When I was diagnosed with diabetes, there wasn’t a single person in my cell phone’s contact list that had diabetes. I was alone and felt every ounce of it. Last night while browsing through photos on my cell phone, I realized that in addition to making my life more complicated, diabetes also gave me an unexpected gift…friends and acquaintances from around the world that understand my struggles.

Diabetes gave me people that uplift my spirit when I need it.

Diabetes brought others into my life that understand what it feels like to want to take a day, week, or month off from diabetes management.

Diabetes gave me many hands that are capable of pulling me out of the ruts.

Diabetes brought smiles and laughs from people who know first hand what it’s like to live with a chronic illness.

I am not yet one of those people who are “glad to have diabetes,” but in this moment I pause to recognize that there is some sweet (pun intended) with the bitter.

To everyone who has blessed my life since I’ve been on this diabetes advocacy journey, I want to say THANK YOU. I dare not name you all because I am sure to forget someone, so for now I leave this pictorial journey of some images that I came across last night of those who inspire, encourage, and motivate me.