Will you be at the CWD Friends for Life conference? There’s panel taking place, discussing “Social Media & The Monster Under the Bed: The Latest Thinking on Fearing vs. Embracing Social Media,” focusing on efforts to validate the role of peer-to-peer support in diabetes management.  Here are some details:

I am proudly involved with this project, and am inspired by how the diabetes community supports each other, with that support contributing to improvements in all facets of our diabetes health.  The people involved in patient communities are what matters.  From an article I wrote in diaTribe a few months ago (but it still rings true for me today):

“Through connecting online, and in person, people living with diabetes have concrete proof that they are not alone, and that there is health worth fighting for, even after a diabetes diagnosis. Social media has saved lives in the diabetes community. It has helped people who are struggling with their diabetes to take control and improve their health. It shows people that there isn’t such a thing as a ‘perfect diabetic,’ but there can be an educated and determined one. It lets people know they aren’t alone in the ebb and flow of their diabetes management. It doesn’t encourage people to wallow in their troubles, but serves to inspire them to do the best they can, and to seek out the best healthcare they can find, both at home and in their doctor’s offices. A strong support system goes a tremendous way in making a difference for someone living with diabetes.

… I hope that the results prove what we as a community have found, but while we wait, we continue to share our personal evidence of the positive impact of social media. For now, the evidence is anecdotal. Eventually, the studies will show what we, as part of the diabetes community, have felt all along: personal connections between patients matter. The proof, for us, is in the people.”

I hope this discussion is the first of many.  If you’re at CWD, please sign up! And if you are off-site, you can attend virtually by signing up here.  For more information on Partnering for Diabetes Change, click here for a PDF.