You may not know this, but for the past few months, we have been diligently preparing for the departure of Andreina from the staff of Diabetes Hands Foundation. She is my wife, my friend, the mother of my son, and someone who has taught me so muchin the 13 years since I know her, and in the 5+ years since we've been working together.
Today is her first day working full time on her own dream: to change the lives of people through her art work.
In 2007, she joined me in this journey to create a community for people touched by diabetes... first in English (you are on it), then in Spanish... then putting everything into this amazing nonprofit we now know as Diabetes Hands Foundation. The photo below shows us when we were barely starting up, in a pic by the Golden Gate bridge during a sunny day in the Bay Area.
We have grown in many ways since then...
Nearly 50,000 registered members now populate both communities (TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes) and almost one million people touched by diabetes visiti the two sites every year. More than 10,000 people have done the Big Blue Test since 2009; and close to half a million dollars have been granted to diabetes charities and members of our Diabetes Advocates program in connection with the Big Blue Test, and our Word In Your Hand and DHF Seeds programs.
Most importantly, above all the numbers... are the powerful stories and the creative ways in which all the people touched have expressed themselves and discovered that they are not alone.
As I ask all the members to please join me in thanking Andreina for her contributions as Creative Director (and truly wearing all hats possible in Diabetes Hands Foundation) I would like to share the output of one of the last projects Andreina took on within the foundation. Thanks to the 2011 capacity building grant from the Helmsley Trust, Andreina was able to get help external help to assist us in distilling our messaging: what it is that Diabetes Hands Foundation is about and why it matters.
One of the many results of this project are these lines that follow. These words, carefully woven together, now help us to tell the story of what's possible when we talk to people about the importance of community, connection, and engagement, such as the one that we see here in the community every day. These words (and SO MANY other things in the foundation) would not be a reality were it not for Andreina...
We, at the Diabetes Hands Foundation believe no one touched by diabetes should ever feel alone, because together we become stronger and have the power to generate positive change in ourselves and our community.
Diabetes can be a very isolating disease, so we provide platforms where people with diabetes and their loved ones can connect and have an open dialog about their experiences with this chronic condition.
Instead of looking at the disease, Diabetes Hands Foundation seeks to understand, connect and energize the millions of people living with this condition.
From the bottom of my heart, with all my love, THANKS FOR ALL you have done to connect and energize people touched by diabetes around the world!