Wednesday, November 9, 2011

D-blog Day: how has the online community helped you?

Today is national d-blog day. I was asked to participate with the hundreds of others who don't seem to mind the whole world knowing what goes on in their life. We were given two tasks. 1) to create a page for a book that will be at the Children With Diabetes (CWD) Friends for Life (FFL) conference and also to talk about what impact the online community/presence has made on life with diabetes - for me personally.

In 2002 I became a moderator for JDRF's Online Diabetes Support Team (ODST). Basically, I would get all of the emails that were sent to JDRF from families and was assigned the task of finding a great "cyber volunteer" to answer their questions. Back in 2002 I remember the occasional email coming in that no one wanted to see..."I lost my child to diabetes...can someone help me?" Of course at the time no one really could. We tried, but we couldn't fathom.

So many years have gone by and with the death of Jesse I've learned sadly two new ways the online world has been so very useful. First of all, I'm back on the ODST with one specific task - answering emails from families who have lost their children. Second, the world of grieving the loss of a child to diabetes you would think is small. It is not. Facebook and other social media has allowed us to unite into a new group that "no one wants to be a part of." And I'm damn lucky to have both. Because helping others as I always say - helps me. Without those other families I would be grieving quite alone.

So put to task here is my page for D-blog day. My page represents Mile 23(a mile of silence for those lost) and all that it stands for not only for Jesse - but for all the kids lost to this disease. Pictured are many different moments in Death Valley, CA, La Crosse, WI, Grandad's Marathon in North Carolina (My two favorite type 1 Triabetes athletes pictured Steve "Ninja" Ahn and Dave Shack) and Mile 23 of the Ironman Wisconsin. I literally cherish each picture I get where I know someone - anyone - spent a mile thinking about the death of my son and what it means to them. And surrounding the photo are the names of children I never met, but who's parents have become my friends - through our grief - we are united.

I was also asked to provide the blue circle that indicates World Diabetes Day. I did not have to create one. One was created when Trent Nicholson died at the age of 14. So for Jen & Bob Nicholson, this one is for you, baby. The bracelet says, "Find a cure for T1 Diabetes" and more importantly to me, "Remember Trent Nicholson."


The Diabetic Camper said...

Thank you for sharing that!

Tracey said...

Michelle, this is such an inspirational story. Here I was, cruising blogger and came across your page. As an athlete myself (cycling) I am truly amazed at your movement.

I would love to invite you to share any aspect of your inspirational experiences to a site that collects feel-good stories; inspiring others to be kind and giving and helpful. If your contribution is chosen as a feature, you can reference your blog or web page for Triabetes.

I think you'd be a great fit for this site and could really inspire a large group of readers. Here's the link. I really hope you stop in and check it out:

Fellow Blogger and Supporter of your mission,

Nouveaute said...


Steve Ahn said...

Ah, Hammer.... as usual I am slow to arrive at the finish line, but thanks to you I always make it there... something I never thought possible before. I don't know what I would have done had you and Jesse and John and Triabetes not been a part of my life when Adia was diagnosed. I think of you often even though I am terrible at shooting you a message. Thanks for all you have done and all you do. I'll be irreverent next time:)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this inspirational post Michelle.

I am working with a well known brand to build a vibrant community to help spread the word about diabetes and a healthy lifestyle. It would be great if you could join our community to help educate, inform and converse with those living with Diabetes.

If you would like to learn more about this and help us spread the word about diabetes awareness, please send an email to


Anonymous said...

Michelle, I am a mother of a ten year old girl named Emily who just died on May 30, 2013. Please contact me at or look me up on Facebook and friend me...whatever it takes. I have talked to Moira McCarthy who also lives in Plymouth,MA where we live. We are waiting on autopsy results but it involved 3 days of hell, DKA, sepsis, pneumonia....she had emergency heart surgery, a blood transfusion, and even though they tried keeping her body temperature at 34 her brain swelled, her eyes dialated and I completely lost it. The only way for me to find purpose is to join your fight and educate others. PLEASE contact me!!!!!