Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Making a Change

As everyone knows, I am involved in the diabetes community in a lot of different ways from volunteering with JDRF to making my own community in London, Ontario. For me, I don't think of it as work - I just do it, because it makes me feel good and to see others smiling and enjoying their time is an added bonus.   I know that there is a need for a strong type 1 diabetes community in London, and the best way to get that - is to create it.

The first event I held brought out 15 type 1's and some were completely taken back, by all of the others doing exactly what they have been doing for years.  That 'aw-ha' moment when you see someone else pull out a meter, check their blood sugar, shake their head with disappointment, and dial up their insulin pump. You begin to realize that even though sometimes you're the only diabetic in the room - there are thousands of others doing the very same thing you are.

Last night I celebrated my three years of diabetes at a frozen yogurt shop in London.   It was nice to spend it with my newly found type 1 friends as well as two of my biggest supporters Vince and Michelle.    Vince was very engaged - asking the other girls questions about their pumps and applying it to my diabetes.

But, before I was about to head out I received a message from a fellow type 1 that came out to the first dinner we had - it read:

". . .  I have been waiting until today to let you know that 5 weeks after we met I chose to get my A1C taken again. It hadn't been another 3 months yet but I wanted to see what change interacting with other diabetics could make in just 5 weeks. I quite literally started tearing up at my last endo appointment when my doctor told me that in that short period of time my A1C dropped from 10.7% to 8.6%. It's not perfect, not even close, but it's a huge improvement in a short period of time and now I'm ranting but I just wanted to thank you for helping me actually start caring about my diabetes, 17 years later. 

Keep on doing what you're doing Kayla, you're helping more people than you know in both big and small ways" 

After tearing up reading such encouraging words - I really thought to myself, "Holy Cow! I can really make a difference..."  As much as I enjoy what I do, I guess I didn't completely realize how much of an impact I may have been making.   This message was completely inspiring and I have been incredibly blessed to have received similar letters of support recently - all in which I print off.

Yes, type 1 diabetics aren't common - but, the more we stick together the stronger we become.


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