My type 1 sister Ana’s diabetes themed artwork-you can probably guess what this is, right?
I definitely don’t think of myself as an “A1c Champion”. I just think of myself as someone who finally stumbled upon what works and what doesn’t for myself in the realm of diabetes management because of my being excruciatingly tired of the alternative and unwilling to settle in life.
By keeping healthy and by being rather disciplined with my diabetes management, an opportunity opened up for me to interview for a program called, A1c Champions. This program sends people with diabetes to lead discussions with other people with diabetes. Peer to peer support is a brilliant idea and basically my motivation to start this blog in the first place. So to be able to get out there and talk to people face to face, tell my story, and show them that it’s never too late to turn things around is like a dream come true. I’m happy to report that I passed my three interviews and will be training later this year.
It’s a dream come true because I wish I had experienced this opportunity as a teenager with uncontrolled diabetes. I would have loved to see someone with diabetes come talk to me about how they manage to stay healthy and how they too, have struggled. I did have one experience like this but this woman said she always had taken great care of herself and this made me feel like I couldn’t relate to her. I also had plenty of people try to cheer me up and motivate me but none of them had diabetes and therefore their words didn’t have the weight attached. I didn’t feel understood and therefore it was like their words weren’t meant for me.
So to be able to talk to someone who is where I used to be and tell them that I really understand where they’re at and have been there is something I really want to do. For the little kid inside me. For the sake of helping others avoid the years of suffering that I recall having. For those who don’t feel empowered about their diabetes. For those who feel like hopeless failures. Before the fabulous “You Can Do This” project came about I wrote one reason on my site for wanting to blog and it was, essentially, to spread the message to others with diabetes that, “You can do this!” I think that message is extremely powerful and empowering. And more so when coming from one’s peers.
So if you’re interested in becoming an A1c Champion, check out their website here.
And if you haven’t already participated in the “You Can Do This” Project that Kim Vlasnik launched last year, then I highly encourage you to do it now. Do it for someone who sees themselves in you. Or if you need the therapy, watch videos and take comfort in knowing you are definitely NOT alone.