You may have looked at the title and said, “What?” but it’s true: it is possible to make this chronic illness into a fun event or project. Especially with children, it is important not to make diabetes sound like a doom-and-gloom problem. By simply having a bright outlook on life, you already have the glass half full.
Fundraising can be a great way to creatively advocate for a cure. A family-friend with lots of land threw a party for me when I was younger that had things like a “poke-me” station, where non-diabetics could see what it was like to get a finger poke, and a piñata filled with sugar free candy. Guests were asked to pay an “entry” fee, but in reality all the money went toward diabetes research.
Diabetes can also be turned into art. You may have seen the chair made of syringes, created by my friend Dana Mangnuson, called “Life Support.” That’s right, she made a chair out of the number of needles that a diabetic uses in a year! Not only did this provide awareness, but it looked amazing, too.
Another artistic endeavor I have experienced goes hand in hand with the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes: creating your own t-shirt. I made tie-dye T-shirts one year for my team and everyone who was participating in the walk came over to make their own T-shirt. It was a fun way to socialize, and get people excited about finding a cure.
There are so many ways to make diabetes fun. But, designing medical bracelets, T-shirts, furniture, soundtracks/play lists to walk to, or parties for this cause is not only fun - it is ultimately life saving.
For those of you who contributed to taking the pain out of diabetes and replacing it with fun activities, I want to thank you for all you have done.
If any readers have more ideas of ways to turn diabetes into something fun for everyone, let me know! I’m always on the lookout for ways to live a vibrant life - even with diabetes.