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Getting support when you have diabetes

Our guide to the resources you need

Published: November 2009

A support group offering diabetes help can be like a best friend. Lorrie DiCesare, 46, of Forest Park, Ill., says she used to think, "Why me?" after she learned she had diabetes. Then she joined Team WILD (Women Inspiring Life with Diabetes), a few insulin-pump support groups, and diabetes groups through Facebook. With so many peers, she says, "You don't feel alone."

Howard Korenthal, 55, started biking more in his hometown, a suburb of Chicago, and learned how to eat right and exercise after attending Diabetes Training Camp. He credits his new exercise routine with helping him stay on twice-a-day metformin rather than escalating to insulin injections. And he credits his peers with helping him stay the course. "I'm with people who are religious about taking care of themselves," he says. And though he's "not a guy who's going to get into a chat room," Korenthal occasionally visits online diabetes communities.

"Diabetes can be an isolating problem," says Matthew Corcoran, M.D., an endocrinologist and founder of the Diabetes Training Camp in Orland Park, Ill. "The camp allows us to bring people out of isolation into a community of like-minded individuals, into a support team."

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) offers diabetes help through camps for children and programs for parents of kids with the disease. Planet D is an ADA Web site for children that allows them to connect with others living with diabetes. "They're with kids like them," says Susan Holden, a registered nurse and certified diabetes instructor who works at Camp Victory near Leesville, La. For the past eight years her daughter, Elise Holden, now 15, has spent a week each summer at the camp. Now she's a counselor there.

Lucy Askey, 44, of Philadelphia gets guidance and encouragement from an insulin-pump group run by her endocrinologist. "You just feel there are other people in the same situation," she says. She has also learned the importance of training someone at home to give her injections of Glucagon in an emergency.

To share your own experiences about living with diabetes or to learn from others, consider one of the resources listed below.

And see our complete guide to preventing and treating diabetes.

Other resources

   

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