Friday 11 November 2011

The Future of Activism

Step back for today’s prompt and think of all of the patients, family members, loved ones, healthcare professionals, and others who are involved in raising awareness for your health condition and other health conditions. What does “awareness” in the future look like?

When I think of future activism in terms of the diabetes community, I immediately think of awareness and how diabetes advocacy in my life falls into two distinct areas: my 3D life, and the online world. Sometimes I worry that in this technologically dependent age, we forget that activism is not solely online, it is also what we do in our lives each and every day. Both forms are equally critical in enabling people to feel part of a community that understands them and supports them. For the purposes of today's post I am going to focus on the former.

I see evidence of local activism when I participate in JDRF walks and Cyclebetes rides. I feel it when I mentor newly diagnosed families and when I meet other children and adults living with diabetes. It is that sense of camaraderie that we share knowing that we are not alone living with this disease; that even though our stories may all be different, we are all united.

In no aspect of my life do I feel the ripple effects of activism more than in the outpouring of support received from friends and family. Whether it's walking with us at JDRF walks, or attending my fundraising events, or making an online donation, our family and friends have become incorporated into the diabetes community too, by being there when needed.

The voices of those who may not be front and center are just as integral a part of the future of health activism, as those whose messages are heard loudest. Only together can we truly make a difference. After all, that is the power of community.

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