May 31, 2016

The Faces of Diabetes

My name is Edward and I’m a photographer based in the Atlanta area. I was diagnosed at the age of 11 and it was a tough pill to swallow. I knew what diabetes was and was TERRIFIED of it. I became rebellious in my later teenage years with my diabetes, but thankfully that passed before anything awful happened. I didn’t have a lot of diabetics in the city I lived in and I always felt like I was alone. I always wanted a diabetic best friend to relate diabetes things with but it never happened. I think that’s why I always felt at home at diabetes camp and encourage everyone young and old to get involved with their nearest one. I was a counselor at a diabetes camp (Camp Seale Harris) for a few years and now do a lot of their media work. Jumping around, I graduated high school and went to college with no diabetes issues. I majored in graphic design and photography and before I could graduate I had to do an exhibit show on a topic of my choosing. I was encouraged to do living with diabetes but rejected the idea because I didn’t want people to think that’s all I was about. I played the diabetes card up a lot in school and now was my time to show people that there was more to me than JUST diabetes. Well…three rejected ideas later and the deadline was closing in sooooo living with diabetes it was! The exhibit consisted of 7 images and a video depicting what my life had been like growing up with diabetes. Each one had a different reason/story behind it and it took me 4 months to complete. I made an A, graduated, and moved out to Colorado. While I was there I wanted to keep the exhibit going but was out of ideas. My story had been told and I didn’t know what else to do. That’s when my dad came up with the idea that I should do a photo book filled with photos of people who live with diabetes. I am a photographer after all and thus the Faces of Diabetes was born! Of course, it’s grown into a lot more than JUST a photo book now. We now focus on the book, featuring others stories on the website and various social media accounts, and comedic videos depicting some common and uncommon diabetes related incidents. Go check out the project yourself and you’ll see why diabetes not only makes me awesome at life but also so many others whose faces are waiting to be seen and voices ready to be heard! I hope the Faces of Diabetes inspires and encourages people to thrive with their diabetes instead of being depressed or upset about it. There’s enough grief involved with diabetes…we are going to change that!

A few years ago I started a nonprofit called The Faces of Diabetes where we hope to help ease the anxiety, fear, and depression associated with this disease.

We are hoping to accomplish this goal in various ways. First and foremost we are producing a photo book which will have over 200 photos taken by yours truly which will have inspirational snippets and blurbs about life with type 1 scattered throughout the book.

Our second way of achieving this goal are the stories we share daily on our website and social media channels. We currently feature two stories a day 5 days a week to help show others that diabetes is not a death sentence and to break those silly stereotypes we all know too well. There are millions of us out there and we hope to show off as many people as possible. If you would like to contribute your own story to be featured to our audience of over 15,000 people head over to thefacesofdiabetes.org.