Prompt: Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)
As a teacher and a former student with a 504 plan, I am passionate about both school safety and 504 plans. think they are integral parts of a student's success in school. All children with a medical diagnosis, whether it be diabetes or another illness, deserve to feel safe and secure in their learning environment. For me, my 504 said I could go to the bathroom whenever necessary, so I was not trapped by rules that may have changed classroom to classroom. I could have a juice box in class if I needed; little minor things like that. Diabetes didn't change who I was as a student. I played lacrosse, ran cross country, and threw discus for the track team. I took honors and AP classes and competed on the Speech and Debate team. Looking at me, you would never know I was sick. My teachers knew. My close friends knew. But I didn't spend English or math class wearing a sign that stigmatized me as having a chronic illness.
I have been a Team Captain for the JDRF in Philadelphia for years, excluding the year I was in Arizona since 2007 when I walked for the first time. My friends and family have supported me along the way, and it is the best way I can think of to advocate in the local sphere. I love the walk, the unity, the idea that we are not going to let hope die.