Finding Your Space in the Advocacy World

By Libby Russell

Finding Your Space in the Advocacy World

Lately, an interesting conversation has come up among some of my diabetic peers. The advocacy space for diabetes fundraising, community support, and supplies resourcing has gotten so big and powerful with the use of social media, that it’s incredible to see the type of outreach and impact its having. However, it can be a bit of a challenge to know how, when, and where to get involved. 

It can feel a little strange to get involved in advocacy for a disease that you personally have. For years, I have felt odd about fundraising or spreading awareness about diabetes. I can’t articulate exactly why, but living with diabetes is already hard enough, do I also have to be a big presence within the advocacy space?

But here’s how I see it now: similar to another issue I’m passionate about, women’s rights, I believe that if we don’t advocate for ourselves, we can’t expect others to! Sometimes I feel pressured to “do more” in the community, but I know that keeping myself healthy and invested in my diabetes care is always going to be priority number one. When I’m feeling really strong or have extra energy to put myself out there and get more involved with advocacy, I ride that wave as it comes!

So how do you get involved, and how much of yourself do you give? Well, that’s entirely up to you! Here are some options below:  

Policy Change and Government 

  • Diabetes Advocacy Alliance
    Influence change in the US health care system to improve type 2 diabetes prevention, detection and care.
  • Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition (DPAC)
    Work with state and federal officials to help protect diabetics from policy changes that could negatively affect our access to quality care.
  • Congressional Diabetes Caucus
    Educate Members of Congress and staff about diabetes and support legislative activities that would improve diabetes research, education and treatment.

Cure and Care Research 

  • Diabetes Research Institute
    Fundraise for research done by one of the largest and most comprehensive research centers dedicated to biologically curing diabetes.

Community Building and Fundraising 

  • Healthline
    An online resource for all things on the cutting edge, and patient advocacy.
  • Step Out Walk
    ADA’s annual, local walks to fundraise for diabetes research.
  • JDRF One Walk
    JDRF’s annual, local walks to fundraise for a diabetes cure.
  • Type One Run
    A grassroots movement of people dedicated to building support, community, and awareness for those affected by type 1 diabetes through running.
  • WOC Diabetes
    A social media platform for women of color living with diabetes to connect through advocacy and community. 
  • Diabetes Sisters
    Connect with women living with diabetes through events and meetups all over the country.  

Medication and Supplies Resourcing

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Orignially published on August 9, 2019, updated on August 09, 2019

Topic: Diabetes Management

Libby Russell

About Libby Russell

Libby Russell is the creator of the type 1 diabetes lifestyle brand and shop, I Have the Sugars, and the in-house copywriter for a NYC-based fitness tech company. You can find her exploring Brooklyn on the weekends, designing her latest collections for www.ihavethesugars.com, and on Instagram at @ihavethesugars.