People are doing amazing things to raise awareness for diabetes. So much so that I can barely keep up with all the notifications I get on fabulous initiatives and projects. This post is the first of a two-part dispatch on some of this stuff, which — if you care about diabetes or someone who has it — you will definitely want to know about.
Connect for the Cure
Tira J. Young, a portrait photographer based in Southern California, is helping some friends who are doing a cross-country bike ride called Connect for the CURE. They started out yesterday, Sunday, June 6th, at the Santa Monica Pier and will conclude their journey in New York City on July 25th. Tira is trying to create a photo book for the team, but cannot do it all herself, so she's calling for friends with cameras to volunteer to cover different checkpoints across the country. See her post for the schedule if you'd like to help.
See also the Connect for the CURE website to learn all about the ride, organized by three college students aiming to raise $100,000 towards the cause. All donations are tax deductible and go directly to the American Diabetes Association (er... I know, I know, the ADA is not traditionally cure-focused, but I'm sure these students have the best of intentions - even if they somehow overlooked JDRF).
Ken S. Kotch is also a professional photographer. He's living with type 1 diabetes himself.
He's recently started a charity book project photographing people with diabetes who have been told they can't or shouldn't do something or pursue a dream because of the diabetes. See his blog, also titled Broken Pancreas, for details.
"I've been told countless times not to do any number of things. The book I'm working on is meant to show the world that diabetes need not be a 'pre-existing condition' that hinders one from exploring any hobby, pursuing any career or living life to the fullest," he writes.
For the book, Ken is currently raising money to travel around the country photographing a variety of people with diabetes doing 'their thing,' which includes: a lobster fisherman in Maine, a high-risk births gynecologist (who is pregnant herself), and competitive cyclist Phil Southerland from Team Type 1, to name a few.
From A Different Angle
Lee Nevitt is a 35-year-old type 1 diabetic who's confined to a wheelchair due to a severe complication called autonomic neuropathy. His lives in the UK, and while there's no shortage of diabetics in that country, he feels quite alone.
"I kind of felt like if all society was painted white, I was the red one who didn't fit in," he says. "I didn't even fit into the normal categories of 'disabled.'"
One thing that has helped is the interest of 3 college students, who recently compiled 10-minute documentary about Lee and his diabetes for their thesis project, entitled "From A Different Angle." It's a bit long to sit through, but worth watching, I'd say — a lot of honest sentiment about how it feels to be 'different.'
Lee also happens to be a hobby photographer, and enjoys using this skill to raise money and awareness for the advocacy organization Diabetes UK.
See also, Lee's blog on diabetes and neuropathy here.
Tune in tomorrow for Current D-Awareness Projects, Part Deux.