The CDC estimates that one third of all Americans will develop diabetes and will live 15 years less and lose quality of life. No public health problem compares in scale.” That’s Dr. Mehmet Oz ringing the alarm bells on what has become a national epidemic. Diabetes is so pervasive that every 17 seconds, someone is diagnosed with it.
Joining Dr. Oz in the effort to educate us all on diabetes are amazing online advocates like Kerry Sparling, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1986. Her blog, Six Until Me, launched in May 2005 and she is now among the field’s most influential bloggers. In fact, she is one of the Top 10 Online Influencers in the area of diabetes—a new honor created by SharecareNow powered by WCG. Each month we’ll feature the top 10 online communicators who are making a difference in a particular pressing area of health.
Kerry and the other nine inspired patients who made the top 10 influencer list are impressive and inspirational men and women who are reaching across multiple online channels—including Twitter, blogs, forums, mainstream news and video—to influence diabetes conversations online.
“I started blogging because I was tired of Googling ‘diabetes’ and coming up with little more than a list of complications and frightening stories,” Kerry says. “Where were all the people who were living with this disease, like I have been since I was a little girl? Was I the only diabetic out there who felt alone?”
Turns out she wasn’t alone, and thanks to other inspired and vocal patients with diabetes, no one has to feel alone. Another influencer, Amy Tenderich, who was diagnosed with Type 1 in May 2003 and is the founder and editor of DiabetesMine, describes how empowering online communication can be: “Through blogs and online communities, an enormous army of increasingly well-informed patients is forming. With free access to all sorts of medical information, patients like me can drive our own care for the first time in history.”
With nearly 26 million children and adults in American living with diabetes, and another 79 million at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes, these influencers’ efforts are more important than ever. In honor of American Diabetes Month, please check them out.
File under: In the News