One of the goals of my (and many other diabetes bloggers) advocacy is to bring the community, comfort and guidance of the Diabetes Online Community into the real world - because not everyone is online but everyone should have the ability to find others who understand their lives with diabetes.
During the recording of episode #23 of my podcast I asked Jack's Mom and Dad about the guidance that was provided to them at the hospital during their son's type 1 diagnosis. I was thrilled to hear that insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors were on the menu but I couldn't quite believe my ears when Beth told me that their doctors recommended a Facebook support group. My heart leapt and I instantly thought of Cherise Shockley the founder of DSMA... she is always talking about bringing the goodness of the online community into the real world. Looks like it's happening and wait until you hear how that advice has benefited the Tran family.
Below is some information on the Facebook group that Jack's parents are members of and an inline player that you can listen to their podcast episode with... you can also listen at iTunes, Stitcher or on your favorite podcast app.
A little history from the TOFN founder, Alison Zettle:
"TOFN- is for parents(grandparents) of school-aged children or younger with type one diabetes living in Texas. The parents wanted to keep the topics focused on kids issues and not adult issues. We have three networks TOFN-North Texas, TOFN-Central Texas and TOFN-South Texas which includes Houston.
How it started: Andrew was dx in March 2010. I was so overwhelmed and I felt so alone. I read and read and read and I kept coming across the statement made by adults with type one "I felt so alone and different as a child". That broke my heart and I knew that in today's day and age our kids did not have to live/feel like that. We have to be aware the mental strain of having type one as well as the physical one.
I knew there had to be other parents living near me that had a child with type one. I wanted to meet them and learn from them and have Andrew meet other kids living successfully with type one. But no one could give me the names of anyone living with type one near me due to HIPPA laws. So I decided to create a local network so that parents and children could meet each other , learn from each other and support each other.
TOFN works closely with JDRF and the local children's hospitals. It took a lot of work to get it going but Andrew and I wouldn't be were we are today without the support of all our fellow D mom's and dads. The reason TOFN is so successful is because the TOFN members themselves. Someone is always there day/night to give you a much needed virtual hug or a "way to go"! I hope TOFN has made a difference in many families lives as it has certainly made a difference in mine."