The Importance of Communities for People Touched By Diabetes

The Importance of Communities for People Touched By Diabetes from Tu Diabetes on Vimeo.
Earlier in 2008 we saw how new online communities such as and made their appearance. Also we saw how more established spaces like continued to grow and expand into broader health territory. More recently, we learned about the upcoming community venture Amy Tenderich is embarking on.

With all these events and keeping in mind comments posted by the likes of Scott Strumello and David Edelman, I have been giving careful thought to what this all means for TuDiabetes and the diabetic community at large. These are my conclusions:

  1. As long as the driver behind the communities is a passion for helping people with diabetes connect with others living with this condition, help raise awareness about diabetes and allow diabetics to live a healthier life, I feel this is a great thing.

  2. I believe in people like David and Elizabeth, Amy and Jens, among others (all of whom are also members of I believe they are passionate and driven from within. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be doing what they do because we all know running communities or large blogs is no easy task.

  3. The corollary of (1) and (2) is that what’s happening is a great thing. The driver behind all these initiatives is (and should continue to be) offering people with diabetes the option to do things they couldn’t do before, to enhance their lives. Therefore we applaud these efforts and link to every one of them in at least one way.

  4. Like Scott put it in an exchange we had over email, the new mantra is working together, because joining forces, with our hearts in the right place, we can win over more attention towards diabetes and bring on board to any of our communities more people with diabetes so they may no longer feel alone. That is my biggest goal and, as long as it is accomplished somehow, I don’t care if it’s not through

Our first step in this direction was to partner with Gina and Jon from DiabetesTalkFest, who are now THE chat we recommend for members of and all others beyond our community.

We hope 2008 continues to be a year of partnerships and joint efforts with the goals of growing the diabetes community at large (bringing more diabetics out of the diabetes closet), raising awareness about diabetes even more and helping many more people with diabetes lead a healthier life.

Great work, Manny. Thank you!

Manny, how truly inspiring you are! Keri

Hi Manny, as always, you have nailed what it is all about, and I applaud single thing you have done and created so far. is indeed a great place!

There are quite a number of us who might consider one diabetes site their “home”, but visit quite a number of the sites. Each has its particular flavor, but wherever I go I find old friends and make new ones.

Thanks Manny, for knowing what this is all about and bringing us all together to help one another. Until i was diagnosed 2 months ago all i knew about diabetes was the type 2 my sister was diagnosed with. Now with both of us having different types, me - type 1, and her type 2 we have learned so much more about diabetes and having this group to listen to and question has brought us both answers we needed. i have made friends here and enjoy this web site immensely, being able to talk to different people lets the communication continue onward and lets us all know we are not alone with our hopes, fears, and questions. Thank you,

Manny, I agree 100% with everything you said. I truly believe that our work improves and in some cases even saves lives. I’m very excited to see how all of these projects evolve.

Thank you Manny. Just like lloyd just said it is very nice to be able to visit other sites and meet new people. But it also very comforting to be able to look at a particular site and really feel like it is your “home” site. That is how Tu diabetes feels to me. You always give us the encouragement we need to stretch our wings and try new things and meet new people. And I deeply appreciate all the effort you keep on putting into getting the very best possible for us. Thank you for all that you do and all that you give. It is enormous.

1) As long as the driver behind the communities is a passion for helping people with diabetes connect with others living with this condition, help raise awareness about diabetes and allow diabetics to live a healthier life, I feel this is a great thing.

The basic need! Any site or any person restricting the exchange of information to help another in this multi-site community is in my opinion hurting other diabetics and do not deserve to enjoy the PRIVILEDGE of serving others. Though I remain with such sites – this protectionist attitude is prevalent – I only do so as long as I can help others and get help for myself.

My personal thanks to both you and Gina for forging ahead in a positive, collaberative effort. I joined her board because of her positive outlook, and I joined yours for the same reason.

In my opinion there is more than enough room for multiple communities. You can only get so big before one starts to feel lost and overwhelmed. Hopefully the “my way or the highway” board owners will follow suit and fostor a positive environment for everyone. The Lord knows we deal with more than enough crap already in our lives!

Thank you Manny, for your compassion and honesty…so very apparent. As Lloyd commented, tudiabetes is “home” to many of us…and you needn’t really ask why. Also, as a facilitator to a suuport group for people with diabetes in my community, I can appreciate well what it entails; but being able to communicate with people “on the same page” the world over…well, need I say more!

Thank You Manny!
It is obvious to me that you have a passion to help others with D.
I find your site very helpful and there are a lot of wonderful people here.
I think the more knowledge that we gain in living with our D, the better quality of life we will have!
With much thanks to you!


Manny, is one of the very best diabetes sites. The people here are very friendly and eager to help. I never see any element of discord on your wonderful site. With a person like you at the helm it is no wonder your site has done so well. My friends from diabetesdaily think vey highly of your site. I am looking forward to the mutual benefits of these and other sites working together. The future looks bright and exciting! Thank you so very much!


I couldn’t agree more with what you said. It is so important to work together because we all share the common goal. Thanks for all the work you do as well! I love seeing how all of these sites have been growing. Keep up the wonderful work!

Looking at and my own site I see that we need to do more regarding getting other countries involved. We all seem to have a lot of US users, but very few from the UK/EU. I am thinking about having some ads placed via adwords and other ad channels, paid out of my own pocket. Furthermore, I would be more than happy to exchange links with any of you who have diabetes related sites. Looking forward to more collaborations. Manny is right, we should all unite!

Jens…Re. other web sites…there’s which is linked to the Canadian Diabetes Association, and similar in the U.K. …look them up for a chat…linda in canada.

Sorry for taking so long to respond, but I agree with your assessment! As David Edelman and I have noted, to some extent, fragmentation is inevitable and even a good thing, but the key is to not lose sight of why the community began in the first place. Nice review!

I was not aware of the other communities. Let me know if they have one for Red Neck Deer Hunters with Type 2. I will have to join that one.

TuDiabetes has opened a whole new world for me, Thanks Manny!

You said it well Manny! Being involved in an online community of people who understand each other is the best therapy I have found. I strongly recommend that those who live with diabetes find a community where they feel comfortable and welcome and participate as much as possible. And it is nice to see the different groups working together. We are all in this together and we all want the same things: support, friendship, better treatments and ultimately a cure!

Awesome video. Each time I come across someone with diabetes or someone just curious I send them to TuDiabetes. I want them to feel the same sense of community I feel whenever I read the and post parts of my life here.