Diabetes awareness month 2019

Diabetes Awareness Month

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November: World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month!

With November being National Diabetes Awareness Month in the U.S., you can imagine there’s a slew of awareness campaigns and fundraising events that go on throughout the month. This effort has taken on more international importance in recent years, with the growth of global observances of World Diabetes Day that takes place annually on November 14, the date marking the birthday of insulin co-discoverer Dr. Frederick Banting.

Here at DiabetesMine, we’ve covered these November diabetes activities at length over the years. Please browse through this overview of posts we’ve written to get a sense of what happens when diabetes awareness becomes a national and international talking point for the month.

Diabetes Awareness Month: What To Know

We believe the need for diabetes awareness month is more important than ever because of high-stakes issues like Affordability and Access, and public awareness on those topics are at an all-time high. Many different diabetes organizations have a plethora of activities and initiatives, including the American Diabetes Association and JDRF that both tend to highlight specific aspects or individual themes each year, in the context of living with diabetes.

You can see our rundown of what’s happening for Diabetes Month 2019, delving into some of the activities and initiatives that various diabetes orgs have on tap for November. Make sure to scroll down below to see past years’ happenings during this big awareness month, too.

No matter what activities and events are on tap, it’s great to know that the historic Banting House in London, Ontario is a place to mark Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day — specifically, for the medical milestone that changed the world for anyone with diabetes way back in 1922. Our own Mike Hoskins visited the house once lived in by insulin co-discoverer Dr. Frederick Banting, and he shared his experience seeing that historic landmark firsthand.

World Diabetes Day and the Blue Circle

World Diabetes Day (WDD) was established by the International Diabetes Federation in 1991 to call attention to this worldwide epidemic. The date of Nov. 14 was chosen to honor Dr. Frederick Banting, co-discoverer of insulin back in 1921 along with Dr. Charles Best. While it did officially exist through the 90s and early 2000s, WDD day was largely off the radar until 2006, when the IDF successfully advocated for the United Nations to issue a resolution on it and it was officially recognized for the first time the next year.

D-Mom Kari Rosenfeld and her daughter Clare are behind the UN Resolution of 2006 recognizing World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14.

As part of that campaign, an Oregon D-Mom named Kari Rosenfeld who was working with IDF to come up with a concept for an international symbol for diabetes. She and her daughter Clare (diagnosed with T1D more than two decades ago at age 7) were the main force behind the UN Resolution, originally pitching the idea to IDF to bring more worldwide attention to this illness.

They took the idea of a UN Resolution to Professor Martin Silink, who led the IDF at the time in 2003 and was attending the organization’s annual meeting in Paris, France. Without his leadership, Kari says none of the rest would have been possible. She took on the role of project manager handling all aspects of achieving the new resolution, along with the Unite for Diabetes public awareness campaign built around it aimed at “going beyond so many mixed messages about diabetes and create a unified campaign that could embrace them all.”

They settled on the Blue Circle, meant to become as recognizable as the ubiquitous pink ribbon for breast cancer, red ribbon for AIDS, or yellow ribbon for bring-home-the-troops.

The blue hue is meant to evoke the color of the sky, and the circle embodies unity. In fact, the Blue Circle is officially known as the “Unite for Diabetes” symbol. In November 2013, we interviewed D-Mom Kari about her views on how the month and bue-hue has gotten a bit stale over the years. She certainly had some thoughts to share on the Past, Present and Future of D-Month and World Diabetes Day!

Of course, there’s definitely been more than just the WDD and Blue Circle advocacy during November, worldwide.

All About Diabetes Awareness Month

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), National Diabetes Month was actually established 40 years ago in 1975, though Congress and the U.S. presidents didn’t start passing proclamations recognizing November as “diabetes month” until the early 1980s. (See this Reagan declaration in 1981!) The ADA trademarked “American Diabetes Month” in 1997.

This month is of course a time when diabetes organizations of all sizes launch awareness efforts, initiatives and campaigns, and our Diabetes Community comes together to share stories about this condition with the general public. We’ve written quite a bit over the years about the November D-awareness campaigns across these United States.

Diabetes Months of the Past

Don’t miss our coverage of what’s happened over the years for Diabetes Awareness Month, within the U.S. and across the globe. You’ll read about efforts from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), International Diabetes Federation (IDF), JDRF, Beyond Type 1, (now defunct) Diabetes Hands Foundation, and other groups working to raise public awareness and make a difference for the Diabetes Community.

Here’s a glimpse at our past coverage over the years:

For 2018: we saw a new two-year campaign launched by the International Diabetes Federation and several other online social media campaigns by other orgs out there. It was also fun to see the Banting House in Canada take part, celebrating the man they’re based on who co-discovered insulin!

Diabetes Awareness 2015: the ADA and IDF focused on the theme of educating people about healthy eating. Themes have varied over the years and hit on multiple aspects of diabetes and general healthiness, as well as D-complications and exercise awareness initiatives.

Another Big Diabetes Month + World Diabetes Day 2014: During that year’s awareness efforts, the IDF introduced a fun new Blue Circle selfie campaign centered on their new WDD Selfie App. Also, the IDF’s “Pin a Personality” initiative really took off, promoting the Blue Circle and diabetes awareness by publicly placing Blue Circle pins on celebrities. More than 50,000 have been distributed, we’re told, including one to Bradley Whitford, probably most well known for his TV role as White House exec Josh Lyman on the West Wing.

Diabetes Nation? New Campaign Aims to Make Diabetes its Own Country(!): A new campaign called ‘State of Diabetes’ was launched by a New York health insurance marketing agency, Area 23. The idea is that with 343 million people worldwide with type 2 diabetes, it’s time to move beyond the UN Resolution and actually ask the UN to designate “Diabetes’ as an official country. Whoa! Area 23 was also filming a documentary of this whole process to help raise awareness about type 2 globally.

Diabetes Awareness Month 2013: We saw a new smartphone app introduced for the Big Blue Test this year, and it also marked the debut of the JDRF’s new marketing campaign, “Turning Type One Into Type None.” We also saw the World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange grow in popularity.

Diabetes Awareness Month 2012: Many in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) were “Thinking Blue, Going Blue” in November 2012, and many diabetes bloggers also recognized the 8th annual Diabetes Blog Day, in which bloggers rally around a cause. The theme in 2012 was media awareness — encouraging bloggers to write open letters to national media outlets such as the NY Times, CNN, or a local/national newspaper or TV station about why it’s so important for them to let the world know that diabetes is about more than just being overweight or eating too much sugar.

Avoiding Advocacy Burnout in National Diabetes Month: With so many great diabetes causes and efforts asking for involvement during the month of November, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed. We take a look at ways to stay motivated, and not get lost in them all.

Diabetes Awareness Month 2011: The JDRF kicked off National Diabetes Awareness Month on Nov. 1 with the first-ever “type 1 diabetes awareness day” program, appropriately called T1 Day. The org also had the opportunity to appear on the Today Show in New York at the start of November, while in San Francisco there were diabetes-inspired flash mobs happening.

Help a Child in Rwanda (for Diabetes Awareness Month 2010): The inspiring all-diabetic pro cycling Team Type 1 conducted a ‘Thinking Globally’ on diabetes campaign aimed at helping PWDs (people with diabetes) in developing countries get access to life-saving insulin and diabetes supplies. They focused specifically on Rwanda, where life expectancy is less than 5 years with diabetes. For WDD in San Francisco, we also saw the kick-off of the fun new fitness program, Dance Out Diabetes.

Diabetes Awareness Month: Roundtable (2008): For the first time ever, JDRF gathered a group of vocal diabetes bloggers to discuss November outreach activities and more. As one notes: “Diabetes awareness is important because it translates into a greater understanding of (and by extension, compassion for) those living with the disease; an increased willingness by schools, companies, and other organizations to make accommodations when and where needed; and a larger number of people providing more vigorous support toward finding a cure.”

There is always a plethora of activities and campaigns centered on D-Month and WDD, so it’s nearly impossible to keep an exhaustive list of all that’s happening on the world stage. We look to the #WorldDiabetesDay and #NDAM hashtags on social media as a resource in keeping tabs on different items, as well as what Pharma and the D-Industry along with all the many diabetes orgs and individual efforts. Please drop us a line at [email protected] or on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for anything you know of related to this month’s happenings!

Those of you who live with or work in diabetes probably know that November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. In fact, today – November 14 – is World Diabetes Day! Each year during this month and in particular on this day, the community comes together to bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of people in the United States and around the world. Through advocacy and awareness events, programs, and initiatives, the diabetes community aims to bring attention to the severity of the problem. Together, we can fight to slow the growth and reduce the impact of this global epidemic.

How can you make a difference? Join us in observing National Diabetes Awareness Month by getting involved in one of these efforts:

  1. Find a World Diabetes Day event near you led by the International Diabetes Federation.
  2. Post about National Diabetes Awareness Month on social media using hashtags #NDAM and #DiabetesAwarenessMonth. Beyond Type 1 has some great suggestions for this!
  3. Participate in the American Diabetes Association’s National Diabetes Month campaign, which reminds us that a hero lies inside everyone affected by this disease. Write a letter to Diabetes and post it on social media using #DearDiabetes.
  4. Practice self-management with these tips about how to observe National Diabetes Month as someone living with it.
  5. Sign up for Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly’s campaign to help people with diabetes and their loved ones get smarter about heart health at ForYourSweetHeart.com.
  6. Share Virta Health’s moving video about how shame affects people living with type 2 diabetes.
  7. Download In Your Own Words, a collection of letters by people with type 2 diabetes who have written back to their younger selves to share personal insights and to reflect on their experiences of living with diabetes. What would you write in your #LettersToMyYoungerSelf?
  8. Create your T1D Footprint to figure out how much space T1D takes in your life. Share on social media to participate in JDRF’s National Diabetes Awareness Month “T1D looks like me” campaign.
  9. Read and distribute healthfinder.gov’s American Diabetes Month toolkit, which includes resources for schools, healthcare providers, health departments, and other health organizations to raise awareness about the importance of preventing diabetes.
  10. Explore the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases’s (NIDDK) National Diabetes Month campaign to remind you that you are the center of your diabetes care team.

Emily Fitts contributed to this piece.

Perhaps you’ve heard the quote, “sometimes later becomes never.” When it comes to health, our success is often measured by our effort. Habits, breaking poor ones and beginning healthy ones, are key to managing chronic illness.

“Augustus” is 43 and became a patient of the Clinics one year ago. He’s been diabetic for 20 years but was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2018. Augustus knew that for him, sometime could become never if his lifestyle didn’t change. Thanks to quality patient education and a will to thrive, one year later he no longer smokes, is monitoring his blood glucose regularly at home, and taking medications daily. Imagine sitting beside Augustus in the Emergency Room as the doctor explained that his kidneys were wearing out and simply couldn’t last much longer because of uncontrolled high blood pressure and diabetes. He woke up, and he made a choice.

Augustus decided to make serious lifestyle changes. He cut out sweet drinks and decreased food portion sizes, starting counting carbohydrates, began a blood glucose log, and added daily exercise to his routine. His success is measuring up well to his effort! Within only 75 days, Augustus has lost 24lbs, brought his blood glucose levels down from the 300’s to normal ranges, and feels far better. Success!

Recently, a patient was celebrating in the hallway and high-fiving with our staff because of his improved A1C. His lab results were proof that his hard work and diabetes education had paid off, too. Over 500 diabetic patients at the Clinics are given the opportunity to succeed in managing their disease with a dedicated team to walk with them.

At Good News Clinics Clinics, we empower patients to take control of their health through education and quality healthcare. As an American Diabetes Association (ADA) approved multi-site, we are proud to offer patients one-on-one diabetes self-management training, group diabetes education classes, and nutrition and lifestyle coaching with our registered dietitian. Why? Because we know that our successful treatment of chronic illnesses is often measured by our effort.

The biggest month for diabetes awareness activities is only a few days away, and it’s the perfect time to raise your voice to increase awareness about diabetes! You might ask: Why? How does more awareness meaningfully impact the lives of people with diabetes? The question is a good one, but the answer is simple. Awareness is the first step to any kind of change. More funding for research, better public support for legislation issues. More understanding and empathy. Less blame and shame.

Awareness + education is even more powerful. Knowing symptoms of type 1 can be life-saving when a diagnosis is right around the corner. If you’re at risk for type 2, education can help prevent or delay the progression of the disease (in cases where you’re able to do that). And education that helps our communities offer support (instead of blame) through a very challenging disease is invaluable.

Here’s a list of different ways you and your family and friends can make an impact for diabetes in your community.

1. Make Social Noise with JDRF’s Thunderclap Campaign

Once again JDRF kicks off National Diabetes Awareness Month on November 1st with type 1 diabetes awareness day, “T1D”, a day devoted to raising the voices of people touched by type 1 diabetes. Use the web platform “Thunderclap” to join in an auto-generated, mass-shared social media post All you have to do is sign-up on the JDRF #noT1D Thunderclap page.

2. #DiabetesDoesntStopMe Instagram Contest

Show your friends, family, and the public you can live well with this disease and chase your dreams – whether that’s running marathons, travelling the world, falling in love, or advocating for a cause. The Instagram contest will ask you to show a photo of how you’re doing just that along with a few sentences on what it’s like to live with diabetes. Look for contest details (and how you can win a trip to Los Angeles!) next week. #DiabetesDoesntStopMe and #MedtronicDiabetes!

3. Take The Big Blue Test

Another annual favorite, the Diabetes Hands Foundation asks you to take the Big Blue Test by testing your blood sugar, doing 14-20 minutes of exercise of your choice, testing again, and sharing your results online. Each entry you log between October 14th and November 30th triggers a $1 donation on your behalf to nonprofit groups that are providing life-saving supplies, services, and education to people with diabetes in need.

4. Hope in the Hand

D-Mom, Cathy Knight KcConkey, wanted to show children with type 1 diabetes they’re not alone. Since 2009, she’s been encouraging others to write “Hope” on their hand, take a photo of it, and post the picture on Facebook. You can do this any day of the year, but just be sure to do it on World Diabetes Day!

5. Submit Your#insulin4all Image

Two charities, The Pendsey Trust and T1International, wanted to raise awareness about the lack of access to essentials (insulin, test strips, education, healthcare, etc.) that many people with type 1 diabetes face around the globe, so they launched the #insulin4all campaign in 2014. Support by submitting your #insulin4all image.

6. Take a Blue Circle Selfie

Take a selfie with the global symbol for diabetes, a blue circle, through the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) WDD selfie app. Share it on your social media pages and be sure to encourage your friends and family to have fun and be creative with this app too. The more, the merrier! If you have a larger group of people, you can invite your loved ones or coworkers to do a “human blue circle”. We do this every year at Medtronic and always look forward to it!

7. Share Educational Facts

Use your social media to educate others about type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Share one of IDF’s visual infographics, or ADA’s statistics.

8. Wear Blue on Fridays

Wear blue on all four Friday’s of November (and on World Diabetes Day) to advocate and bring awareness for diabetes and the people living with it. Help spread the word and search the hashtag “#bluefridays” on social channels to see who else is wearing blue! If you want to advocate all year long, you can even wear blue every Friday throughout the year, like the innovator behind this idea: Cherise Shockley!Here’s our customer support team who helps respond to you on social media—all sporting blue! Back left to front right: Nicole, Rueben, Ted, Jesse, Rae (with a little one on the way!)

9. Participate in a Fundraiser Walk

Join the JDRF and American Diabetes Association (ADA) in one of their walks (held nationwide) to fundraise for diabetes, education, research and advocacy. Register to join your local JDRF One Walk or ADA Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes. If you can’t attend in person, you can also sign up as a “virtual walker” to show your support. Here at Medtronic, we had a blast at the JDRF One Walk in San Antonio and Los Angeles in October, and are excited for the upcoming ADA Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes events.

10. And there’s more!

For an ever-growing list of new and creative activities, visit Project Blue November.

Have something new to add to the list? Share with us how you plan to raise awareness this November!

Tags: diabetes advocacy, diabetes awareness, DOC, World Diabetes Day

American Diabetes Month 2018 Resources

American Diabetes Month Resources

Please use these materials to bring #EverydayReality to life in your organizations and communities.

Campaign Overview

  • American Diabetes Month Toolkit (PDF)
  • Fact Sheet (PDF)



*Please link all web banners to diabetes.org/everydayreality

  • American Diabetes Month 2018 Banner – 729×250 – Tracey (PNG)
  • American Diabetes Month 2018 Banner – 729×250 – Hunter (PNG)
  • American Diabetes Month 2018 Banner – 160×600 – Tracey (PNG)
  • American Diabetes Month 2018 Banner – 160×600 – Hunter (PNG)

Social Media

  • American Diabetes Month 2018 Social Media Sample Messages (DOCX)
  • American Diabetes Month 2018 Facebook Share Images (ZIP)
  • American Diabetes Month 2018 Twitter Share Images (ZIP)
  • American Diabetes Month 2018 Instagram Share Images (ZIP)
  • American Diabetes Month 2018 LinkedIn Share Images (ZIP)

*You can share campaign videos directly from diabetes.org/everydayreality

Diabetes Blog Bytes

November is our opportunity to get the word out about diabetes.
It provides the space to:

  • Raise awareness about risk factors and actions to prevent diabetes.
  • Promote compassionate care to those living with diabetes.
  • Provide messages of hope for those living with prediabetes and diabetes.

November is also a time to thank our amazing community of Diabetes Educators.

Your everyday actions make a world of difference in each life you touch.
Your dedication to improving diabetes care in your clinics, hospitals, schools, communities and for your fellow humans is deeply appreciated.

Resources for National Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day

American Diabetes Association – Resource Page for Diabetes Month that includes videos and emotionally thoughtful information

World Diabetes Day Toolkit – Diabetes Concerns Every Family. This link goes to the International Diabetes Federation website with resources to share.

National Diabetes Education Program Toolkit – Special focus on women after gestational diabetes. Includes handouts and social media resources to get the word out.

National Diabetes Education Program Printable Flyer to get the word out about Post Pregnancy Steps to prevent future diabetes.

Diabetes Flash Mob Steps and Video – Celebrate World Diabetes Day on November 14th with this fun dance to Beat It by Michael Jackson.

American Diabetes Association Risk Test – encourage staff and community members to take the electronic version or the paper test to determine risk of future diabetes

Holiday Survival Guide – A very popular resource that provides 10 Steps to Survive the Holidays

Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia Patient Education Teaching Sheet ” This handout is one of my favorites. Cartoon characters depict the signs and symptoms of low and high blood sugars and then detail steps to take.

Banting and Best Historical Slides – This blog byte describes the discovery of insulin and includes photos that tell the story best

To celebrate World Diabetes Day and Dr. Banting’s Birthday, we invite you to attend:

Getting to the Gut, Meet Your Microbiome – FREE Live Webinar Update November 14th, 2018 at 11:30 PST

New content and exciting research findings!

Join the wonderment as we explore the role of our Microbiome.

This one-hour complimentary journey will expand your view of how trillions of bacterial hitchhikers profoundly influence our health. We will discuss how foods, the environment and our medical practices have impacted our gut bacteria over time and strategies we can take to protect these old friends. Join us!

Webinar topics:

  • Discuss the latest research on our microbiome
  • State the relationship between gut health and diabetes risk
  • Describe 3 strategies to get our microbiome back to better health.

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