November may be Diabetes Awareness Month annually, but some people are raising awareness all year long by wearing blue on Fridays. Cherise Shockley, the founder of Diabetes Social Media Advocacy (DSMA), was diagnosed with LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes in adults) at the age of 23. In addition to DSMA Live and DSMA tweetchats, the WDD (World Diabetes Day) Blue Fridays Initiative was begun by Cherise.
Cherise was kind enough to share why she wears blue each Friday.
Leighann: What inspired you to start the Blue Friday’s campaign?
Cherise: I was inspired to start the Blue Friday’s initiative in November of 2010, because of the amazing work that the International Diabetes Federation does year round for the global diabetes community. The Blue Circle unites and raises awareness for people with diabetes. I believe in them and their mission. I wanted to help spread the word about the blue circle and World Diabetes Day so I created Blue Fridays.
Leighann: How has the movement grown and changed?
Cherise: The initiative has grown in the U.S. and abroad. Blue Fridays started as something I wanted to do for November, but after the second year, I decided to listen to the community and make Blue Fridays a year-round initiative.
Leighann: What awareness do you hope is brought about when people wear blue?
Cherise: I hope it opens dialog and shows those affected by diabetes that they are not alone. I hope it shows pride, not in the condition, but the pride and strength of the diabetes community.
Leighann: Thanks Cherise!
How to Get into the Blue Fridays Spirit
And you don’t have to have diabetes to wear blue. Susan McCaughey’s seven-year-old son Owen, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 5, asked his entire school to wear blue on World Diabetes Day, November 14th. Owen says he wears blue “because it makes me feel special.”
Are you ready to begin wearing blue to raise diabetes awareness? Here are six ways to get in the Blue Fridays spirit:
- The official “Blue Fridays” t-shirt is available from DSMA. This is the first year that this is available.
- The International Diabetes Federation has created blue circle pins that are great for wearing on lapels, shirts, collars and on tops. My daughter has handed them out to the school nurse and staff members to wear. When I wear my blue circle pin I always get compliments, which prompts a discussion.
- Get walking with blue kicks. And if blue suede shoes or low tops aren’t your style, swap out your laces with blue ones.
- I have a blue infinity scarf that I ordered online that I like wearing on Fridays. You can spruce up any plain outfit with a nice blue scarf.
- Accessorize with blue jewelry.
- Getting a mani or a pedi? Why not paint those nails blue?
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