The results are in for our 2012 DiabetesMine D-Moment Holiday Sweepstakes!

We asked PWDs everywhere to share, in a few sentences, their big "aha!" diabetes moment of 2012, as in: 

What struck you hardest this year, in that you learned or observed something new?

The idea being that whether you've had diabetes for two months or 20 years, there always seems to be an "aha moment" to be had.

The contest ran from Dec. 3 through Dec. 20, and we received more than 50 entries from many segments of the Diabetes Community, including quite a number of type 2s (welcome!!).

News nuggets from around the diabetes community

NEWSFLASH: ADA Names New CEO
Non-profit leader Kevin L. Hagan named as new chief exec of American Diabetes Association after six-month search.
FDA Approves New Basal Insulin
Sanofi's Troujeo has 'flatter profile' of action that helps to avoid lows.
Mirror Your t:slim Pump on an iDevice!
New Tandem t:simulator App mimics the touchscreen & features on an iPhone or iPad.

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Entries ranged from big "epiphany" moments of being diagnosed to "little victories" such as finding small ways to eat healthier or better communicate with doctors. While the responses ran the gamut of how people are living with diabetes, many reflected a similar theme of taking charge of their own health and discovering new patterns in their own D-management challenges. We love the running theme of EMPOWERMENT, and hope that is what 2012 was all about for many of you.

A few entries that caught our eye especially:

  • "I had a lot of 'Aha!' moments with diabetes this year, but the biggest is that I finally saw patterns forming in my day-to-day experiences that led me to recommend my own basal insulin changes to my doctor. I felt like I finally had influence over my health." - Rachel Kerstetter

  • "I'm a new T1 as of August, I'm 33 and a marathon runner. My biggest revelation is the shocking fact that most people have no idea what diabetes is or the difference between T1 and T2. It's shocking. I just remind myself of that, when someone tells me to 'exercise more.' - Corey Melke

  • "Our daughter was diagnosed March 19, 2011- two weeks before her 4th birthday.  I sob when I see her pre-diabetes photos. Diabetes sucks! However, to provide the best care, I must find peace with diabetes and appreciate what it teaches us -- patience, awareness, strength, perseverance and selflessness." - Alison Schmidt
 

And this one, which was short of a shocker, given that it sounds like the doctor is taking the liberty of using the "carrot and stick" method on this poor PWD:

  • "My life as a type 1 diabetic started later than most being diagnosed at 19. Upon my diagnosis, about 7 years ago, my doctor signed me up to get a pump and CGMS very quickly.  This past spring I decided that checking my blood sugar was no longer important. When my doctor found this out she took away my prescription for pump supplies and made me go back to needles and vials. Talk about an eye opener! There is no way to manage your blood sugars without checking when giving yourself insulin the old fashion way. I was only without my pump for 2 months, but it was one of the hardest times in my life. I took a lot from this, including to always 'test, don't guess.' I saw that sometimes when I thought my numbers were perfect they were far from it. I have been blessed with the opportunity to use the pump for better control, and I now know I do not want to treat my diabetes in any other way!" - Kim Wilborn

 

And now ... on to our winners. We wish we could give everyone a prize! But remember, this was a raffle, so using Random.org, here are the lucky NINE winners selected to receive prizes:

 

$75 Walgreens gift cards go to:

1. Andrew Bell: "I learned that yoga is changing my life. It is life. So I've become a certified yoga teacher. Yoga means union, and union is most important."

2. Melissa Thielen: "I learned that technology isn't everything when it comes to my diabetes. Having upgraded to both the t:slim and Dexcom G4 was exciting, but that excitement wore off and I realized that what matters most is the management of the diabetes, not necessarily the technology to do it with."

3. Aliza Chana Zaleon: "I've learned how the diabetes community can amazingly come together to support one another during the difficult times, and during the good times, with emotional support, supplies, and whatever else may be necessary. We are truly a family!!"

 

$50 gift certificates for Skidaddle diabetes bags go to:

4. "BooBooBear": "My 'Aha' moment came after the second time this year I was stopped by the police for suspected drunk driving and I was actually having a low blood sugar incident. It was scary and totally embarrassing. I will never get  behind the steering wheel without checking my glucose levels again."

5. Rita Meadows: "My daughter is 11 years old and has type 1 diabetes. Over the past 3 months during one week per month, her blood sugars go on a roller coaster ride. On the third month, we thought, 'Aha! Puberty!'

6. Steven Grossen: "I just turned 16 on March 22, 2012, and a month later I was diagnosed with type 1. It was really hard for me. Sometimes, I feel depressed but I realize that I have a good family to help me. It's hard because my dad lost his job and my mom works, but she don't make much. I just want my family to have a great Xmas."

 

And sample boxes of LEVEL Life Glucose Gels with yummy new flavors go to:

7. Jasmine Cloud (currently living in Italy): "After countless visits to various offices trying to get into the Italian health care system -- and free diabetes supplies -- I've become disheartened at the amount of time, stress, and energy these visits have taken. But then I had my Aha moment: my health is worth it."

8. Carly Thompson: "My biggest day of 2012 was my wedding day.  There was so much to plan, some D-related (like a wedding day basal program,  'Wasal,'  and hiding glucose tabs in my bouquet).  The kicker was hearing my Omnipod fail mid-ceremony...I smiled as my husband shook his head, recognizing the sound instantly."

9. Mom and Daughter combo, Carol and Casey Byrd:

"I'm sending this on behalf of my 9-year-old type 1 daughter, Casey, who says: 'This year diabetes has been discouraging me. I forgot I had diabetes and volunteered for a s'more eating contest. My skin looks different from my sister's because I have sensor insertion scars on my bottom. I can't drink pop at school for a class prize."

 

We want to thank EVERYONE for sending in your D-Moments. All of them are winning lessons and discoveries, and it's great to reflect at the end of the year, no? We are right there with you in holding up these moments as experiences that shape who we are.

To summarize our sentiments, these two caught our eye:

"In 2012, I learned that it's not always my fault if my diabetes gets out of control, like if my insulin is bad or something. All I can do is my best." - Leanne Ortbals

And from D-Mom Alexis Newell, who created the advocacy group the Blue Heel Society:

"Diabetes is here to stay. It's not leaving anytime soon. The faster I learn to accept that, the faster I will be happy and be able to enjoy each day of our 'new normal.' Everyday is a blessing, diabetes or not. And some days, diabetes brings us blessings too!"

Exactly! All we can do is our best, and perfect shouldn't be the goal — just being better is enough to help us appreciate the lives we have!

Congrats to our winners, and thanks again for playing.

 
Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.

This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.