With Summer vacation just around the corner, wouldn’t it be great to be able to hang out with some other families living with diabetes and learn some new information along the way? Well some families have done just that. Coffee programs have emerged at several chapters as a way for parents to interact, share diabetes management tips and learn about JDRF. This has given families an increased level of comfort with their child’s diabetes management.
Uncertainty and fear can accompany the diagnosis of diabetes, whether it is a child or an adult; leading to the quest for answers and comfort. In addition to searching for a cure, JDRF places special emphasis on improving quality of life for those with diabetes and their families.
To help patients and caregivers connect outside of the clinical atmosphere, the JDRF Networking Coffee program was initiated to provide a way for parents and adults affected by the disease to interact, share diabetes management tips, and learn from one another on topics related to living successfully with diabetes. They offer an environment of emotional and social support often not otherwise available.
The casual atmosphere of JDRF Networking Coffees lends itself to comfortable interaction by enabling exchanges only people affected by type 1 diabetes can understand. Participants feel engaged and empowered to share and learn while offering support and empathy to others. Participants often tell us this is the first time they’ve encountered another family experiencing the same issues, or the children themselves meet other kids who are just like them. You will also see kids comparing pumps, showing off their ‘skins’ or telling what really bugs them most about having diabetes;but the best is when you hear laughter and giggles and you know everything is OK in their world.
Your JDRF Networking Coffee group will continue to grow and change as the attendees come in and out of the meetings; don’t be concerned if people don’t attend every month, but realize they are reading your emails and perhaps sharing this with other parents and families. Encourage parents with older type 1 children to attend as they are needed to share their knowledge and experiences for the group. The ultimate outcome is make connections, share stories, learn from each other, and/or help each other, just to name a few. They are invaluable and in the end, everyone benefits.
» Follow @JDRFneo