Disclaimer that I have to put, even though – duh: all thoughts and opinions are my own and not that of my employer’s.
There is no space for competition or animosity among diabetes organizations if any of us are actually truly aligned to our purpose – wiping diabetes off the map.
I have been involved with both JDRF and ADA since my type 1 diabetes diagnosis in 1997. I have done advocacy, hill visits, fundraising events and volunteered with both. When Beyond Type 1 was founded more recently, I hopped on their amazing community app, have shared their resources, and attend their events too.
I have worked for JDRF for a little over 2 years and have as much respect for this organization, ADA, and Beyond Type 1 as I always have. I STILL use each organization’s resources and go to each organization’s events. I donate to and fundraise for each.
I’ve found that almost anyone I talk to who actually has T1D knows that not only CAN these organizations coexist, but they should.
There SHOULD be overlap, there SHOULD be things delivered by each in different ways. There is plenty of space for this. There is no competition; we can and should all do well.
How can we possibly expect every single member of the T1D community’s needs be met by one? How do we expect to find a cure with just one?
Anyone who feels otherwise cares about their own ego, their own experience, or getting credit more than they care about the actual T1D community.
You can absolutely believe that one organization does something better than another – that personal preference is fine.
But it is ego talking if you believe that your experience of T1D is the same as everyone else’s, and that therefore everyone needs resources in the same way and delivery.
I know that each and every organization has been guilty of this ego – under various leadership, with various people at the helm.
But each organization is made up of people, with different ideas, different experiences of and relationships to diabetes, and it is up to us to start moving in a more collaborative direction.
We all must cut the bullshit out.
We must move away from the ego shit and move toward knowing that we each need to and must be in this space.
Anything else is serving ego, not moving us toward better outcomes and a cure for T1D.