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World Diabetes Day 2013: How You Can Get Involved

World Diabetes Day 2013: How You Can Get Involved – JDRF

With over 350 million people worldwide affected by diabetes, there is more need than ever to raise awareness of the condition and educate people about the condition. Further to this aim, every year on November 14th the International Diabetes Federation (an umbrella organisation encompassing over 200 smaller diabetes associations) in conjunction with the World Health Organisation sets up a day for people in 160 countries to engage and educate people about the disease. With a focus on improved treatment for and ultimately the reduction of cases of the condition, this year’s theme is education ad prevention.

Since diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease behind cancer and heart disease, World Diabetes Day aims to make people aware of how Type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed and how lifestyle changes can help to reduce the chances of developing Type 2. Since many people across the world are not even thought to be aware that they have the condition, World Diabetes Day is vital in the quest to increase early diagnoses and cut down the risk of diabetic complications for thousands of people who go untreated.

The day consists of many events directed towards highlighting diabetes and its effect on both a national and local scale. As many of these events are orchestrated through television, newspapers and the Internet there are lots of ways for you to help raise awareness of the condition.

So how can you get involved? There are many different ways in which you can increase awareness of diabetes in your local community. Since 2007, iconic buildings have been lit up in blue (the charity’s colour) to ‘bring diabetes to light’. It could be possible to arrange for a local monument in your community to do the same – perhaps even to arrange the lighting of your own home as a means to fundraise. In recent years, fundraisers have organised flash mobs to make a coordinated celebration and fundraise. Dancing, jumping, exercising and singing have all been used to raise awareness of and money for worthy causes like this one. Film the results and spread the word on any number of social networking sites to get your message across. Perhaps it might be possible to throw a street party or create a pop-up kitchen handing out samples and recipe pamphlets to promote healthy recipes for those with diabetes. Likewise a bake sale comprised of diabetic friendly goods could be a good way to raise donations and awareness of what goes into our diets. Maybe hold a quiz in your local community centre to raise awareness of the symptoms or carry out a sponsored walk, sell badges and produce newsletters to help show your support in the fight against the disease.

If you’re still stuck for ideas, the IDF website provides materials, videos and interactive forums for those wishing to get involved to share their ideas. As well as reflecting on previous experiences of the event the site offers a downloadable campaign book full of helpful ideas, tools and guidance for making your plans a success.

JDRF – Diabetes