Live. Work. Play: Kelly’s Diabetes Story

Working for the American Diabetes Association® means making a difference for millions of people and working toward a future free of diabetes and all its burdens.

We all have a story to share. Some of us live with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes or prediabetes. Others have loved ones with the disease or have lost someone to the fight.

The following are personal stories from the Association’s staff about why we are so committed to the mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

ADA_Staff_Kelly_042416The Toughest Job I’ve Ever Loved

Kelly Rawlings
Vice President of Content & Creative Solutions
Home Office (Alexandria, Va.)

Describing life with diabetes as a “24/7 job” is a common theme in the diabetes community. What with juggling healthy eating, exercise, medication, doctor visits, health insurance costs, etc.—diabetes care sometimes seems to take as much time and concentration as what one does for a living.

Wait—I live with diabetes and it is what I do for a living!

A few years ago, when I had the career opportunity to move from editing magazines about home remodeling and do-it-yourself projects to working on a magazine about diabetes, I was excited. And anxious.

On one finger-pricked hand, providing information and having conversations with readers and experts about this complex, consuming disease is a fascinating and meaningful endeavor.

On the other hand, time spent on diabetes at work would be dotted with requisite boluses, health care appointments and the inevitable glucose tablets. Would it all be too much?

Fast forward: Living with diabetes and working in diabetes is awesome. The people involved in the diabetes community make all the difference. My disease is “our” disease—we’re in this together.

There are so many people devoted to diabetes who also live with it—and that adds a richness and an underlying passion to what we do. And there are so many people working and volunteering in diabetes who don’t have it—but care very much about helping those of us burdened by it and at risk for developing it.

In my work at the Association, I’m surrounded by the people in research labs, clinics and communities who make diabetes science and care their job. I get to see the volunteers who give so much of their time—joining in our active fundraising events, serving at Diabetes Camp, providing support, participating in clinical trials, advocating about diabetes. And I get to see the donors who provide the funding that fuels innovation and excellence.

We share the vision of the American Diabetes Association: a life free of diabetes and all its burdens.

Yes, living with diabetes is work. Working in diabetes is rewarding. And even more rewarding is diving into all the ways to volunteer. For example, I Step Out, write my elected representatives, serve as the public member on the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators and spend time on Twitter participating in the diabetes online community.

Too much diabetes? Not for me, personally. But in the world? Yes. Which is why I do what I do—and am so grateful that so many others are in this fight with me.

P.S. To my nephew, Zach: awesome job on your most recent A1C.

To learn more about nationwide employment opportunities and life at the Association, please visit

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This entry was posted in About Us, Life with Diabetes, Staff Stories, Stop Diabetes, Talking Type 1 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Live. Work. Play: Kelly’s Diabetes Story

  1. Pingback: Live. Work. Play: Kelly’s Diabetes Story | Gregg's Diabetes

  2. Pingback: Live. Work. Play: Kelly’s Diabetes Story | Diabetic Junction

  3. La diabetes es ya en el mundo es una epidemia , por eso entre mas personas difunda informacion para prevenirla o ayudar a controlarla mejor juntos hacemos mas.
    Actualmente soy asesora Distrital de la Diabetes del distrito F1 del CLUB DE LEONES

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