“Why I Volunteer”
I volunteer for BDI for many reasons so I will only list the big three here. I believe so strongly in what BDI is doing. I am a Type 1 and was diagnosed when I was 16. For most of my life, I struggled with diabetes. I just couldn’t seem to accept it. I was afraid of diabetes and scared about the complications that sounded inevitable. I felt overwhelmed by all the rules and so many things I had to do. I didn’t have anyone to turn to for help who understood how I felt. I felt so alone and different from my friends. I lived in denial and didn’t want anyone to know and treat me differently. I paid a heavy price for that denial and live with the consequences of not taking care of myself. If I had had somewhere to go like the BDI where people understood, I would have taken much better care of myself. That knowledge is why I am so passionate about helping BDI grow and spread their message, so others with diabetes won’t do what I did.
I needed help dealing with all the emotions and frustrations that come with diabetes. I needed help facing my fears, and hope that if I took care of myself, that diabetes did not have to be a death sentence. I needed someone to tell me that high blood glucose numbers were information I can use to take care of myself, and not evidence to convict me as a “good diabetic or a bad diabetic.” My life would be very different if I could have gotten the support I received at BDI earlier.
The support I have received along my journey has helped me tremendously. Through volunteering at BDI, I have the opportunity to give back by helping others. When I hear people with diabetes talking about their fears and struggles, I can remember how badly I used to feel. But I learned strategies at BDI I can use to manage many of the challenges associated with diabetes and take better care of myself. I’d like all people with diabetes to hear those strategies and learn how to help themselves and prevent/lessen their struggles.
Diabetes can be hard and isolating. Through volunteering, I’ve had opportunities to meet and become friends with many great people. As I get to know people, I feel less alone. It’s nice to have people I can laugh with and cry with about the ups and downs of living with diabetes. As I share what I’ve learned from my involvement with the BDI, it helps me keep my diabetes in perspective and helps me keep on track.
As the new volunteer coordinator, I encourage everyone to volunteer. We all have something to contribute and when we give, we receive. Now that’s a win-win!Click here to go to our Volunteer page and sign up to volunteer now