November brings with it many unique opportunities for sharing awareness and empowerment. I know its just beginning but I am excited to see the Big Blue Test off and running with almost 8,000 tests logged. I have been taking advantage of this initiative by getting active and sharing those experiences. I have also been working on a couple of initiatives of my own, posting a photo a day on the Instagram and Facebook feeds–detailing the “diabetes” that lies beneath the surface of seemingly unrelated photos I’ve taken over the last several years of climbing and adventuring.

It’s really encouraging to see record numbers of people interacting with and learning about diabetes through this photo-initiative. I have always believed that life with diabetes is not about diabetes–its about LIFE. Being able to show the hidden facets of life with diabetes through examining beautiful images I have shot while pursuing “life” to the fullest, seems like a neat way to encourage people to look through the “other end of the telescope” when it comes to understanding diabetes.

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But lets take it one step further. What if there was a team of climbers with diabetes working along side me to advance diabetes empowerment, reach out to their individual communities, and be part of future projects, films, events and initiatives? Well, on World Diabetes Day (November 14th) I will be proud to introduce to you Team LivingVertical from our first team climbing event, tentatively in Las Vegas where Project365 was concluded. We will be logging BigBlueTests and blowing up our social media channels while getting after it together in the vertical world!

This is the next step in a grassroots progression and it’s exciting to be moving forward with other diabetic climbers who have a lot of perspective to bring to LivingVertical and share with you. I won’t spill all the beans just yet, but Team LivingVertical is becoming a reality.

If you’re reading along thinking ‘why not me?’ Then click here to see if you could be part of the team. You’ve made it this far along, so you have some idea of what we do and who we are. If you got a passion for pulling down and are affected by diabetes, let us know–more is better!