I’d like to introduce you to Rookie of the Year Finalist, and Diabetes Health Activist – Kim Vlasnik! Kim is no stranger to the web, blogging at Texting My Pancreas and drawing hilarious cartoons – but her new project started in 2011 the You Can Do This Project brought a fresh idea to the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) centered around videos of support under the aptly titled mantra “You can do this.” A true testament to the power of online community and patient-to-patient support, YCDTP was created around the idea that: “Validation and community have the ability to lighten the emotional load that diabetes can place on us.That’s where this project comes in. Tell us your stories. Show others what living with diabetes is really like – no sugar-coating. Talk about the tough stuff.” To learn more about the Project – you should read the whole About page (it’s an awesome idea). Congrats to Kim for her nominations and for making a real impression on the judges and being a Finalist. Now – let’s learn more about her in her own words…
How/why did you become a Health Activist? Tell us your Health Activist story!
Kim: I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 25 years, but for most of that time I felt very alone in living with it. When I found the diabetes online community in 2009, I felt like I had finally found people who “got it”; who were dealing with all of the same frustrations, struggles, annoyances, and apprehension that I was. That feeling was so liberating!
I started with forum-based communities like Juvenation and TuDiabetes, and eventually started my own blog, Texting My Pancreas, in 2010. Connecting with others with diabetes online had changed my health and well-being so drastically for the good, and I hoped that sharing my own story could do the same for someone else. Letting others know that they are not alone, and laughing with them about the parts of diabetes that really suck (disclosure: that means “pretty much all of it”) is important to me.
What are your goals for 2012? Anything you’re really looking forward to?
Kim: I’d like to look back on 2012 as the year I had the confidence and courage to take some bold steps in my life, both personally and professionally. I want to keep spending time on the things that make me a happy and healthy person, and learn how to say “no” when I need to. I want the You Can Do This Project to find a wider audience in 2012, and I’ll be working on ways to make that happen.