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Even with continuing uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Diabetes Online Community (DOC) is managing to embrace this “new normal” and soldier on.

This past month brought so many posts worth mentioning, from blogs to social media platforms where both words and images tell stories about all things diabetes. 

Here’s our monthly roundup of faves that caught our eye in April 2021, in no particular order:

The World Health Organization (WHO) is all about diabetes these days, launching a global initiative to address all types of diabetes and related issues — including insulin pricing and access — across the world. A whopping 120 diabetes advocates and leaders are involved, and many took part in several mid-April events. Here’s hoping this can help move the needle on fixing important diabetes concerns.

The COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine distribution remain top of mind. Over at the Beta Cell Podcast, the team continues the good work of compiling data about what effects people in the D-Community see after receiving their vaccines. If you haven’t had a chance to chime in yet, now’s a great time to do so.

The ever-popular Friends For Life (FFL) event in Orlando, Florida, is returning as an in-person event at DisneyWorld in July 2021! Of course, restrictions and details are being finalized, but it’s good to see this big D-family returning even as we continue dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking of Disney, you may have missed the story about longtime T1D Don Muchow from Texas, who recently ran across the country, from Disneyland in California to Walt Disney World in Florida. He’s the first person to do this, though it fits similar adventures that Muchow — find him at T1Determined — made through the years as an ultra-runner and Ironman competitor himself.

An A1C is only a number. We love this Instagram meme posted by Emily Kirby, reminding us all how we need to look beyond just glucose numbers to remember the bigger picture of life with diabetes.

Choose your own adventure with diabetes? Yes, there is a new artistic creation in the DOC that illustrates life with T1D when money is limited and insulin affordability is on the line. Made by Kathryn Yu on Twitter, this is the premise: “You’re a 26-year-old freelancer living with type 1 diabetes in Brooklyn. You’ve aged out of your parents’ health insurance. You have 5 insulin pens and $500 in your bank account. Rent is due soon. Now what?” Check out for yourself the interactive “game” known as Allie’s Story.

A total of 1.5 million is the number of diabetes-related decisions that fellow diabetes blogger Renza in Australia estimates she made in her 23 years with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Wow, it’s quite the list she tallied and shared on her blog to mark the occasion. Congrats on the dia-versary, Renza!

The Dale Tribe on YouTube shared a video delving into their family’s diabetes story, starting several years back. Some may recall that this Colorado family includes a T1D child, and the parents share some of the most heartfelt moments in their early diabetes days. It does have a paid partnership for a new glucagon product and delves into that briefly, but it’s still worth watching the 10-minute video. Thanks for sharing your story, Dale family!

All the hearts for this loving note from Riva Greenberg’s husband, who is a beloved “type 3” (supportive partner) in the D-Community. On his wife’s Diabetes Stories blog, he’s sharing his POV on life with T1D and one small thing he happens to do for Riva that is so important.

Stop the hate. Seriously, people. Seeing certain comments left at the Soul of Diabetes podcast (among other places) just makes the blood boil. Stop the hate. We are a community, in this together. Listen to people of color, respect what they have to say and welcome them as part of our community for the advocates and awesome individuals they are. Thank you.

Diabetes art can be such a cathartic way to express one’s views on life with this chronic condition. An Illinois photographer with T1D does exactly that with some incredible images on display through June. In his “Punctuation: 35 Years of Diabetic Debris” works, Karl Smith catalogs his T1D world from diagnosis at 15 years old all the way to an organ transplant at 50 years old. It’s full of syringe caps and pen needles, insulin pump scars, and even representations of how retinopathy left him completely blind in one eye. Definitely worth checking out!

Unfortunately, the DOC also saw some other controversy with influential diabetes orgs drawing criticism:

  • The JDRF chapter in Tennessee head-scratchingly agreed to accept support from the CoreCivic prison company. But some may recall that the company was sued years ago for inadequate diabetes care provided to prisoners. While JDRF national addressed this and canceled the sponsorship, it still brought criticism from the community.
  • In Maine, the state legislature is considering a proposal to create an emergency insulin access program for people in need. Insulin affordability advocates are pushing for the legislation, and the American Diabetes Association signed a letter supporting the idea. But the nonprofit advocacy org Beyond Type 1 (BT1) and the Diabetes Leadership Council penned letters to state lawmakers questioning the proposed new law. BT1’s letter in particular raised eyebrows. This lead to some people openly criticizing BT1 and accusing it of acting against the interests of people in the D-community, particularly in Maine.

We share our favorites every month, and would love to include yours. Please send along your picks for the month of May to us via email, or ping us on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter.