Orange:Will Empower Women With Diabetes

It's become all too familiar now-- pink is the color for breast cancer. Red is the color for women with heart disease. In the last few years, the blue circle has even gained some momentum as the symbol of diabetes-- thanks to the International Diabetes Federation! I certainly have no desire to take attention away from the established diabetes movements (such as World Diabetes Day), but I would like to increase the overall attention that diabetes receives during the month of November this year.

Women with diabetes, do, indeed, have different issues from heir male counterparts. For women, diabetes management is greatly affected by the hormones of menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. Women with diabetes are diagnosed with eating disorders and body image issues far more frequently than their male counterparts. Finally, women with diabetes are at higher risk for heart disease, depression, and diabetic ketoacidosis.

Therefore, DiabetesSisters launched the orange:will campaign TODAY! orange:will is a national campaign that will help establish a greater awareness of the unique challenges faced by women with diabetes. The campaign represents the sheer will and determination required for women to manage their diabetes successfully. It represents the idea that orange will empower women with diabetes, orange will engage women with diabetes, and orange will unite women with diabetes! Orange WILL do many important things for women with diabetes!

While this campaign was initiated by DiabetesSisters, we want it to be bigger than DiabetesSisters and embraced by people everywhere-- not just members of the DiabetesSisters community. Therefore, the campaign and it’s activities are housed at a separate website:

There are a few different ways you can help out: First and foremost, by uploading a meaningful “orange” image at, you will help us create more hope for the 11.5 million women that deal with diabetes every day. Secondly, everyone can wear orange on the first Friday of November (National Diabetes Awareness Month)-- November 5, 2011! You can also post the orange:will badge on your website to inform others about this grassroots movement and encourage them to upload a photo.

Why delete all the responses that don’t agree with you?

Saves me some time responding …woman with diabetes since 1983, breast cancer in 1984

This is wrong. :frowning: It should be blue. Blue is our color; not orange.

Why make it just about women with diabetes. Breast cancer well men can get it is mostly a womens issue. Diabetes on the other hand affects both men and women, all diabetics face unique challenges.

Why a separate project for women with diabetes when the disease effects men & women equally? Diabetes isn’t a gender issue. Better tools to control our shared disease, better healthcare for everyone, more funds for research are the things that empower us all.

I understand your goal, but I also want to caution you about this idea – I’m not sure this is the way to undertake it. Read this Op-Ed piece from the NYT and you’ll perhaps understand why I think that’s the case.

I honestly don’t need a color to tell me that I have lived 37 years with diabetes. Had 2 girls, faced a whole lot of health issues both pretaning to the d and also some other things. I know the trouble with pregnacy, menapause, and all the other things mentioned here. But I have SURVIVED! That’s the main thing here. I’m glad that a few years ago diabetes got a color. (Didn’t have that for a long time) Let’s just be thankful for what we have.

I still support the gray ribbon with the red gem. Read the gray ribbon manifesto HERE, written by the man who owned the group that really started the DOC. Simple, profound, completely grassroots. It’s nice that you’re doing this, but I agree with others that simply adding another color to the multitude of colors and another “awareness” program is not very helpful…except if you happen to own a clothing store.

I think the Orange:will campaign is incredible! I gladly welcome the opportunity to raise awareness for diabetes, particularly the unique challenges faced by women. For me, one of the biggest obstacles with diabetes has been the lack of women available to talk, share stories, and trade support, and DiabetesSisters along with the orange:will movement seem like the perfect solution to this concern. DiabetesSisters meetups and the website have been a blessing in my life and I urge anyone who hasn’t gotten involved to check it out. I’ve ordered orange:will t-shirts for myself and my family, and we’ll proudly be wearing them on November 5th…and probably any time they’re clean :slight_smile: Even if you’ve already got a color or campaign you’re involved with, let’s double our efforts and all work together to raise awareness and support for the millions of women with diabetes!