The MasterLab Experience

“I’m an expert in what happens to me every day.” – Rebecca Killion, MasterLab for Diabetes Advocates; July 2, 2014.

I know my diabetes enough to be called an expert in how it affects my body – the exercise it takes, the carbohydrate counting it requires, the medication it prescribes, the emotions it creates.

I do not know the diabetes that affects others, even that which affects the closest of friends within the diabetes online community. Not Jacquie‘s, not Karen‘s, not anyone else with type 1. Not Meri‘s, not Bennet‘s, not anyone else the parent of a child or children with type 1. Not even Kate or Sue, also living with type 2.

Here’s the thing, though. We all came together for MasterLab to enhance our advocacy, we all heard the pleas to unite instead of divide. It is not just about realizing that we all face the same potential complications or that we use the same devices and medications or that diabetes day in and day out creates emotional havoc. There is so much we are already doing together for common causes that move us, whether it is raising money to provide insulin to children with diabetes in developing countries, reaching Spanish-speaking people with diabetes through DSMA en Vivo and EsTuDiabetes, and addressing the emotional havoc diabetes brings. But there is so much more we can do and learn from advocates for other health concerns.

There is a bit of a catch. To be an advocate does not mean needing to contribute time or money to every single idea that comes along. It would be ridiculous to try and do everything – I know because I must balance advocacy these days with a full-time job, part-time school, and management of type 2 diabetes along with other chronic conditions. That being said, taking this survey to indicate what moves you to be a diabetes advocate and then keeping tabs with the newly created Diabetes Action Hub may make it a little easier to be connected to the causes that move you most and fit best into your busy life.

(Disclosure: I attended MasterLab for Diabetes Advocates in Orlando, Florida with a Diabetes Hands Foundation scholarship covering registration, hotel, and travel. However, I was not encouraged to write this post or any others that may follow. Just like being the only expert in what happens to me every day, only I can express what this experience meant to me. )

7 thoughts on “The MasterLab Experience

  1. Pingback: The Green Bracelet Experience | Refreshing D
  2. Having been diagnosed with T1 last summer, I wore a green bracelet at FFL this year. But I kept it hidden under the YELLOW bracelet I wore so I could accompany my son w. celiac to the gluten free buffet. Both bracelets felt TOTALLY WRONG. I was really attending as a parent of a child with T1, so I should have worn orange. I didn’t want to be identified as someone with T1D, or to have conversations about it, or to explain about being diagnosed, but being in what seems to be a forever-honeymoon, and, and…all of this is just to say I hear you on the feeling of not “really” being a greenie.

  3. Bravo, well said!!! We may only each be experts on ourselves, but we can still all band together to help each and every one of us, in what ever way works best in our own lives.

  4. Pingback: the lion sleeps tonight | Unexpected Blues
  5. Pingback: #MasterLab through the eyes of the community | Diabetes Hands Foundation
  6. How did I miss this earlier? How did I miss you in the room that day? These are problems I must solve. Sorry I missed you. Glad the experience was a good one. It was for me too.

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