Dependant on where you live in the world you may be familiar with the ‘Secret Blue Butterfly Project’ and may have even seen some Butterflies dotted around. May even found one for yourself or wondered what they are?
Well; it’s a pay it forward project designed to spread love, positivity and happiness. The idea is you download the butterfly picture from their website, print them, purchase a small token gift and leave it somewhere in public for someone to find. It can be some chalk in a playground, a coffee voucher in a shopping centre – anything. It doesn’t even have to be of monetary value, some people leave poems or inspirational quotes, old books, postcards or socks for the homeless etc.. It’s a way to share love, positivity and joy in a difficult life and it’s just really lovely – knowing you had a positive impact on someone’s day – made someone smile. It’s a fun, happy, lovely project..
I just LOVE the concept! When I heard about it (one of my T1 Mom friends is doing it), it shouted – screamed out to me with it’s butterfly wings flapping and hit me right in the heart – I just HAD to be a part of it.
You see; recently with Carter’s funding for his Dexcom and a few gifts we have been sent from complete strangers – that have been so useful, helpful and generous – kind and just bloody amazing – I feel so humbled and blessed – so grateful! And, although we don’t have the financial freedom for me to be so generous in return (I really wish we could be – if I ever had money in abundance I’d take greater pleasure in handing it out than I ever would spending it, it’s just how I am cut), I really think I could do this and make a difference to someone’s day and that is important to me. That makes me feel good and valuable and it feels healthy for my soul, AND I just know the kids will love to be a part of it too.
HOWEVER, as a Type1 Momma, it also got me thinking about how I could incorporate Carters Diabetes into this. After all, (it’s all I ever think about) it was because of his Diabetes that I was ever made aware of ‘paying it forward’, that we experienced the love and generosity of people and how a simple, kind gesture from a total stranger can completely change your life – and certainly brighten up the darkest of days!! Because of all this, I feel the pull in my heart to be a part of it too, to give what little back I can – in hope to make someone, somewhere – smile.. So, it’s stands to reason that Type 1 Diabetes would play a part in our journey.
I started thinking (and it didn’t take long at all) about how I could incorporate raising awareness for Type 1 Diabetes into taking part in this ‘pay it forward’ project, and I pretty much instantly thought of a way in which I could marry the two together..
In the UK, things are starting to move with regards to Type 1 Diabetes and raising awareness. We have some incredible GP’s who are working very hard to raise awareness and generate further support for our kids. Especially in terms of Low Carb eating and maintaining Normal Blood Sugars for Health Benefits. Diabetes.co.uk are also working with these doctors to help further increase awareness and things are really starting to happen – it’s exciting..
You see: we still live in a world where Type 1 Diabetes has little-to-no awareness. People are naïve and ignorant and that’s justifiable because it’s just not talked about. The (wrongful) negativity hanging over Type 2 Diabetes shades dark & coldly over our Type 1’s and yet the two are both so very different; linked only by the same name and it really is seen as shameful to be diagnosed with ‘Diabetes’ when in fact the generalisation is the only thing that should be shamed!
The awareness is just not there as it should be; with most media coverage and publications regarding Diabetes being both negative and Type 2 focused. This leaves our precious T1’s to the wayside, unrecognised, misunderstood and very vulnerable!
It’s wrong! It is both unethical and dangerous and things need to change!
Think for a moment: Imagine you saw someone appearing drunk and disorientated in the streets, you would be forgiven for never even considering that they may be Diabetic and Hypoglycaemic (which is a medical emergency requiring immediate, medical assistance), because our initial thought isn’t that (because we just don’t have the awareness we should). Our initial thought is to stay away from that person, that they are drunk and behaving inappropriately. When in actual fact, they really NEED your help and your help could save them from a seizure, coma and even death. BUT people don’t know what they don’t know and raising awareness could save that persons life – and it doesn’t take much.. Simple, basic awareness – some compassion and a little bit of understanding – it means the whole world.. And, it IS important! So Important! To us and to all Type 1 Diabetics! It could mean the difference between life or death!
SO: Anything we can do to help is beneficial. And, as I feel this strong pull to give something back and raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes at the same time: The Type 1 Butterfly Project was born (in my mind, and in my mind it’s beautiful – I wish you could see it)..
I spent some time chatting about it with my husband and our boys and we think it’s a good idea. I shared my vision with them and they get it! Now we have to work for it..
I have some media projects coming up that would be the perfect platform to launch this and I am hoping our friends on Social Media will also help (please will you help us?)..
The project works on the same format as the Blue Butterfly Project. People are free to leave gifts (or not) with their butterflies BUT it is not expected – it’s the Butterflies that are important – so important! Our Butterflies are loaded with Type 1 Diabetes Facts:
I have made 20 different ones so far and am open to ideas and suggestions. They are flexible so that people can make their own – I uploaded a blank template for editing too..
How it Works:
People can pop onto our Facebook Group, download & print a few butterflies, pop them in their handbag and drop them off at random places where they go about their normal daily life. If a person is leaving a token gift they can use the Secret Blue Butterfly (which we also link to on our page) or they can simply use our T1 Butterfly of which we have a few different designs to choose from:
We aren’t asking for anything back from people and we don’t expect people to leave gifts – it’s not our main focus at all. We also don’t want people spending their money or feeling obligated to leave an array of tokens around or even pay for printing of the butterflies if it’s not financially possible. It’s the help and the awareness that matters.
So, that said: if you are someone who would like to help but can’t print the butterflies, or isn’t in a position where you can justify any costs right now; I am happy to send people some butterflies – free of charge for you to distribute and I will do it gratefully – for your time and your support – it all matters! In return all we ask is that the Butterflies ARE distributed and when/if you are able to, you too would maybe ‘pay it forward’ by providing someone else with some butterflies to share, or offer assistance if/where needed further down the line..
Our 5 step concept is so simple:
- Print Butterflies / Apply for Butterflies by e-mailing me : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Stick butterflies together (2 sided – back to back)
- Stash them in your bag/car/buggy etc
- Leave them wherever you go – a Dr’s surgery, a park bench, leave one on your table in a cafe as you leave, even pin one to a supermarket notice board etc.. Be Creative and have fun with them..
- And then Smile – You just made a difference to our world!
It really is that simple. BUT the benefit to Type 1 Diabetics is so much more. It really is priceless – awareness and support is half the battle. We dream of a world where people understand better this chronic disease that our children endure. That they are shown compassion and patience regarding their daily life. Where if they were ever in an emergency someone would know what to do to help them and save their life, AND if a child was ever showing symptoms of T1D, that it is never missed again; preventing any further children dying from mis/undiagnosed DKA (much more prevalent than people know)..
Ultimately we dream of a day where we can say ‘my child used to be Type 1 Diabetic’ because we dream of a day where there is a real, physical cure! We will only ever achieve this by raising awareness and continuously shouting about our cause – so – Hear Us ROAR!
We have a strong, diverse group of T1D’s and T1D Moms who are heading up this project from all corners of the globe. So far: the UK, U.S, Canada, Australia and Spain – we all have the same focus and are all equally as determined and driven to help build a better world. Where Positivity, Love, Fun, Compassion and of course where T1D Awareness prevails AND if anything we do on our Journey brightens up someone’s day or helps just 1 person understand T1D that little bit more, OR prevents a child from suffering DKA by recieving a faster, accurate diagnosis of T1D through someone’s learned awareness – from our project – then we’ve done our job!
So watch out for the Butterflies World – they’re coming: Look for them, Help us distribute them and most of all – Enjoy them!!
The Type1 Butterfly Project – Lets Go – Wherever the Wind Blows ❤