By Manny Hernandez
I was diagnosed with LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) in 2002, started
wearing an insulin pump in 2005 and later joined an insulin pumpers club.
I learned so much at the club that I soon wondered about the effect that
a comparable online social network could have.
in March 2007, the result was TuDiabetes.com®,
a community that allows its members to connect with others touched by diabetes
by commenting on each other's profile pages, participating in engaging discussion
topics, writing blog posts, sharing photos and videos, joining a variety
of interest groups and organizing events.
Within a couple of months, something started happening. Most of the people
who signed up seemed very happy to connect with so many other people
who were affected by diabetes. For many, it was the first time they had known
August 2007, we started EsTuDiabetes.com:
a sister network en español. Since their creation, both networks have
grown about 10 percent every month, mostly through word of mouth. As of August
2008, counting both communities, more than 5,000 people touched by diabetes
from all over the world share their stories, helping others improve their
The networks have also had a deep impact on me. I used to test my blood
sugars three to four times per day. Now it is rare when I test less
than six times and I hope to get on a continuous glucose monitor system
Also, my TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes friends have comforted me in times
of difficulty, such as the day that my insulin pump failed for the
first time or the day that we got worried about the possibility of
I invite people touched by diabetes to join TuDiabetes.com® so
they can connect to others they can relate with and learn from. While
we wait for a cure for diabetes, we can all support each other and raise
Manny Hernandez is the President of the Diabetes Hands Foundation,
a nonprofit focused on connecting people with diabetes and raising
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.