The Issue: Support for Women with Diabetes
In 2010, there were an estimated 143 million women living with diabetes worldwide. According to the International Diabetes Federation, this number is expected to rise to 222 million by 2030. Women with diabetes can face unique challenges due to wide fluctuations in blood-sugar levels caused by hormone changes relating to pregnancy, puberty, and menopause.
The Campaign: Training Diabetes-Support-Group Leaders
If 50 people donate $10 to this Grassroots campaign, then DiabetesSisters can provide training and materials, plus curriculum and session outlines, for five new diabetes-support-group leaders. Each additional $100 raised will be used to create another new support group.
At support-group meetings—PODS (Part of DiabetesSisters) Meetups—women of all ages gather at either a member's home or another private location in the community. The informal sessions typically last about two hours, providing participants a safe, nurturing environment to discuss their health and receive information and support from other women living with diabetes. Women can also get advice from health care and legal experts through the online Healthy Living center.
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After being diagnosed with diabetes as a teenager, Brandy Barnes faced several obstacles, including feelings of isolation and a high-risk pregnancy. She was astounded by the lack of available resources for women like her. These experiences led her to form DiabetesSisters, with the hope of helping women of all ages with all types of diabetes.
DiabetesSisters aims to improve the quality of life and health of women through peer-support systems that provide encouragement, empowerment, and education. Along with support-group meetings held nationwide, the organization hosts SisterTalk blogs and forums where women can openly discuss and ask questions about diabetes without fear of judgment.