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Mr. Strange goes to Washington!

Jimmy Stewart stars as a…  wait… I think that’s already been done…  Darn the luck!

But seriously, I have been invited, along with a list of other bloggers much more distinguished than I, to the JDRF Government Day in Washington, DC.

The “day” is actually a 4 day event that brings about 150 JDRF Advocates together for advocacy training, networking, and to put diabetes on the radar screens of members of Congress by meeting with them to tell them how diabetes effects the lives of so many people in their own districts.

The other bloggers and I will be participating in a round-table discussion focused on the Diabetes Online Community and how we and the JDRF can leverage each others strengths in a way that can benefit us all.

I’ve been pretty hard on the JDRF in the past for seemingly ignoring those of us residing in the Adult Type 1 world.  But a few conversations that I’ve had with the JDRF has made me feel that there is a change for the better in the works.

JDRF President & CEO recently did an interview with DiaTribe describing the new support functions the JDRF will be offering for the Adult Type 1 Community through their chapters.

This new outreach is still in its infancy and is a totally new mission for many chapters.  True mentoring programs were few and far between; you might find a program to “mentor” people on how to help with fund-raising but not find one on how to help to cope with the day-to-day of diabetes. Previously, Adult T1’s were viewed as either a volunteer, a donor, or a fund-raiser.

Not as individuals needing the support of other diabetics with the mental and emotional baggage diabetes can bring. Nor were we viewed as mentors; people who could bring years of experience to the table.  People who have already struggled through situations and can offer feedback and advice to those that are just reaching those situations as they move through life.

And just so you know, I understand that I do not have the letters MD, CDE, MSW or even a Jr. after my name.  But I can still listen, I can tell of my experiences and how things have affected me over the years.  We all can.

If you have any questions or topics that you would like to see discussed, submit them to JDRF Advocacy staff (@JDRFAdvocacy) on twitter and follow the discussion there on Sunday, March 13 at 2pm Eastern by searching for the hashtag #JDRFGovDay.

There are 9 bloggers attending and we will be broken down into two separate discussion groups.  One of the round-table discussions will streamed live via JDRF Advocacy USTREAM channel.  The recordings of both discussions will be archived and available for later viewing.

We will also have a chance to speak with Jeffery Brewer, President & CEO of the JDRF and Dr. Dick Insel, Chief Scientific Officer of the JDRF.  So please submit questions you might have. You can also post any questions or topics here or drop me an email.

** Disclosure:  The JDRF is covering the cost of travel, hotel, & meals for this event.  I am not representing my local JDRF chapter, but am going simply as a member of the Diabetes Online Community.   Any comments or blog posts I make about this event will be my opinion and will not be affected by the invitation to this event. **

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

PS:  This is the first event of this type that I have been invited to participate in and, honestly, I’m feeling a little out of my element.  Over the years, I have made presentations to folks who could just look at me and say “Get out, you’re fired” and haven’t felt even a tinge of anxiety.  This one has me feeling a bit edgy tho.  Oh well, I imagine I’ll be just fine once it gets started…

© 2011 Scott Strange, Strangely Diabetic and http://StrangelyDiabetic.com

  • Kim

    Dude, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who is more than a little nervous and feeling out-of-their-element about this.

    🙂

    • Scott

      well, you most certainly aren’t!

  • Thats so awesome! But Im slightly jealous and way disappointed I wont get to meet you.

    I know youre gonna represent us in a way only you can!! Xo

    • Scott

      Boy, hope these guys know what they are in for!

  • I’ll third that, the nervousness and feeling all out of my element. It’ll be great to finally meet you in person (Kim too!!!) and see some of the others again. Looking forward to that, and of course the lively and likely-awesome discussions and advocacy that will ensue! Good luck traveling, and see you in D.C.!

    • Scott

      I’m really looking forward to meeting you, Allison, Kelly K and Kerri. I’ve be fortunate enough to run into Cherise, Scottie J, Kim and Kelly R a couple of times already!

  • I’m looking forward to it! Don’t be nervous— just speak from the heart. We are all in this together! As far as I’m concerned, I want my daughter to have support and a network of D peeps whether she’s 5, 25, or 55! Hope to meet you there!!

    • Scott

      Thanks Hallie! I’ll be the damn, good-looking one!

  • I AM SO STINKIN’ EXCITED ABOUT THIS EVENT!!!!

    I didn’t make “the cut” this year, but I’m hoping to be there in spirit (or, you know, via U STREAM!)…thank you, thank you, thank you for paving the way and laying a foundation for future T1 adults to connect!!! YOU’LL DO GREAT 🙂

    I grew up in the DC area (Southern MD). After my daughter’s dx in 2005, we were forced to figure out an alternative to maintain health insurance…6 months later we had to pack up and move across country for a lower paying salary with a great health plan. I haven’t been back since. My heart aches for DC sometimes. Please take some pictures for me…and…if you make it to Old Town Alexandria — raise a Cider Jack for me at Murphy’s Irish Pub…it holds some really special memories 😉 Take care, travel safe, and HAVE FUN!

  • Hey Scott,

    Great post. You hit on some really excellent points, and I’ve shamelessly copied them for my post tomorrow morning (giving you full credit and linkage of course).

    Looking forward to a late breakfast with you in Chicago! Please be good on the way to Washington D.C., I don’t want to be the one blogging about how an air marshal put you in a submission hold or something…

  • Simon

    Hey Scott
    I couldn’t think of many finer people to be going to congress. Congratulations, you are an inspiration to many my friend

  • Rachel

    Scott

    I am one of the JDRF folks who saw your presentation today. I have been a lurker on this & other sites for a long time & was glad to hear from all of you. T1 has many faces young & old & many perspectives. I thought what each of you said about the “cure” was valuable but more importantly I think you all brought up an often over looked & discounted aspect of the disease – the mental stress & depression that comes along with it. The depression is as much of a complication as renal failure or blindness. So thank you for your time & thank you for your honesty.

    • Scott

      Thanks Rachel,

      I appreciate your feedback and I totally believe you are correct, it is a complication and it is really just started to be recognized as such by the medical community.

      I’m glad I had the opportunity to present to everyone and really appreciated how open everyone was to us and the really great questions that were asked

      Scott

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