Bring the You Can Do This Project to Friends For Life is an experience that I will always, always remember. It's a collection of memories that will be locked up in my heart until the day it stops beating. (Overly dramatic? Maybe. But it's true.)
I'll never forget seeing the booth for the first time and thinking, "AAAAAH! That's... this is a thing! It is really happening!"
I'll be forever grateful for the handful of people who gave up their time and money (because really, they had to miss some of the sessions they paid for) to help me out with this. Brian, Chris, Dayle, Sara, Jess, and Courtney - these people are amazing, and were a huge part of why the booth was truly a success. They helped lug a bunch of heavy stuff around (okay, we might have used a bellboy for most of it... advantage of the hotel setting); they saw what needed to be done (or what I might want done) and jumped on it; they knew how to connect with people as individuals. They were kind, passionate, and focused. They brought me Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast on Friday. They ROCKED IT.
I'll never forget the hundreds of positive responses that went something like, "This is so needed. I'm glad you all are here", or "Can I take some of these flyers home with me?", or "Wait, this isn't a company? It's just you?", or "This is so awesome!".
A parent also asked me if I'd heard of something called It Gets Better. I smiled, said that I had, and took it as a very high compliment that she made that connection.
I'll never forget the man who pulled me aside to tell me that I had changed his life, because he had realized after reading and watching that he wasn't alone.
I'll never forget the woman whom Chris directed to me, and her story: she had found the project three weeks prior. Her family is the "go-to" when there is a newly diagnosed T1 child in the area - her family is the first resource they find. She had been sharing You Can Do This with her network, and she told me that it was already changing lives. She told me that what I - and we - are doing is making a huge impact for those families. She thanked me, and I was speechless.
(Care to place a wager on whether or not that made me tear up?)
I'll also never forget the teenage girl who walked past our booth, then slowed to a stop at the stickers. She shrieked, "Oh my god! These are awesome! Can I take a handful of these?", to which I responded, "Of course!". She then turned to her friend, eyes sparkling and enthusiasm radiating, and said: "You know what would be funny? To put these on the wall of a bathroom stall. Or on someone's forehead when they go on a date! Oh my god, that would be hilarious!"
But really? The whole experience of actually talking face-to-face with the very people who can benefit from the support these videos supply - parents, adults with T1, teens, kids - was unreal. It had an energy that was just - wow. Do you know what I'm talking about? The air just feels electric and tastes of possibility? Where you catch yourself grinning like a fool for no reason? Where the invisible puzzle pieces of life slide together just ever-so-perfectly for a few fleeting moments? Where you know they won't freeze in place, so you just soak it up while you can?
God, I loved that feeling. Loved.
And out of the whole thing, I have a lot of new videos to share - including the one below (big thank you to Sara for putting it together!). We brought two dry erase boards with us and asked people one of two questions: "What advice do you have for other people with diabetes?", and "What kinds of things CAN you do with diabetes?".
I think it turned out pretty spectacularly. What do you think? (And what would your answer have been? Snap a photo of YOUR advice, and share it on the You Can Do This Project Facebook page.)