Happy World Diabetes Day to you all. This year, the IDF is building on last year’s theme about diabetes and the family.

I wrote this last year, which explained how my diabetes family extends beyond my immediate family. It includes my friends living with diabetes – the diabetes tribe that I found and love so hard. I know that without them, there is no way that I would be living the diabetes life I have now. This tribe of PWD is spread across the globe, but is literally at my fingertips anytime I need them. A day does not go by when we are not messaging about the saucy goings on in the diabetes world.


Everyone’s diabetes family looks different. While for some it is their partner, kids, parents and extended family, for others it may include their friends, healthcare team, local diabetes organisation or next-door neighbour. You do you when finding your tribe! Here’s a collage of just some of the tribe I’ve been lucky enough to see this year.

The greatest thing my own tiny little family unit – Aaron and the kidlet – have done for me with my diabetes is to let me do it my way. Aaron was there the moment I was diagnosed, and not once in the last twenty-one years has he tried to make diabetes about him. He will never know how grateful I am for that. Those middle of the night hypos where he was awake alongside me, toasting bread or pouring juice, or the hospital visits or the days interrupted by misbehaving glucose levels were done with not a single mention of how he has been impacted by my diabetes. I never heard him say how exhausted he was the morning after a particularly wakeful night, or how my diabetes has affected him.

But perhaps the greatest support that my family has given me is never making me feel limited by diabetes. Building independence when living with a chronic health condition isn’t only something that is relevant to children and adolescence. Last night, I slept alone in a hotel room and didn’t for a moment feel fear because of my diabetes. I travel the world alone for work – jump on long haul flights, spend twenty-hour days at conferences and day-long meetings – and I do that with complete and utter confidence that I can manage my diabetes alone.

I hear others with diabetes say that their loved ones are worried and fearful when they are away from them, and that in turn makes them feel nervous. I hear of struggles of how to share CGM data constructively and how much others get to be involved in the PWD’s diabetes life. It’s a delicate dance we do here, and Aaron and the kidlet have always been led by what I need. And what I need is not to feel fragile or as though I could break at any moment if they are not there.

I love that they don’t limit me in any way because of my diabetes. And I love that they trust me enough to know that I will reach out when I need to, and that when they ask and ask and ask, all that does is make me feel like a burden. And I love that they never, ever make diabetes about them.

So, they’re the stories that I’m looking for today – the stories of people with diabetes, showing how they have been supported to do their very best. And at the same time, I’m sending a thank you out to these two for supporting me in exactly the way I need.

My people