I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in late 2002. Since then, life was never the same until I started wearing a pump in the summer of 2005. The pump restored a lot of the freedom I had already gotten used to being without by giving me more control and flexibility and allowing me to accomplish blood glucose control like I hadn’t seen since before I was diagnosed.
In 2006, I was made aware of an Insulin Pumpers group in Orlando (where I used to live at the time) and I started to attend their meetings. The first meeting was such a changing experience for me, that it helped me realize the power of a community when it comes down to a condition like Diabetes. I learned in an hour more than I had learned in a year of pumping and what I picked up from those pump veterans, I still use today to accomplish even greater control.
Towards the end of 2006, a thought started brewing in my head: the idea of making Social Networks work for things beyond making friends and socializing. I wondered how I could put Social Networking to the service of a higher cause. An article in the New York Times gave me the spark I needed: I had it in front of me the entire time, yet I hadn’t put 2 and 2 together until that "Aha!" moment. I had to get a Social Network for people with diabetes going.
Since then, I set out to identify the best technology to do the job and in March 2007 I eventually landed on Ning.com, which is the platform that now hosts TuDiabetes.org®. Today, TuDiabetes.org® is an Online Community where the members help each other out, educate ourselves and share the steps we take every day to stay healthy while living with this very serious condition. As of the day of this post, we are approaching 400 members and growing. One of the members (dLife columnist Scott Johnson) has said about the community: “It's like 'MySpace' on insulin...". In TuDiabetes.org®, we write blog posts, exchange ideas in discussion forums, share photos of ourselves and our loved ones and videos that we find useful and informative.
It is my hope that people who have all types of diabetes, newly diagnosed and veterans alike, moms with gestational diabetes as well as parents of children with diabetes, no matter the ethnicity or nationality, come on board and engage in a fruitful exchange using all the media that the social network technology puts at our disposal.
And in case you are wondering about the name in Spanish, my wife thought of it and it made sense to me right away. First, because I am Hispanic, but also because it’s a bit of a wordplay: Tu as in "Your" but also Tu, with a sound similar to "Too" (you too have diabetes) because we are ALL affected by it directly or indirectly.
Here is a short video talking a bit more about my reasons for founding TuDiabetes.org®:
In March 2008, we founded the Diabetes Hands Foundation to serve as an umbrella for TuDiabetes.org and EsTuDiabetes.org, along with the diabetes awareness programs that we run.
Last updated by Manny Hernandez Mar 15, 2012.