It’s true I’ve never watched any of your shows or tried any of your recipes, but I saw your picture on a magazine cover or two at the supermarket. Now that you’ve announced that you have type-2 diabetes, I feel like we’re definitely on a first-name basis.
Type-1, type-2, LADA, gestational—no matter the kind, diabetes sucks. I’m sad to hear that you joined our club. It’s a bummer, but there’s a really big supportive group of people online and in real life who are here for you.
I know there’s a brouhaha brewing about the how/why/when of your announcement, but I frankly don’t care. . . .
Except I will say this: You owe us.
You have a high profile because of your pre-diabetes life. And you have partnered with Novo Nordisk to promote pharmaceuticals, putting you squarely in the diabetes community. You best be using your influence to help people with diabetes. Here are some ways:
- Promote understanding of the differences between type-2 (which you have) and type-1 (which I have), since so many people in the US think there’s just one kind.
- Encourage healthy lifestyle choices for everyone, whether touched by diabetes or not. T-2 is more than diet and exercise, but we have to be honest about their role. There’s no guarantee one way or the other, but every little thing we do (within reason) makes a difference.
- Help people with diabetes in your audience understand that they are more than their disease, that there will be better days and worse days, and that they can do this.
- Work with CDEs (at Novo and elsewhere) to develop a message of empowerment that people with diabetes can use to improve their own self-management as they make choices and work with their family and healthcare providers.
- Stress that there’s more to diabetes than Novo’s drug-of-the-day. Be holistic.
Remember that a bunch of people are watching you. The diabetes online community is watching, too. We’re nice people, but we look out for our own. Based on what I’ve seen in the past, we will cut you like a piece of pecan pie if we think you’re using diabetes for your own benefit and aren’t giving back.