The You Can Do This Project was at the Taking Control Of Your Diabetes conference in Des Moines, IA two weeks ago, with Kim, Rachel, Sara, Jess, and Courtney staffing our table in the conference’s health fair. Rachel is providing a recap of the events with her post below, and you’ll also see some of the advice we gathered in the video (thank you to Sara for editing!) below. Take it away, Rachel!
TCOYD registration and plane ticket confirmations for Des Moines were already sitting in the e-mail inbox with the promise of finally being able to hear Drs. Edelman and Polonsky speak. Then came the news of the You Can Do This Project booth and the request from Kim to work it once she knew of the confirmations in the e-mail inbox.
Having been part of the YCDT advisory team for awhile, I had not seen the in-person buzz that Friends For Life or the JDRF Omaha walk created. I knew that the target audience would be different – more people like me with type 2 and possibly more people with significant complications. I also knew that there would be more people like my mother, who only uses the dial-up connection for e-mail and nothing else.
However, I also believed that we could still reach people who needed the boost of the YCDT project and we could still reach people who already embodied the principles of the YCDT project, possibly being able to help others by telling their stories.
And then there was a big question – what would the healthcare professionals attending the conference think of the project?
Away I went into the experience, thinking that if one person came away from the table thinking that they can do life with diabetes, it would be so worth the travel and the waking up early to help set up the booth. All of the notions about the target audience were correct – more people with type 2, more people with significant complications, and even more people than I imagined without an internet connection or even a computer.
Yet I know that at least a few people with whom I spoke walked away with more hope than when they walked to the table, not to mention a few who were ready to tell their inspiring stories through the hope board. That was so worth the waking up early.
Having certified diabetes educators walk away with fliers to spread the word about YCDT to their patients, with both immediate positive feedback and at least one follow-up email about a new opportunity to spread the project’s message? That was so worth the travel, even if I would have gone to Des Moines for TCOYD anyways.