Anyone who has diabetes, no matter the age, knows that receiving the news from the doctor for the first time is a mix of emotions: confusion, uncertainty, devastation, shock, or even being in denial. After learning and reading more about diabetes, some people can feel relieved to finally understand their symptoms and even though the diagnosis can be scary, it’s better to know what they are dealing with and start acting. Beyond the changes in lifestyle, there is one additional element that becomes essential to cope with this new change: having a support system. Parents, partners, family members, and friends are generally the ones there to help someone living with diabetes, but there is another group of support: the advocate heroes. These are people who care for someone with diabetes despite not having any direct relation nor having diabetes, yet they want to generate a change in their society.
In general, caring for someone with diabetes requires energy, time, and resources to do it. For example, a parent will invest time to accompany their child to the doctor, money to buy medicine and energy to support their child. As you can see, caring for someone with diabetes needs both psychological and physical help from both professionals and their closest relationships; however, there is another way to help someone living with diabetes (that could be inexpensive and even from a distant person): to generate awareness. This is the case of William. He does not have diabetes, yet he is committed to help someone living with diabetes, even further he advocates daily for his community by raising awareness of diabetes. For William, it is important to care for someone with diabetes as this helps them “to maintain good living” and “not to feel neglected”. Among his community, this disease has had a negative impact in the way that “people are no more productive in the society, especially at a certain age they totally become dependent on the younger ones” For someone young who wants to help someone living with diabetes, and might not have all resources, but has the energy and willingness to support someone with diabetes can do it by encouraging healthy habits such as being active and exercising. Also, knowing how to respond in case the person is suffering from dizziness due to low sugar levels and being there to give advice, but not to lecture or play a medical role.
At the moment of providing advice and helping someone living with diabetes, it is important to be informed and distinguish between facts and myths and misinformation by talking to professionals and finding reliable sources of information online. Nowadays caring for someone with diabetes is “easier” as the internet facilitates the usage of information and the frequency of accessibility to maintain up to date with new discoveries. In William´s case, his way to help someone living with diabetes is by creating a group dedicated to generating awareness by telling people the effects of having diabetes as he believes there is a gap of misinformation in this topic. Caring for someone with diabetes becomes easier when you have an emotional connection with that person; however, William does feel that the world needs more advocate heroes: people who do not have diabetes and are willing to help someone living with diabetes by using their access to information efficiently and to help spread it, especially to those who have difficulties accessing proper sources or live in remote places.
Despite age, place or gender, it is important for all of the community to either care for someone with diabetes or help someone with diabetes. The difference between these 2 actions eradicates the degree of emotional involvement with the person who has diabetes. Now, the invitation is to consider William’s example and be an advocate hero, he does it only for the sake of helping someone with diabetes, he does not expect anything in return, he deeply cares for someone with diabetes, about his people, about the elders and about educating young people. Unfortunately, diabetes among the US population is increasing and all these people will need as much support as possible, all of us can contribute to building a strong and meaningful support system.
As our brand manager and public relations specialist, Leslie ensures that all marketing activities deliver the right message to our target audience. Leslie studied Business Administration and has a graduate certificate in Brand Management.