What Simonpalooza Taught Me

Back row (left to right): Jessica Collins, Joshua Collins, Aaron Vlasnik, Scott Johnson, Jeff Mather, Scott Strange, Kelly Rawlings, Allison Nimlos, Erik Nimlos

Second row (left to right): Mike Hoskins, Lisa Mather, Victoria Cumbow, Simon Boots, Kim Vlasnik, Courtney, Sarah Jane BlacksherKneeling: Amanda, Sara Knicks, Heather (and Becca!)

I hardly know what to say about this fantastic international gathering of PWDs, including fourteen members of Diabetes Advocates! Personally, it was wonderful too see some familiar faces and meet some new ones. There was a lot of hugging, laughing and crying. And it was completely amazing. Im still trying to process it all.

For me, the week cemented why I am a Diabetes Advocate. Sometimes, the work that we do can seem insignificant. Yes, I blog and tweet about diabetes. And I talk to people about diabetes when the opportunity presents itself. But am I really helping anyone?

The answer is yes. Like Kim said, what you do matters. What we ALL do matters. Even though I cant see it, writing my blog helps both me and other people. As do all blogs written by PWDs or loved ones of PWDs (Type Awesomes). You may not get responses to blogs or tweets, but that doesnt mean people arent reading them. And you never know the impact a conversation about diabetes may have on someone else.

However you choose to advocate for diabetes, it does make a difference. Simon taught me that. If youve not seen this video that Sara captured, stop and watch it now. We need to advocate so people know they are not alone. What you do matters. Your advocacy changes lives. It may even save someones life.

We are all with the band.

~ Jessica Collins