World Diabetes Day is drawing to a close across the world. The clock is about to turn over into 15 November but it seems that blue lights will burn brightly for some time to come.

GPO blue

Melbourne’s iconic GPO gets its blue on for WDD13

My WDD started on its eve with an important event for diabetes research. The 2014 Diabetes Australia Research Trust awards presentation gave 22 Victorian researches grants. Many people aren’t aware of the commitment Diabetes Australia makes to research each and every year. This year alone over $3million dollars was given, including the $150,000 Type 1 Millennium Award which is specifically for research into type 1 diabetes.

After the awards, I found myself in the Melbourne drizzle wandering down to the GPO. As I approached, I saw it lit in blue. It looked splendid! Staff from Diabetes Australia – Vic and some of the Diabetes Australia Young Leaders donned blue ponchos and held all manner of lit-up blue things (I got a wand!! I’m just like Hermione!!) and stood in the glow of the GPO. This is part of the IDF’s global light up a monument campaign. You can read here for other iconic buildings and monuments that have been washed with blue. It was some fun for an important awareness-raising activity. And now, I have a blue wand!

On WDD proper, I found myself up just after 4am and on a 6am flight to Sydney to answer some questions about diabetes on a new breakfast television show. Studio 10 ended its morning with a discussion about World Diabetes Day and I was asked about life with type 1 diabetes. It was an opportunity to bust some myths which I’m up for pretty much any time! You can see the interview here.

What I wish I knew

What I wish I knew…..

Next up was the launch of a new book called What I wish I knew about type 2 diabetes which is a collection of stories of people living with diabetes (all types – not just type 2 despite its title) and health professionals working with PWD. This gorgeous little book by Marty Wilson tells wonderful tales of people who have lived with diabetes for many years. It also includes one of my previous blogs. Look out for the book – it’s definitely worth a read.

World Diabetes Day is an important day for the diabetes community. It is our day to talk about diabetes and have others thinking and talking about it too. Whether it be international organisations like the IDF who yesterday released new global diabetes statistics in their Diabetes Atlas, or local and national diabetes organisations like Diabetes Tasmania who attended Government House for an event with some of their Young Leaders, or community events and activities like the global 24-hour diabetes Twitter chat, it’s a day where diabetes is front and centre. My Facebook and Twitter streams were full of blue and family and friends commented on my posts and even posted on their own pages about diabetes. (A shout-out to my sister who got TOTALLY in the WDD-spirit by wearing blue circle earrings and plastering her Facebook wall with WDD messages. Thanks, Toots!) I even pinned blue circles onto our real estate agents’ very suave suits as they came to do an open for inspection for our house sale last night. Everywhere I looked I saw blue.

Diabetes may not be understood by everyone. But yesterday was a day where we could talk about it and hopefully give people a little more understanding about what life with diabetes means.

Of course, it doesn’t end here. The WDC is in just two weeks. Let’s keep the conversation going. And don’t forget the OzDOC get together on 3 December as part of WDC!