Diabetes: Supporting Yourself and Others

As a child or teen with diabetes, or as a parent of a child with diabetes, you have a unique perspective of the world. You are less likely to take things for granted. You have learned much in your journey while living with diabetes. You have learned the importance of planning, making healthy choices and coping with a condition that provides so many challenges. You have become an expert in your own care.

You have a special understanding and knowledge that others don’t have. Because of that, you can make a difference in the lives of other people with diabetes.

Giving to and connecting with others

Your emotional well-being is as important as your physical well-being. One of the best ways to ensure your own emotional well-being is to give to others. Connecting with others, contributing in a positive way to another child, teen or parent makes us feel better about ourselves.

You can touch the life of a child or family with diabetes. Maybe you have learned (and are still learning) little tricks about managing diabetes that make your life easier. Pass it on. Maybe you haven’t always made the best decisions regarding your care — but are learning to make changes — pass it on. Maybe you have learned as a parent how to balance the supervision of your teen’s care while supporting his independence — pass it on.

Tips for how you can give to and connect with others

Giving to and connecting with others build confidence and make you feel more competent. Here are a few suggestions of how you can give to and connect with others:

  • Talk to your peers at school. You probably met peers you didn’t even know had diabetes when you started to go to the nurse’s office at school. Talk to them about how they manage their diabetes. If they are newly diagnosed, encourage them by showing them how you have adjusted to living with diabetes.
  • Join the CHOP Diabetes Parent Support Network. With its mission to “offer positive support, interaction and education for parents/caregivers, children and teens with Type 1 diabetes,” the CHOP Diabetes Parent Support Network provides opportunities for education and social gatherings. Contact Pam Davis at trajp6@verizon.net for more information.
  • Raise Diabetes Awareness. Volunteer at a local health fair or do a student project about diabetes and present it to your class.
  • Get involved in advocating for diabetes. Contact the American Diabetes Association (ADA) or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to find ways you can make your voice heard in legislation about diabetes.
  • Fundraise for a variety of diabetes causes. CHOP can provide some great support for local fundraising community events. Go to Community Events for information on how CHOP can provide support to your community fundraising event. For fundraising and community partnership information, visit Plan a Fundraiser or contact Emma Laverty at 267-426-6494.
  • For parents: Acknowledge when your child has done a good job — either with her diabetes or other life accomplishments. Let others know about your child’s achievement ─ consider posting them on the CHOP Diabetes Facebook page.

By giving to and connecting with others, you strengthen yourself.