Earlier this summer I had the good fortune to be a presenter at a conference on the use of Social Media in medical marketing and education. Two of the most interesting folks presenting there were bloggers from the diabetes community, Kerri Morrone Sparling of sixuntilme.com and Manny Hernandez of tudiabetes.com . What really struck me was how they both took a challenging chronic condition, Type1 Diabetes, and turned it into a platform for health advocacy.
As a result both have become leaders for progress in this field, challenging both technological progress and social sterotypes. They're not only well-spoken, they're funny and fun. They have a rich social life as a result. While I went to my hotel room to answer e-mail and Skype my family, they went out to a hip restaurant with a group of online friends from Philadelphia. They were all meeting face to face for the first time but had bonded based on mutual support and advocacy.
Since studies have shown that people dealing with a chronic condition like diabetes can become isolated, I think there's a lot to learn from Kerri and Manny. Anyone with a diabetes (or any chronic condition) can enrich their network, although it can take some work at first.
Here are a few of their insights:
The Big Picture: http://www.diabetes1.org/Multimedia/Vlog_Kerri_Sparling_Just_because_you_cant_see_it
On Advocacy: http://www.diabetes1.org/Multimedia/Vlog_Kerri_Sparling_on_Advocacy_for_Diabetes
On Why People with Type1 and Type 2 Diabetes share common goals: http://www.diabetes1.org/Multimedia/Vlog_Manny_Hernandez_on_Type_I_and_II_Diabetes
Next Post - Great insights from an emerging blog voice (Kerri & Manny, here comes GK...!)