Guest Post: All We Need is a Little Help From Our Friends

On April 20, 2011 by Sarah Knotts

First of all, as a JDRF Advocate and a rookie blogger, I have to give you a huge THANK YOU for allowing me to be a guest on your Blog and I have to tell you how much all of you at JDRF’s Government Day inspired me!


Relatively speaking, I am a newer member of the Type 1 community and, an almost old enough to retire, grandma!!

My grandson son was diagnosed 7 years ago this August.  I remember that day like it was yesterday.  I felt so helpless.  There was nothing I could do to make him or my son or my daughter in law feel better or make his diabetes go away.   But I had to find some way to help.

It was shortly after that week he spent in the hospital that Michelle (herself an adult Type 1) from our local JDRF chapter, reached out to us!   She and JDRF were like a lifeline for us!!  Our family has been active in our local chapter ever since.  We organized a walk team that year and we have had wonderful friends and family collect donations and walk with us every year since.   We also signed up to become advocates.

I had never looked at a blog post before I attended JDRF’s Government Day in Washington DC. There, I was introduced to this fantastic group of generation y who use their passion, enthusiasm and personal experiences to inspire a whole community of Type 1 Adults all over the country.    They were bloggers from the Diabetes Online Community.   I had never given thought to what happens to all of our children with diabetes when they grow up.  But after I listened to them tell their stories, I was determined that things needed to change.
We all know that JDRF is there for our children.  We need to make sure that adults with diabetes, as well as parents of children with diabetes have a place to turn to when they get tired of dealing with diabetes or feel alone because of their diabetes or just need the support of someone that has dealt with the same diabetes frustrations they are feeling.


This is where I need your help…I would love to hear from the DOC and get their thoughts and suggestions on how to help make this happen.   Some of the things I would like to find out from the DOC are:


  • Does their local chapter have groups, activities or events
    specifically for Adult Type 1′s?
  • If so, what are they and how are they promoted?
  • What kind of activities/programs would they like to see?
  • What can we do to
    improve our Outreach Program to include more Adults and make them feel more a
    part of JDRF?


You all have made us aware, now we need your help to make us better!



7 Responses to “Guest Post: All We Need is a Little Help From Our Friends”

  • I loved this post but just sat down to comment now. :o ) In my family, our diabetes has always been pretty “self-contained” because there were 4 of us with it (between 2 families…my uncle’s and my mom’s). I never took part in any outreach for children, so I don’t know what to ask for for outreach for adults.
    That said…I feel like some sort of celebration of those of us with type 1 who have either a) grown up or b) been diagnosed later would be a great thing. Don’t ask what I’d like to see because…I have no clue!
    I’d also love to meet other moms in real life who are parenting with diabetes. My online relationships have been so valuable, and I would love to see that support carried out online.
    That’s all I’ve got…I wish I could offer more!

  • I’ve been working with my local JDRF chapter to launch an Adult T1 Support Group – our first event will be a casual meet-up that will be held one week from today!! (I actually just got finished posting about it: ) I’m really excited and I hope we have a great turnout. Support is so important, and there is nothing like the connection you feel when you meet another T1 face-to-face. I can’t wait to see how our new group grows and evolves!

    Right now we are promoting our group through our JDRF Chapter’s newsletter, by contacting local endo offices and asking to hang our event flyer, and through blogging / word of mouth. We have ideas for a few more events in the future, but are hoping to better gauge what kind of events people would like to attend after we meet them and get feedback.

  • Thank you so much Karen for sharing your information. We have done a couple of “social mixers” thru our chapter and are hoping that attendance keeps growing as well. I’m hoping that we can provide more activities that will help the entire Type 1 community know that JDRF is there for everyone, not just the children.

  • The local JDRF chapter here is awesome for adults (the NW / Seattle chapter, that is).

    There are twice monthly cycling rides if you care to be active. There is a social group that goes hiking/snowshoeing and also does once-a-month happy hours. Finally, there is a group closely related to JDRF NW that holds quarterly Sports and Diabetes workshops for Type 1s. Most of these are promoted through emails, Facebook, word-of-mouth, and those of us who are in-the-know send fliers to our endo offices.

    I’m an adult with Type 1 diabetes and have always felt as if JDRF is there for me.

  • Honestly, up until now when I Googled it, I didn’t know there was a local JDRF chapter for me (Nashville, TN). For some reason a few years ago I searched that and I somehow came up with Knoxville being the closest chapter. I’ve been more involved with the ADA since I’ve been diagnosed 11 years ago. I would love to know of ANY type of social gathering/support group/meet up for adults with type 1 diabetes. I would definitely be active if I knew about it, but I just wasn’t well informed somehow.

  • After checking out the Nashville branch of the JDRF, it looks like most events are catered towards either T1 children or parents of T1 children. I’m already in an awkward spot of being barely adult but not a child (I’m 22) and that is always awkward for me to be at events with older adults. But this definitely leaves no room for adults with T1. I would love to see some sort of group meeting/gathering/anything for T1 adults. And something cheaper than the $300 a pop Promise Gala.

    • Madison….My grandson just turned 18 and is quickly approaching your awkward age as well. He is definitely one of my most important reasons for wanting to make sure that JDRF does more to make all ages feel welcome and important! Until JDRF’s government day this year and their invitation to the fantastic Panel of Bloggers who attended, I didn’t stop to think about the fact that all of our children with diabetes grow up to be adults with diabetes! I mean, I knew, but I really didn’t give it much thought! I know that Jeffrey Brewer, the new JDRF President, HAS given it thought as well…I know, if we all pool together, we can come up with ways to make all ages and incomes feel welcome!

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