Yesterday my friend and fellow blogger, Mike Hoskins, described the JDRF’s upcoming Type 1 Talk event.
I think that this is an important event for two main reasons:
- It is being held on November 14th, World Diabetes Day (WDD), instead of its originally scheduled date of November 6th. This is the first time that either the JDRF or ADA have acknowledged that WDD even exists, at least at the National Level. Local Chapters may have had something that day, but the National organizations were noticeably silent on it.
- This is the first major outreach to the adult T1 audience by the JDRF. I lamented in my Open Letter about how the adult T1 community feels totally ignored by the JDRF, especially those of us who have been out here the longest. That letter generated some updates from the JDRF here and here. And it basically boiled down to the fact that they didn’t have a coherent message for us and really didn’t know what to do with us except as volunteers in fund-raising activities.
Leading up to the talk, the JDRF is going to invite feedback and topics from us, actually listening to what our needs are. As we go through different phases of our lives, we have different needs with regards to our diabetes.
To my knowledge, this will be the first time that JDRF has reached out to the adult population from the National level. Through their Grassroots Advocacy Program, they plan to leverage their network of advocates so that we, as diabetics, can build relationships with other advocates at the local level.
Sometimes we just need to get together and chat with others without the D “just hanging there”. Whether we are talking about D or not, it is just relaxing.
At this point, you may be asking yourself “So what is the JDRF getting out of this?”. Basically, by keeping people engaged at the local level year-round, it will make it easier to get those people to volunteer for advocacy tasks such as telling their story to their federal Senators and Representatives. These stories help keep the federal funds rolling into research for Type 1 Diabetes and, in fact, for all types of diabetes.
So let’s take advantage of this opportunity to let the JDRF know what we would like from them. You can post your ideas here, over at the Juvenation Advocacy blog, or by contacting Melissa Smicker in the JDRF Washington D.C. office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 465-4105.
We’ve been out here yelling and walking the walk for years, let’s let the JDRF know what we’ve found important to us as we move through life.