Last night, this photo popped up in my memories from four years ago.
Instantly, I was filled with a massive warm and fuzzy feeling.
I think out of all the incredible events I’ve been a part of in the diabetes community, this one would definitely be my favourite.
Four years ago, Abbott brought together a group of Aussie diabetes bloggers for the launch of the FreeStyle Libre. While it was really cool that I had scored a trip to Sydney and some cool new tech to try out ahead of others, it was pretty special to me for a totally different reason.
While a lot of these bloggers already knew each other – whether it be that they lived on the East Coast or that they had been around in the DOC a lot longer than I had – I was meeting them for the first time. I had only ever known these people online, mostly through Twitter handles and weekly OzDOC chats that were happening at the time. It was pretty special to embrace people who I felt like I already knew, but didn’t really know.
This was the first time that I had spent surrounded by so many people with diabetes. I did feel like the new kid throughout those two days, amongst a group of people who already seemed so close-knit.
These two days were filled with some bright conversations. To give Abbott Diabetes Care some credit, they have never intended to direct or takeover these events. These DX events have truly been about people with diabetes.
Thankfully, this event wasn’t the last of these conversations. Abbott held subsequent ‘DX’ events that had even lesser focus on their product. PWD have been given many other platforms to have their voices heard since then. But of course, there will always be room for more.
As for me? I’m going to be selfish and say that I’m grateful that it wasn’t the only time that I’d get to see these people, and that they weren’t the only people with diabetes (or people connected to diabetes) that I’d ever meet. I’ve had the privilege of spending more time with these folks, and others, since then.
Four years later, I’m still just as grateful to Abbott Diabetes Care and Weber Shandwick for putting together such a special two days.
This is exactly the warm fuzzy feeling that I need right now.