Life with diabetes is filled with challenges and struggles but it also has its victories. Here are some great diabetes supports and resources to help you.
If you are experiencing stresses brought on by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, try some of our suggestions for managing your mental health during a pandemic. Remember if it becomes too much, reach out to your doctor or local mental health professional.
If you run a local support group or know of an organization that has helped you that isn’t mentioned below, please email us at advocacy @diabetesadvocacy.com to let us know.
Conferences and Meet ups
Conferences, webinars, and local events can be a great way to learn as well as find people who have the same experiences as you. You can instantly enjoy a feeling of coming home as you spend time with other people with diabetes who get “it”.
They offer outdoor adventures at various times throughout North America. Whether you are newly diagnosed or have lived with diabetes for many years, Connected in Motion offers you a chance to connect with others and share information and learning.
According to their website, Connected in Motion is a group of “people with Type 1 diabetes who share a vision: to create a culture of support and engagement in diabetes self-management through peer-based experiential diabetes education, sport, and outdoor adventure.”
iChallenge Diabetes was created by Olympic athlete Chris Jarvis to help families and people living with diabetes. They offer family outings as well as adventures for teens and adults of all ages. iChallenge Diabetes further offers educational sessions to help schools understand what people living with diabetes are experiencing. Click here to find an iChallenge Diabetes event in your area.
Coaching and Mental Health Supports
Sometimes peer support isn’t enough. Talking to someone who understands can make all of the difference in the world. Whether you need assistance with readings or simply coping with everyday life, it is important to reach out and get help.
Joe Solowiejczyk is a diabetes nurse educator and family therapist who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 50 years. His company A Mile In My Shoes offers counseling services for patients and training opportunities for healthcare professionals who wish to learn how to better integrate family therapy into their clinical skill sets.
You can learn more about the services offered by A Mile In My Shoes here.
The Diabetes Hope Foundation now offers a Youth in Transition programs that includes one-on-one mentorship support for youth with type 1 diabetes in Ontario, Canada. This program is available to those living with Type 1 diabetes between the ages of 14 and 18 years old at no charge.
Learn more about this amazing support for Ontario teens here.
Christel Oreum of Diabetes Strong is an incredible lady who just happens to live with Type 1 diabetes. Christel is an author and exercise guru who offers “individualized online diabetes coaching sessions to address what’s most important to you when it comes to managing your health and diabetes.” Contact Christel to begin taking back control of your life with diabetes.
Integrated Diabetes Services was founded in 1995 by author and Type 1 pumper Gary Scheiner MS, CDE. Their highly trained staff offer an extensive range of diabetes self-management training/education services, customized to your unique needs and interests. Sessions can be arranged in-person for those living in the Philadelphia area or remotely via telephone, email or video conferencing.
You can contact Integrated Diabetes Services personally or by doctor referral.
We Are Diabetes has offered a unique type of support that doesn’t seem to be found anywhere else; one-on-one mentorship, guidance and resources to any type 1 diabetic who may not only be feeling alone, but who may also be suffering from a co-occurring condition like an eating disorder or depression. Learn more on the WAD website.
Organizations that offer support and research
The web is filled with many great tools and organizations.
The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation Canada (DRIFCan) was established in 2005 to raise unrestricted funds for type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) research. Today, DRIFCan continues to raise funds to support further research for the Edmonton Protocol, a method of implanting pancreatic islets to treat T1D.
The lead Edmonton investigator is Dr. James Shapiro, Canada Research Chair in Transplant Surgery and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.
You can further support this effort by donating to the HEADing to 2022 initiative.
Diabetes Canada continues to be at the forefront of youth and family diabetes camps. You can search for a program closest to you here.
Diabetes Canada also offers various online web events as well as local conferences.
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is an international organization. It provides programs such as the Bag of Hope for newly diagnosed children and brings families together in annual walk events.
Some regions also offer local support groups.
Online forums and groups can be a great place to vent and share with people who get it without having to travel.
- Diabetes Advocacy Group page
- Canadian Diabetes Type 1
- Type 1 Diabetes Support Group
- Canadian Parents of Type 1s
- Diabetes Advocacy Facebook Group
- Carb Counting Momma Network
- The Unofficial Friends for Life Group
- The Tandem tSlim Pump
- Abbott Freestyle Libre
Join the Diabetes Online Community in weekly chats and regular chatter using the hashtag #DOC
TuDiabetes.org is now a program of Beyond Type 1
and Beyond Type 2 are organizations dedicated to showing people living with diabetes that they are not alone.
Places to donate insulin or supplies
Insulin for Life Canada is a not-for-profit organization that collects and distributes items like glucose test strips, insulin, and syringes that individuals are no longer using and would otherwise be discarded. These items are sent to recognized organizations with agreed to distribution protocols to be donated to those in need.
We partner with diabetes centers in under-resourced countries to provide young people with:
– Insulin and syringes
– Blood glucose monitoring equipment and test strips
– HbA1c testing
– Diabetes education, workshops, camps, resources
– Support for health professionals
Watch for our 10 Day Diabetes Challenge filled with tips to help you improve your life with diabetes!