DSMA Series: Connecting People Affected by Diabetes

On May 29, 2012 by Cherise Shockley

We enjoy using Twitter and talk radio to introduce you to people you may not know – athletes, health care professionals, people from industry and Pharma representatives – and to also re-introduce you to familiar faces from around the diabetes community. But let’s face it – one hundred and forty characters and an hour of airtime doesn’t always capture the great things people do for the community. FIve months ago, I had an “a-ha” moment giving me the idea to utilize our blog to feature people from around the community in a series titled “Empowering, Connecting, Supporting and Educating People Affected by Diabetes”. You do not have to have a Twitter account, blog or Facebook profile to be featured. We just want to know and learn about the things you are doing in the community.

This week DSMA is proud to feature Cara Richards. We are excited to share how she uses her blog to help connect others.

 

Cara Richards

3 Fun Facts

 Theatre Enthusiast- Adopted at birth-Decorate cakes as a hobby

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DSMA: How long have you been blogging about diabetes, and what was your motivation to start your own blog?

Cara:  April 12th will be my five year blog-aversary. I really started out looking on the internet for information about insulin pumps. I ran across dLife, which lead me to Kerri’s blog. When I started reading all of these posts by her (and the people on her blogroll) who had diabetes and were TALKING about it, I was blown away. I wanted someone who could understand what I was dealing with day-to-day and I knew I could find that with other people who were blogging online. I lurked around for about three months before taking the leap and I’m so glad I did it. It has changed my life in so many wonderful ways.

DSMA: What are a few things you’ve learned, through blogging, about yourself and diabetes?

Cara: Blogging has taught me a lot of things about myself. I feel like I’m more comfortable in my own skin because there is always someone online who can validate what I’m feeling or going through. Perhaps it’s just that I’ve gotten older and more comfortable with myself, but I feel that a lot of the credit goes to the online community and their ability to say, “Hey! Me too!”
I’ve also learned how many opportunities there are out there to connect, both online and offline, with other people living with diabetes. And that many times, people who are living with diabetes can answer questions that some of the best doctors in the world can’t answer.

DSMA: We talk about diabetes all the time. Let’s talk about your passion for theatre. When and why did you become passionate about theatre?

Cara: Theatre has always kind of been a part of my life, mostly through movie musicals. My mother loves them and I grew up watching movies like The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady and hearing my mom sing songs from them. As a kid, I saw a few plays in community theatre and in high school I got involved in drama both at school and in my church. I saw my first Broadway musical, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown!, on my senior trip in high school. My “steroid shot” for theatre, however, came after I had been to New York a couple of times, seen a couple of shows and then I found myself wanting to know more and wanting to see more. I wanted to research who I was seeing and what I was seeing and how it all worked. And when I found out you could wait outside and actually talk to and get autographs from the actors and actresses (called “stagedooring”), I was hooked. Being that close and being able to thank the actors and actresses for all they do isn’t something you often get the chance to do when dealing with other forms of entertainment. Eventually it led to my starting a second blog in addition to my diabetes blog,

DSMA: Last year you went on a blog hiatus. Instead of leaving your readers without any content, you created a blog series titled, “Your Voice”. Can you tell us about about “Your Voice”?

Cara: I had a friend that actually inspired me to start “Your Voice.” I’ve talked to several people over the years who aren’t bloggers, but are interested in the online community. They often say they don’t have the time, or don’t want to put in the effort to manage a blog. I can understand that. My friend mentioned to me that she sometimes wrote about her diabetes, but had nowhere to post what she wrote. With that, I thought about all the people who might not have the time or energy, but still have a story to tell about diabetes. Loved ones of those living with diabetes, people living with diabetes who don’t blog, children and young people (with parental permission) who don’t blog, but would like to share, were people I was interested in posting for “Your Voice.” Basically, I contacted people that I knew who weren’t bloggers, but still had a connection to diabetes and I asked them if they would like to share a post on my blog. It worked quite well for a while, until the submissions started to taper off.


DSMA: Are you currently accepting submissions for “Your Voice”? How can people sign up to participate?

Cara: I am currently accepting submissions for “Your Voice.” My original intent was to make it an ongoing project and a place people could post when they felt like it. Sadly, my submissions slowed and then stopped, so I stopped posting. I will still take submissions though! All the information on the project can be found here: http://countrygirldiabetic.blogspot.com/p/info-on-your-voice-project.html. The only thing I ask is that you carefully read the submission instructions so I don’t accidentally delete your submission as SPAM. :)

DSMA:  Cara, thank you for sharing a little bit about your life, passion and Your Voice.

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If you would like to be featured or know someone who should be featured in DSMA’s Empowering, Connecting, Supporting and Educating Series, please shoot us an e-mail at admin@diabetessocmed.com for more information.

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