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Special Walk Issue

Fall 2008
In This Issue
Reaching the Far Corners of Your Rolodex
The Greatest Walk on Earth!
The Healing Effect of Social Networks
Amy's Angels
CH Robinson Worldwide
Brooke's Tartan Army
Jessica's Dream Team
Nicole and Ellie's Junipero Serra School Team
Drive for a Cure Raises More Than $300,000!
Drive for a Cure Sponsors

The Healing Effect of Social Networks


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.

Launched 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 other diabetics.

In 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 diabetes management.

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 soon. 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 our son having diabetes.

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 diabetes awareness.

Manny Hernandez is the President of the Diabetes Hands Foundation, a nonprofit focused on connecting people with diabetes and raising diabetes awareness. He can be reached at manny@tudiabetes.org.

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