLab?

This will be my third year at MasterLab, a day full of advocacy sessions. I've been honored to receive a scholarship to attend through Diabetes Hands Foundation for my work as a Diabetes Advocate. My travel, hotel, and conference fees have been covered. Of course all the thoughts, opinions, excitement, and selfies that will flood Facebook, Twitter, and my blog are my own. (Disclaimer... check!)

We have been given information about how those of you who can't be there can attend virtually. Here's the scoop:
We are going to attempt to stream the MasterLab sessions LIVE next Wednesday using PERISCOPE. There is a chance that technology won't play please be patient and understanding! Follow Diabetes Hands Foundation on Periscope at: and follow us on Twitter to get the specific URL to the live stream on Wednesday morning. And like the previous two MasterLab events, video of all of the speakers will be archived on YouTube shortly after the event.
Diabetes Hands Foundation can be found on Twitter at: @diabeteshf  Videos of previous years can be found on their website for 2014 and 2015

I hope you join us! Watch for #MasterLab on Twitter! The official event is Wednesday, July 6, but the excitement starts NOW!