It's been a while since I've posted on TuDiabetes... even longer since I engaged in topics where the community dives into its own identify.
I want to take a moment to do two things: introduce Mila Ferrer for those who may not know her, and share a few reflections on TuDiabetes, as we reach our tenth year of existence.
I first met Mila 5+ years ago. She and her husband Jimmy have raised a beautiful family of three boys, one of whom (Jaime -whom she highlights in her blog in Spanish, Dulce Guerrero = Sweet Warrior) lives with #T1D.
For years she was responsible for managing the EsTuDiabetes community, joined by @Mariana11 as Assistant Community Manager a while back. When Cynthia moved on from DHF, and in light of the amazing work that Mila and Mariana had done on EsTuDiabetes (having started from "behind", and being a smaller community for long, it is now a community with a larger reach than TuDiabetes), DHF CEO, Gene Kunde, appointed her to become DHF's Director of Community. As a board member at DHF, and co-founder of this organization I was VERY excited by the decision: I can't imagine anyone better suited to take on this role, and allow both communities to benefit from the best that each has to offer.
As I think of the ten years since Andreina and I embarked on the TuDiabetes journey, I cannot help but think about some of the highlights since then...
We've grown together, we've learned together... about diabetes and so much more. From holding up our hands with words on them, describing how we feel about life with diabetes, to holding up our hands in protest agasing injustices affecting people with diabetes.
We've cried together, as we've lost fellow travelers (Barbara, Sandy Barragan, and others). We mourned them and paid tribute to them, and in our continued journeys, we've thought "What would Sandy do? What would @jrtpup do?" when confronted with tough decisions.
And, as families full of love and passion do, we've also had our differences. We've argued, we've listened to each other with respect... and while we have not always agreed in everything, we've managed to move forward stronger than ever before.
Ten years later, as TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes reach more than 5 million people every year, what got us started in March of 2007 remains every bit as relevant and needed today as it did back then... and in a world that is far more polarized than it used to be, the need to do so in a respectful manner remains every bit as critical as it did back then too.
From our Values:
I realize the community has recently undergone a challenging period, and consequently has spent time looking at itself, how it is governed, and why. This is a healthy process that we've been through before in our decade-long history, and it is always a hard process that results in lessons learned that make the future better and stronger for the community. However, it doesn't happen in a void. It doesn't occur without taking a hard look at the world around us and how we react to it, in order to make the best possible decisions we can.
I want to commend the DHF staff, the dedicated and selfless volunteer admins (folks who POUR themselves without pay into the community, as a way to give back), and every single member who has engaged in this process in a constructive way, to make us a stronger and better community for the millions of people that need it: those who know about it today, as much as those who are yet to find the difference that a community of peers can make in their life with diabetes.