It is that time of year again and I am excited. It is time to do the Big Blue Test. What; you have never heard of the Big Blue Test? Well, let me tell you about why we do it, then I will tell you how to do it.
Why we do the Big Blue Test?
We in the diabetes community know that resources are not spread evenly. There are haves and have nots. I am fortunate to be a have. I have a CGM, I have test strips, I have insulin and I have a modern meter, but what about those who do not have? How do they get along? Turns out, not very well.
The Big Blue Test (BBT) is all about helping two organizations that serve underserved populations; one in the U.S. and one abroad. The international group is Sucre Blue, “which roughly translates to “blue sugar” which “is a French term of astonishment used to describe the failings of current medical systems around the world”. In this case, the efforts of those of us who support the BBT will raise $5,000 to fund programs related to getting vital diabetes technology to the participants of Sucre Blue. Yes, it is a drop in the bucket. But we are talking about some basic stuff. Things like meters, test strips and modern insulin is what this money is used for. The material is given primarily to mothers because women tend to spread knowledge of and about these lifesaving technologies.
The second group supported by the BBT is “Carb DM which will be using the Big Blue Test grant to serve two underserved populations in the Northern California area”. Carb DM sponsors Asian American and Latino outreach programs that both educate and identify persons with Type 1 Diabetes. Carb DM offers programs that include New Pump Familiarization, Rock Climbing, Mother-Daughter weekend, Asian Outreach day (a BBT sponsored event), and many more.
Again, our efforts for the BBT mean that Carb DM will receive $5,000. Will the money we raise solve the problems of the communities served by Carb DM? No, of course not. But raising these funds does offer assistance to those on the front line of care.
How to do the Big Blue Test.
Here is the best part, doing the BBT is simple. First, go to the Big Blue Test site. After you register, then exercise. Doing things like walking, biking, swimming, even vacuuming the house count as exercise.
Yeah, look at that, I did not say send money. How about that. When you do at least 20 minutes of exercise, and record it, our program sponsors Novo Nordisk, AstraZeneca and Tandem Diabetes Care will donate $1.00 to the Big Blue Test. Now of course you can contribute if you want, proceeds from merchandise sales and direct contributions will benefit the cause. But asking for your contributions is not our main goal. Instead our main source of revenue comes from the money received from these three sponsors.
Here is another cool part. You do not need to have diabetes to participate. Anyone can do it. If you have diabetes we ask you give us your blood sugar level before and after exercise. The reason that is important is that we are showing over the last over 100,000 BBT results how much blood sugar is affected by exercise. Intuitively, we know that is the case, but this may be the largest demonstration of its kind to show the benefits of exercise as related to blood sugar.
Now if you do not have diabetes, you do not need to enter your blood sugar before and after. Knowing you participated is enough to earn that one dollar donation.
So this fall, get in gear and do the Blue!!! The Big Blue test that is. Do it for the partners we support, or maybe just do it for you. Whatever the reason, please do the Big Blue Test and join the movement.