Diabetes Blog Week 2015, Day 4: Let’s Make Some Noise!

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This is the fourth blog our team at HCM Strategists has submitted for #DBlogWeek. The first three were written by two of my colleagues with type 1 diabetes. They were deeply personal, incredible moving, and really good reads. (Check them out here: Day 1Day 2 and Day 3).

Now it’s upon me. We decided this last week. It seemed reasonable enough. But, after reading what my colleagues have written, I am a bit panicked.

I don’t have diabetes. No one in my immediate family has diabetes. What could I possibly write that can reach the bar my colleagues and others in the diabetes community have set? I thought about asking one of my colleagues to take my slot and write another great blog that tied to their personal connection.

Then I realized that I am connected to the diabetes community in a deep and personal way. And I have something that I want to say.

I found my voice.

I came to this community fifteen years ago to pursue a professional opportunity. Little did I know then that fifteen years and three children later, my most rewarding work and some of my closest friends and colleagues would come from this community.

When I think about today’s topic – what I would most like to see change about diabetes – I think:

I want the diabetes patient voice to be louder.

I want to help translate into action the passion, fear, hope and frustration of every single person who contributed to #DBlogWeek and every single person with diabetes who shares their story.

And most of all, I want to witness what will happen when all of these voices are connected, focused and loud. When this happens – when your collective voice becomes so loud and so clear that it is the elephant in the room – policymakers and regulators can’t escape it. Change happens.

At HCM Strategists, this is what drives us. This is why we wake up in the morning. This is what we think about as we fall asleep at night.

I’ve seen it happen.

Our team wrote a paper about how HIV/AIDS advocates forced real change. Their legacy provides important lessons for people impacted by diabetes today.

These individuals connected and elevated their voices in an age of telephones and fax machines. Now we have social media and new tools, new ways to connect. The landscape has changed. Through the Diabetes Online Community you have built a tremendous platform. But you need to use it and grow it. Find the millions of people with diabetes who are not currently connected and engaged. Bring them in. Show them they can make a difference.

This community is thirty million strong. THIRTY MILLION. As diverse a community as any other, but with so many issues that connect you.

Effective advocacy is about finding your voice. Each of you contributing to #DBlogWeek has found your voice. It is unique. It is moving. It is yours. And it is powerful.

You have found your voice. Now find your stride.

Be loud. Be angry. Be hopeful. Be frustrated. Be grateful. Be engaged. Be YOU.

Be a part of the conversation for better treatments, better management tools and a cure. Hell, don’t just be part of the conversation – create the conversation you want to happen, and then hold those in a position to implement change accountable for doing so.

You are already well on your way. Let’s make some noise.

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