Today's post is intentionally short. But I think there's some things the collective diabetes online community deserves appropriate credit for, hence I'm calling attention to these here. Specifically, two items emerged in recent weeks which can be credited largely to the collective diabetes online community.
D-OC Collective Force for Good in Tragedy
The first item is really the result of a tragedy. This wasn't a tragedy which was preventable, but one of our own members of this community, specifically Meri Schumacher [http://www.ourdiabeticlife.com/] lost her husband Ryan to cancer a few weeks ago (on September 2, 2012).
The Schumacher clan, for those who didn't know it, have several children with autoimmune type 1 diabetes, and Ryan's cancer diagnosis came as a shock last year. In the end, Ryan lost his battle with cancer, and the family now struggles to adjust to life without him.
They are not the first family to lose someone, and they won't be the last, but the point is that the collective community has suffered a loss, but has proven that we can collectively respond in a time of need. A fundraiser was established to help the family financially to pay for expenses related to Ryan's treatment. Initially, the dollar amount was $15,000, and that threshold was met and has since been raised to $25,000. Undoubtedly, the bills have yet to start coming in, but they will and may be even higher than that, so the adjustment is probably in order. To visit that page, you may visit http://www.giveforward.com/schuhmacherfamilymiracle2 to make a contribution.
I would just add that aside from expenses related to Ryan's care, that family's needs for day-to-day care haven't disappeared, and while the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), sometimes derisively called Obamacare, will ensure those kids will have access to healthcare, with several kids who are pretty young and will undoubtedly have needs for higher education in the future.
Although I don't often talk extensively about my personal life, as a point of comparison, my mother lost her own father back in the early 1950s, and my late grandmother did something which, in those days, was unheard of: she went to work. That made my own mother, and my two uncles arguably among the first latch-key kids. Nowadays, dual-income households are more the rule rather than the exception, but in those days, the notion of a working woman was uncommon. Outside of nursing and secretarial positions, there weren't tons of opportunities for employment for women in those days, and the pay wasn't as great. But by the mid-1970s, women were doing it en-masse, the only difference is my grandmother did it 25 years earlier. However, I think the ability for us to pull together resources when they're needed was really demonstrated in this case, and for that, we as a community have demonstrated our ability to work together when needed, so we should be acknowledged accordingly.
Beyond that, I also want to acknowledge another item.
D-OC Helps Push Celeb Chef Sam Talbot Over The Top!
Some may have followed it, but chef Sam Talbot, whom I wrote about a few years ago [2007 to be exact, catch that post HERE] was competing in another competition (this one for sandwiches), which if he won, would benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to the tune of $10,000.
He (Sam Talbot) was trailing in third place in the days before, and I had my doubts whether his competitors who were all supporting great and worthy causes, including, The Michael J. Fox Foundation as well as the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer, might actually win this competition. However, in the final few days, the votes for the celebrity chef hottie whom various d-bloggers including "Typical Type 1" Jacquie Paul Wojcik (now a proud mother to Magpie) have written about, and once the votes from from the D-OC rolled in, we pushed our favorite celeb chef over the top!
Chef Sam Talbot Tweeted (see HERE):
THANK YOU THANK YOU ! Yall took banding together to the next level. I can't believe in the final 24hrs we got 22,000 votes in 1 day!!! Wow!Yes, we as a community have the numbers which, if I may be so bold, helped push him over the top!
— Sam Talbot (@ChefSamTalbot) September 8, 2012
Collectively, we pushed 22,000 votes in a single day, which is nothing to dismiss!
We didn't do it alone, and he had help from the JDRF among others to help push votes for the celebrity chef over the top. On the other hand, I will say that our collective presence in social media like Twitter is a force to be reckoned with and it's more than just "influencers" ... we are a genuine community with people impacted by this disease which is learning to utilize these tools for even more in the future.
I would be remiss if I didn't use this opportunity to note that many are members of Diabetes Advocates which helped make these things happen. If you are a personal diabetes blogger and are interested in learning more, visit Diabetes Advocates' website for more information.