My First Trip to the First State
Rehoboth Beach is, uh, really far. Although Mapquest told me how far Rehoboth Beach is from where I live in north Jersey, I was absolutely convinced that it was wrong and was closer that it really is. My advice is to always believe Mapquest and to plan accordingly. But even though it’s not that close, the extra fifty miles was completely worth it.
The weather could not have been better. It was sunny, with just a hint of puffy white clouds dotting the sky in the morning before clearing out to solid blue. It was small group of us that congregated in Rehoboth Beach – Heidi from D-Log Cabin, Katie from TuDiabetes and her husband, and Betty, a longtime member of DiabetesTalkfest, and her husband and myself. We met at a cafe just off the main boulevard and chatted about our experiences with diabetes, life on the East Coast and the upcoming diabetes conferences (anyone else going to Friends for Life?). Afterwards, we headed to the beach and strolled up and down the boardwalk, chatting while we checked out stores and stopping at benches to test our blood sugar. We also talked about the reason we were all there: the impact that meeting other people has on our lives and our self-esteem in handling this disease and how important it is to educate others through blogs, social networks and events.
So many people have said how meeting others with diabetes and how seeing people opening test their blood sugar or bolus for lunch changes the way they see their own diabetes. This is why it is so important for me to have these meet-ups or attend diabetes events and encourage people to come too. This summer I’ll either be attending diabetes events or hosting my own and in the next couple of days I will be posting the dates and locations for all of these.
It wasn’t until I started attending diabetes events that I really became passionate about diabetes advocacy and felt motivated to make a difference. For most of my life, I didn’t like talking about diabetes any more than I need to and I didn’t face any discrimination or additional health issues that other people with diabetes face. But being around others with diabetes made me realize that this disease affects us differently and with each new person I meet, I meet another reason to speak up, to educate and to advocate for a cure.
So to Heidi, Katie, Betty and the dozens of other people I have met and will meet: Thank you.
Heidi, me, Katie, Betty and John
(kudos to Katie’s husband Charlie for taking the picture!)