Previously Healthy from Beyond Type 1 Named Webby People’s Voice Award Winner

4/23/19
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The results are in! Beyond Type 1 project Previously Healthy has been awarded the People’s Voice Award for Best Writing (Editorial) in the 23rd Annual Webby Awards. Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” and “the Oscars of the Internet” The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) honoring excellence on the Internet.

Over recent weeks, readers and community members have cast their votes for the People’s Voice Award – an opportunity for the public to weigh in on Webby Nominees. Thanks to an outpouring of support from the Beyond Type 1 community, Previously Healthy received this top honor.

Written by Michelle Boise, Previously Healthy is a longform, multimedia piece of journalism that examines the preventable death of Reegan Oxendine from a missed diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. Historically, this award has almost exclusively included nominations for major media companies – in fact, NPR is the only other nonprofit organization to have received a nomination since the category was added in 2012. Beyond Type 1 was nominated for the 2019 award alongside work from The New Yorker, BBC Future, The Guardian, and The Intercept.

Beyond Type 1 is exceptionally grateful to everyone who voted, shared, and helped make this both an opportunity to prove the strength of the diabetes community and to put diabetes awareness in the spotlight. Support from Co-founders Nick Jonas and Sam Talbot, and Council Members Victor Garber, Crystal Bowersox, Ryan Reed, and Jennifer Stone, (among many others) made this People’s Voice Award a reality. Individuals, organizations, and publishers in the diabetes community came together to mobilize their friends, family, followers and supporters.

“Type 1 diabetes is an often misunderstood disease. In some instances, such as Reegan’s case, that same lack of knowledge about the disease and its warning signs proved fatal” said Beyond Type 1 CEO Thom Scher. “Previously Healthy was created to honor one family’s story, but more importantly to raise awareness in a unique way. Previously Healthy was developed to reach beyond our organization’s community, to capitalize on the way that this type of editorial storytelling can reach a global audience.”

Michelle Boise, the author of Previously Healthy said, “This was a difficult story to tell, but an important one. We knew from hearing community stories that many people were sick at diagnosis or had lost loved ones to diabetes. We didn’t just want to share the warning signs … We wanted to also share the human story, what it meant to an entire community to lose this little girl and how they bonded together to invoke change.”

Previously Healthy is the result of days of interviews, over 500 pages of medical records, and more than a year of research. Told through text, video, and photos, this piece represents a unique and novel approach to awareness through storytelling by a nonprofit organization. In addition to author Michelle Boise, Previously Healthy was created with creative direction and web design by Sara Jensen, web development by Thor Jensen, and photography and videography by Casey Sjogren. Explore the story at previouslyhealthy.org.

“We’re so honored to receive the People’s Voice Award Webby and to know that Previously Healthy has made a potentially life-saving impact,” said Scher.

Webby Award Winners will be honored at a star-studded ceremony on Monday, May 13, 2019, at Cipriani on Wall Street in New York City. Explore all of the 2019 winners and nominees here.


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