Making Connections + Building Community: 2021 at Beyond Type 1


 

As we close out this year, we reflect on the legacy of Thom Scher and remember all of the incredible things Beyond Type 1 and our community was able to accomplish in 2021 under his leadership. This year was filled with global community growth, new partnerships, record-breaking programs, and critical advocacy efforts that help improve lives. Our team at Beyond Type 1 couldn’t have done it without the support of our diabetes community, leadership, and partners.

Here are just some of the highlights from 2021:

We added more global star power to our organization with the addition of Priyanka Chopra Jonas to our Board of Directors. As a global humanitarian and philanthropist—including her role as a global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador—Chopra Jonas brings energy and expertise to our work, with a special focus on access and education in India and around the world.

We reached the Spanish-speaking audience in new ways. We launched @beyondtype1esp on Instagram, and as a part of the JDRF – Beyond Type 1 Alliance, we helped produce the first-ever virtual Spanish TypeOneNation Summit, attended by thousands globally.

We also reached entirely new audiences around the world with the launch of BeyondType1.org in Portuguese and Arabic. Now, Beyond Type 1 offers content in nine different languages.

Beyond Type 1 continued to support the community via focused campaigns, like Let’s Talk Lows and #TheDropSpotted, and hosted or supported numerous virtual events, including Slipstreams, Friends for Life, the People of Color Living with Diabetes Summit, monthly meetups from Beyond Type 1 and Beyond Type 2, and so much more.

We forged a new collaboration with the American Diabetes Association with the launch of the ADA x BT1 Collab. This partnership features combined resources and strategies to better serve people living with Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and prediabetes, with work in both English and Spanish spanning the Beyond Type 1 and Beyond Type 2 communities. Through the ADA x BT1 Collab, we produced a summer interview series with inspiring people living with Type 1 diabetes called “Imagine Spotlights”, an in-depth resource on Diabetes & Eye Health, and the “Collab Conversations” interview series on living with Type 2 diabetes.

We launched a new way for people with Type 2 diabetes to connect—the Beyond Type 2 Community, a closed social network operated by the organization and now supported by the ADA x BT1 Collab. The goal of the community is to provide a safe space online for anyone impacted by Type 2 diabetes to connect, troubleshoot, interact, and learn.

The Diabetes Scholars program awarded the highest-ever amount of scholarship support and the most individual scholarships in the program’s history, thanks to the generous support of community members and partners.

Our 2021 Beyond Type Run team was the largest team yet. Nearly 50 individuals with Type 1 diabetes tackled 26.2 miles to raise awareness and funds for Type 1 diabetes, while showcasing it’s more than possible to live beyond their diagnosis.

The JDRF – Beyond Type 1 Alliance established a first-of-its-kind series—Community Table, which brings together community members and experts every month to delve into complex topics and issues faced by the entire diabetes community.

We continued to educate millions of people about the warning signs of Type 1 diabetes, and we’re honored to have received a $750,000 grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to power the next phase of the Warning Signs Awareness Campaign. We expanded the program to all 50 states and garnered media attention across the country, including this op-ed in the Deseret News penned by Leadership Council Member Liddy Huntsman.

We launched our Advocacy portal, where individuals can learn about our advocacy principles, the work we do on legislative issues, and ways to take direct action.

We continue to push for positive policy changes for our community. From the passage of Senate Bill 97 in California that requires mandated information around Type 1 diabetes to be provided to K-12 children and families, to successfully lobbying CMS to ease eligibility rules for Medicare CGM, we’re honored to work with policymakers and nonprofit organizations who want to improve lives with diabetes.

We joined Dexcom, Nick Jonas and several other diabetes nonprofits to support The Global Movement for Time in Range, an educational campaign to promote the adoption of time in range as the standard of care in diabetes management. The campaign also helped raise awareness and advocate for improved access to diabetes management technology.

We are incredibly grateful for all we’ve been able to accomplish this year. And in 2022, we will honor Thom’s memory by continuing the important work he championed on behalf of all those living with diabetes.

WRITTEN BY Kim Pace, POSTED 12/17/21, UPDATED 12/17/21

Kim is Director of Communications at Beyond Type 1. Before joining Beyond Type 1, she spent a decade at marketing & PR firms, spearheading communications and media relations efforts for a variety of companies. She holds a B.S. in Public Relations from The University of Texas at Austin and currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina.