A few years ago, the world pivoted from in-person events to virtual events. Diabetes researchers started giving presentations over Facebook Live, support groups became Zoom calls, and anyone with internet access could learn from experts and connect with other people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at any time. 

This shift to online conferences and meet-ups made knowledge and social connection more accessible to everyone with T1D – which has been a lifeline for so many people, especially during the height of the pandemic. But now, nearing the end of 2023, the team at T1D Exchange has started receiving more inquiries from people with T1D who want to find ways to connect with people in person.  

Meeting people in person can be helpful at any stage of life with T1D. Seeing another person check their blood sugar and dose insulin makes it feel more natural – like it’s the “cool” thing to do. It feels validating to have someone who will meet you for coffee and listen to you vent about your latest T1D-related troubles, nodding along because they’ve been in the same situation, too.

Getting face-to-face with fellow T1Ds

In February 2023, we asked our Online Community how many people they know in their local area who have T1D. 33% said they do not know anyone in their community who has T1D. Another 33% replied that they only know 1 or 2 people with T1D in person. 

It’s clear that people crave connection with people who “get it,” but sometimes, these connections can be hard to find.  

Here are a few ways to find other people impacted by T1D in your local community.

  • See if there is a local chapter of a diabetes organization near you. Find your closest chapter and see if they have any events listed on their website. You may also want to contact them directly to see if they can connect you with other people with T1D. Here are a few organizations that have local chapters throughout the U.S.  
  • Ask nearby hospitals & diabetes clinics about in-person support groups: Your diabetes healthcare provider might be aware of diabetes-related events in your community.  
  • Search for groups on Facebook: For example, search “[Your Town] Type 1 Diabetes”, “[Your Town] Diabetes Support,” or “[Your State] Diabetes,” etc.   
  • Search Meetup.com: Search for events related to type 1 diabetes near you. Meet-up is a great resource to find local in-person events for a wide variety of interests!
  • Attend national T1D community events. If you can travel, consider attending a retreat or conference. Here are a few organizations that host big events for the diabetes community:
    • Friends For Life: Organized by Children with Diabetes, Friends for Life is open to people of all ages with T1D and their loved ones. There are a few Friends for Life conferences held around the U.S. throughout the year. 
    • Slipstreams: Slipstream Weekends organized by Connected In Motion are also known as “diabetes camp for adults.” Hosted a few times per year at locations around North America, a Slipstream Weekend is an active, social, and educational weekend for adults with T1D.

 T1D nonprofit organizations are often a person’s first introduction to the T1D community, whether in person or online! Our Online Community connects people impacted by T1D virtually, giving people an opportunity to share their experiences and learn from other people living with T1D and their loved ones.  

If the T1D Exchange Online Community has helped you learn something about T1D management or helped you feel connected with the T1D community, please consider making a gift to T1D Exchange this Giving Tuesday.