I live on the east side of Dallas and if you have ever been to the Dallas/Fort Worth area it is huge. The metro cities are probably half the state and part of south Oklahoma and west Arkansas as well. So when I look for support groups for people with type 1 I try to focus on my county and also the surrounding counties. I also have ranch land out in east Texas, since I am on the east side of Dallas going east on the weekends is easier than trying to cut through town on a Friday night.
One night while I was surfing the usual diabetes online community websites, I somehow stumbled across a diabetes group in Tyler, Texas. Which is about 30 miles east from my weekend retreat and eventual retirement ranch palace with diabetes themed fountains and diabetic cats and dogs roaming around. Sorry I was day dreaming about retirement again. So, anyways I found http://www.tylertype1.org/ and started surfing their website looking at what they were about.
The first thing that caught my eye was the "Blessing Basket" pictured above. They have this basket delivered to a newly diagnosed PWD by a parent of a PWD or just by a PWD and they review the labels with them and go over ratios and how to treat lows. I saw this and thought that was the greatest thing in the world. Whenever I visit my dietitian, her office looks like a diabetic store. She has wall to wall snacks, foods, samples, treats, lotions, and pamphlets. The only thing is she never offers a single thing to me. I feel like a weirdo asking her if I can get one of her goodies. Why should I have to ask for this stuff, shouldn't she just be saying, "Take this diabetic stuff off of my hands." It is given to her to give to me right? Anyway, having a basket of diabetes themed food really caught my eye as a good idea. If I hear any of these companies complain that I am not using their product they just need to take a look at my dietitians office.
Next item that caught my eye was how http://www.tylertype1.org/ teamed up with local businesses and worked out a deal that a local jeweler "Murphey the Jeweler" would give a free silver medical ID bracelet to newly diagnosed type 1 children in the Tyler area. How neat is this? I remember how I wanted to show other students in school that I was different and all I had was diabetes and no one could see I was different. So my parents purchased at Albertsons grocery store a medical ID bracelet that I think was made of tin, and turned my wrist a beautiful color of greenish blue every time I wore it. Also I can remember (I was only 13) how much it cost when I was diagnosed with diabetes. My parents had to take me every week to the doctor, purchase a bunch of needles and insulin, throw out anything with sugar in it(that was then, this is now), and then buy a bunch of salad fix ins. There was not much left over in the "oh crap my son has a life long disease" basket of money to purchase jewelry to bling-out and accessorize this disease. Now to see a company like this offer a nice silver medical bracelet free has to be at least one bright point upon learning of the horrible disease these kids have to face going forward.
I did contact TylerType1 and asked them for more information on the bracelet program or if anyone could purchase one of the bracelets from Murphy the Jeweler. They did not mind me spreading the word on the program but this is not an open program outside of Tyler, Texas. The bracelet is also something they do not sell online.
Last thing on the TylerType1 website is they are having a diabetes endurance challenge that also coincides with a 5k and 15k trail run that will support diabetes as well. I will be there for both events and maybe I will take home a trophy. I hope they have all sorts of vendors with samples and freebies!