I am so grateful to all of you for making this monument to achievement in the face of struggle and stigma–because as we (the diabetes community) have been dealing with a lot of emotions of late about how we are seen in the public eye–as a result of our condition. It’s hard to be positive with diabetes. It’s hard even if you’re surrounded by people who love you and are cheering even the smallest accomplishments. It’s that much harder when you feel judged unfairly.

This week we have a lot of young folks leading the charge to challenge stereotypes, pushing themselves and accomplishing great things. We also have world-class hiking in Hawaii, a T1D on the Appalachian Trail (that’s a 2100 mile hike!), powerlifting, skydiving, and T1D on a glacier in Alaska and of course…more.

The response to this weeks call for participation in the Go Beyond diabetes blog post was massive. That was all you. I am inspired at how many people dug deep enough to find a positive response to the negative emotions swirling around. This is hard to do and harder to understand if you’re not living it–but I’m living it with you all and I am filled with hope knowing that we are changing the way diabetes is seen in the public–just by being who we are and not letting the ignorance around us put out the fire inside.

Because so many awesome pictures were submitted, I want to make clear that I am not posting all of what I received in this single post. If you don’t see your submission here, that doesn’t mean you won’t. Having lots of photos is great but I don’t want to post them all in one shot. Please keep the photos coming–to steve@livingvertical.org. If you have questions or comments for each other, feel free to leave them below.

Please support the work LivingVertical is doing by making a small monthly donation to the blog via paypal (right hand column on desktop or scroll down on mobile. 1 dollar a month from each of our readers would cover the costs of maintaining this website. You can also buy one of our diabetes empowerment photo prints!