Thanks so much for starting this Sarah! It’s definitely great to have support at JDRF - before I joined the team, the way I met other people with T1D was by getting involved in JDRF events. One Walk is fun, but the events that really allowed me to meet and form friendships with other people with T1D were the Chapter events like JDRF Georgia’s Rock the Cure, their AT/T1 Challenge hike, etc. I know each chapter has lots of events like that
My greatest supporter wise, I have to say mine is my mom. There’s always been a bit of a “just her and me” feel in the family - when I was diagnosed when I was 10 she stepped in in such a MASSIVE way. She did everything for me - dealt with all my food, kept me on a schedule (since the types of insulins back then really required a pretty strict schedule), gave me all my shots (I hated needles!), but still made sure I knew I could keep doing anything I would have wanted to do before. I went on huge hikes, weekend camping trips, never skipped an overnight birthday party (although sometimes at the start she had arrangements with the other parents that she would show up in the middle of the night to check my blood sugar). I can’t even begin to imagine all of the sacrifices she made for me.
I’ve been lucky to have some really great non-T1D friends who are my greatest supporters just by keeping me sane, too. People who will step in when I’m stressed or overwhelmed or sad and just help me get my mind off of this thing that can be so life-consuming sometimes.
I think sometimes we have a tendency to keep a lot to ourselves when dealing with T1D - we don’t want it to be other people’s problems - but it’s definitely awesome to learn to let others help us too I’m glad I’ve had such great supporters helping me through it!