Yesterday was one of my favourite days of the year, and one that I’ll not be soon to forget–World Diabetes Day!
Despite the cold. Despite the wind. Despite the rain. We had an amazing day.
Yesterday, a group of 40 amazing, enthusiastic, energetic and INSPIRING individuals with Type 1 diabetes got together, along with our 5.5ers (those our are friends and fam, living without diabetes… dubbed such as they always seem to have that ‘perfect’ blood sugar of 5.5mmols/L!) for an amazing day of CELEBRATION! This group of young (and young at heart) adults came together to celebrate all that Type 1 diabetes has given us.
The day started out a little dreary… as I emerged from the subway, I (along with my exceedingly heavy tripping pack full of our gear for the day) was greeted with a sprinkling of rain, along with a wind chill and dropping temperatures. Nothing that could dampen my excitement, however! Within the hour, six ‘team’ had come together to take to the streets of Toronto, spreading awareness about life with diabetes, educating the public, getting ourselves noticed and, most importantly, having fun and getting active!
An amazing team of Connected in Motion Slisptreamers came together to develop, organize and facilitate a World Diabetes Day themed Photo Scavenger Hunt! Teams dispersed throughout the city to accumulate as many points and pictures as they could from our Photo Scavenger Hunt item list! Teams won points for taking video of themselves leading strangers in physical activities, for photographing WDD posters being put up (by the teams) in the most noticeable and prominent locations in Toronto, and for locating the most absurd ‘no sugar added’ options that could be found in the city.
After three hours of ‘scavenging’, teams met back for dinner and drinks. We shared our most memorable moments with one another. One team shared a story of how they had met a homeless man on the street begging for change. The team didn’t have change to give the man, but had extra juice boxes (in case of lows). They offered the man a juice box, and he gratefully accepted it, telling the group that he, in fact, had diabetes and juice was always a welcome ‘donation’. That really brought to light how lucky many of us really are. The team spent some time with the man and tried to get an idea of what it must be like to live on the street as a person with diabetes. Another team shared the story of how, upon meeting a stranger and asking to educate him about diabetes, said stranger promptly told the group “You can’t have diabetes. You don’t look like Diabetics”. The group then proceeded to ask the man to describe what a person with diabetes looked like. After trying to put his thoughts into words, all the man could come up with was: Tall. (Upon hearing this story, our ‘shorter’ friends in our group pronounced that they were so happy that they must have been misdiagnosed, because if only tall people could get diabetes, they surely were ‘safe’)! The group did go ahead and describe to this man that ANYONE can have diabetes–any shape… any size…
Throughout the day, so many connections were made, so many memories were had, so many people experienced life with diabetes in a new light.
Even though our skies may have been clouded on this World Diabetes Day 2010, there as no lack of smiles, no complaints, not even a whimper. What an amazing group of people I have in my life. I am so happy to have the opportunity to share my experiences with such an phenomenal group of people with diabetes.
Thank you to Connected in Motion for bringing us all together, face to face, to share in this celebration!
(Pictures will soon be posted at: www.facebook.com/connectedinmotion and www.connectedinmotion.ca)