National Diabetes Awareness Month is over, but it's never too late to Unite Behind the Blue Circle for diabetes advocacy!
We're counting our Blue Circle campaign as a success, for the following reasons:
- over 3,300 people signed the petition calling on all major U.S. diabetes associations, including the ADA, JDRF, and AADE, to recognize and help promote the Blue Circle as the universal symbol for diabetes awareness. Our parent company Alliance Health Networks will be forwarding these signatures in print form to key leaders in those orgs within the week.
As a reminder, here's what we're urging them to do:
- display the Blue Circle logo prominently on their home pages, with an explanation of its meaning;
- add Blue Circle items to their gift store items, such as T-shirts, mugs, and bumper stickers;
- use it as the overarching symbol whenever there are multi-organization alliances;
- use it as the overarching symbol for National Diabetes Awareness Month and associated outreach; and
- display the Blue Circle prominently at their annual meetings and professional events.
- Medscape ran a pretty in-depth article (which we had a hand in ;) ) about the Blue Circle and IDF's World Diabetes Day campaign. This is a great channel for making healthcare professionals aware of these efforts.
- NPR did a nice post on their health blog about how using a universal symbol for diabetes, like the pink ribbon for breast cancer, could potentially make our cause an equally familiar "household name."
Over at DiabeticConnect, we selected five random winners from the folks who signed the petition. Each of these lucky advocates will receive a collection of Blue Circle wrist bands and lapel pins to share with their friends and family:
C. Wilson, LaFollette, TN
G. Kerr, Odenville, AL
E. McKoy, North Carolina, NC
J. Bates, South Charleston, WV
J. Smith Jr, Chicago, IL
On top of that, we here at the 'Mine have been pushing IDF to help us make more Blue Circle merchandise available for sale here in the U.S. Unable to obtain official sanction from them, we've decided to "go rogue" and offer our own version of non-branded Blue Circle awareness items via CafePress, like this iPhone cover:
Our new Cafe Press shop offers a variety of these "Ask me what it means!" Blue Circle items, including T-shirts, a coffee mug, an apron, and a gym bag. All proceeds will be forwarded to IDF, so go do some Holiday Shopping, please!
In addition, we've been really happy to see other patients all around the country launching their own flavor of Blue Circle campaigns, for example:
Lee Ann Thill's World Diabetes Day Postcard Exchange. What a fun way to connect with PWDs around the world! Here's the postcard I got from my new PWD pen pal Susannah, from Australia:
Thanks, Lee Ann!
Passionate D-Mom Diane Pridmore, who along with two other D-Moms has just launched something called the Blue Heel Society. Their mission statement is "to deliver a clear, united voice via organized assembly within our own affiliation, and also at local and national gatherings, events, conventions, and other venues, helping to dispel myths, offer education and to champion the needs of people affected by diabetes."
Now we're not sure that high heels work for everyone, but we love these ladies' message of a clear, united voice for diabetes awareness, and using Blue as the theme color!
It all comes down to this: Know Thy Illness Symbol, if you want others to recognize and act on it, too.
btw, just last week on Dec. 1, it was World AIDS Day, and boy, was that all over the mainstream media with celebrity spokes-folks Bono and Alicia Keys appearing on Good Morning America, The Daily Show with John Stewart, and more. Wouldn't we like to see a superstars video like this one for our cause next year?