People call me Kiki because of my Twitter handles, not because they've known me forever. Only my family and life-long friends know me as Kiki, so hearing my name out there is sometimes kind of weird. I feel like I should be closer to the folks that call me Kiki, but I'm not.
Anyway, I just thought of that because on the radio show tonight, we spoke with Mila Ferrer, mother of a little boy who has Type 1 diabetes. Estabamos hablando en Español sobre el apoyo que necesitan los padres cuando tienen un hijo con diabetes Tipo 1. Si lees en Español, puedes encontrar a su blog aquí. Cuando me habló, me llamó Kiki. I felt weird.
Pero, ni modo. I'm writing about the push for education that we need out there as people living with diabetes. Lack of education leads to discrimination, fear and lack of care which can lead to death. Who wants that? Cuantas veces tengo que repetirlo? La diabetes no es pena de muerte. Diabetes is NOT a death sentence. It becomes a way of life. Mila talked about how her other children look out for Jaime, the 9-year-old with diabetes.
She found that talking about her experiences and being an advocate for diabetes education was the way to go, collecting a variety of readers from all over Latin America because her blog is in Spanish.
My last question for her was, "Do you think we need more education in English or in Spanish?" Actually, it went more like this: "Escribo mi blog basicamente en Inglés. Más recientemente empezé a escribir en Spanglish y también en Español. Crees que necesitamos más información en Español o Inglés?"
She said that I should write in whatever language resonates with the audience I'm writing for. I write in a way that's simple for people to understand, I write about experience. I write about support. Te doy lo que necesitas! People have been emailing me questions and talking to me about their children with diabetes and I converse and lead them through a conversation that makes them feel better.
But yes, we need more education. We need more education for those who know people with diabetes. Do they know that they can save a life just by knowing what to do when someone has low blood sugar? Do people know how they can help someone with diabetes by just knowing how to talk to them or when to listen?
I've been attempting to do just that; educate the public. Through initiatives, through Google Hangouts, through radio shows and articles, I've been trying to tell the story of millions of people in the world who have this disease that throws you around like an old shoe. Estoy tratando de aprender y a la ves, hablar con gente para educarlos sobre la diabetes y esta enfermedad que nos hace llorar y sentir abusados. It's hard. But we can do it.
Solos no aumentamos nada, pero juntos podemos mover montañas. We can do it together. Push. Push. Push.
Follow me on Twitter @Kikisbetes and let me know if you're interested in joining a Google Hangout. Add me. Follow Me. Find me.