Tag Archives: world diabetes day

Happy World Diabetes Day, 2013.

It’s World Diabetes Day 2013!

Thanks, and a Happy WDD to you too.

I’m very happy on a day like this, knowing that people all over the world—not just People With Diabetes, but people with all kinds of backgrounds, from every corner of the globe, are tuned into this one day designed to raise awareness and promote advocacy for our cause.

I am not happy about the reason for this day, and it is my fervent hope that we will one day look at November 14 as a day to celebrate a cure for diabetes.

Did you know that 382 million people are living with diabetes right now? The population of those living with the big D is growing in every country. Part of that is surely the fact that technology and drugs are better, so more of us are living longer, and that’s good.

But did you know that diabetes caused 5.1 million deaths this year alone? The long reach of this insidious disease is mind-blowing. Confession: When I was first diagnosed, one of the little factoids I found somewhere said that the life expectancy of the average male with diabetes in America was 59½. Ever since I read that, my goal has been to blast through that statistic and help skew it in the upward direction. More has to be done on a global scale… we must help those who don’t yet have access to the tools we have to manage diabetes.

Did you know that four out of five people diagnosed with diabetes live in what are considered low or middle income countries? Places where insulin is hard to come by, let alone refrigeration for it. For some, having a glucose meter and test strips is a pipe dream. Still others die simply from a lack of education about things like hyperglycemia, retinopathy, infections, heart problems, and other issues that are of particular concern to those of us living with this condition.

Those are the latest figures. They are taken from this year’s diabetes atlas, prepared by the International Diabetes Federation.

Take a look at how the numbers have changed in a year, and you’ll begin to see (if you haven’t already) why it is so important for us to:

1. Stay healthy – Live Well

2. Raise Awareness – Living well doesn’t mean it’s easy

3. Share our stories with others – By sharing our experiences, we become an example and help crowdsource ideas that will improve outcomes

Hey, we’re 382 million strong. Even if only a quarter of us do the three things above, we’ll know that nearly 100 million are making a difference—a positive difference—for people everywhere.

How are you telling your story today?

World Diabetes Day.

Today is World Diabetes Day, the day to wear blue, form human circles, exchange postcards, light up monuments, and raise diabetes awareness to a new level, reaching more people than ever before. I’m very excited by that idea.

But what does World Diabetes Day really mean to me? Two years ago, I was completely unaware of Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day. So what kind of an impact could it really have for me today? In a word: validation.

Until the last year and a half or so, I lived my life like so many others with our condition. I lived in the shadows of the healthcare system, not aware of anyone else with diabetes. I knew that many were diagnosed each year with Type 1 and Type 2, but I couldn’t connect the dots. I was just trying to survive the quarterly A1c battle, trying not to worry about complications, just hoping that things didn’t get worse.

Like so many others, I was living on this D island where my focus was inward. It was as if I was the only one living with diabetes. I had no concept of a bigger world where People With Diabetes thrive. In my life, there was no concept of newer therapies, updated guidance on nutrition, better drugs, or more information of any kind. And I had completely forgotten about others out there like me. In fact, I didn’t give them much thought unless I read about another celebrity or athlete newly diagnosed. I had resigned myself to the idea that diabetes was my life, it was my problem, I had to deal with it, alone, and no one else really gave a crap about it.

Let me tell you, that’s a lonely place. For some, it’s a really, really, really lonely place. I’ve been spending most of the last year and a half digging myself out of that hole.

I started by doing a Google search for “Diabetes Blogs”, and discovered the Diabetes Online Community. Shortly after that, I read about everything that happens in November and on World Diabetes Day. Slowly, I started to remember that we are a big group. A large group, a humongous group that includes PWDs, their families, healthcare professionals, insurance companies, device manufacturers, and government officials. Instead of living in a D bubble, I started to realize that we are all affected by diabetes. Everyone.

That’s where the validation part comes in. World Diabetes Day is a day to shine a light on our cause. And it’s a way to remind us all that we are not alone. We do not exist in a vacuum. There are 360 million of us living with diabetes, and we deserve to be talked about and written about and spotlighted, even if just for a day. For me, right now, it’s very powerful and uplifting to know that I’m part of a larger group that believes in a better life for all of us cursed by diabetes. I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone fighting for more recognition and a better tomorrow.

I wish that we were a group of none, that we had the cure so many of us long for. But in the absence of that, it’s nice to be reminded that my cause is worth remembering, and worth fighting for.

Here’s hoping your day is full of validation and hope.

It’s a busy month.

It is indeed a busy week inside of a busy month. So here’s a quick primer on some upcoming events:

– The American Diabetes Association is still collecting photos for their A Day in the Life of Diabetes project. They’re asking for people to take photos of their life with diabetes and upload them to the ADA Facebook page. CVS Pharmacy will donate $1 for every photo uploaded, up to $25,000 dollars. In addition to that, the Association is going to take some of the photos and project them onto the walls of Washington D.C’s iconic Union Station this Tuesday and Wednesday, which is World Diabetes Day. I’ve got Wednesday off of work… maybe I can get down there to get a look in person.

– Speaking of money for worthy causes, Diabetes Hands Foundation reminds you that you’ve still got a couple of days to participate in the Big Blue Test. Five dollars for every test logged will be contributed by Roche Diabetes Care to organizations that provide life-saving supplies and services to PWDs in need. If 20,000 take the test before World Diabetes Day, $100,000 life-saving dollars will be donated. As I publish this post, over 15,000 have participated. Only 5,000 more Big Blue Tests need to be logged before Wednesday! So get out there and work it out people! For more info, and to log your test, go to bigbluetest.org

– Locally, the Maryland JDRF chapter is hosting their Night of Hope Gala Saturday night in downtown Baltimore. They’re hoping you can attend. But if not, they’re also looking for volunteers to help with everything from checking coats to busing tables. For more information on the gala, go to jdrfmd.org/

– Finally… of course, there are many things happening this Wednesday on World Diabetes Day. All over the world, people will be dressed in blue and forming human Blue Circles and lighting monuments in blue. Many other happenings will be happening, and to find out more about all of it, go to http://www.idf.org/worlddiabetesday

Have a super (busy) week!

Wordless Wednesday. One week until World Diabetes Day.

I don’t do a lot of Wordless Wednesday posts, but I thought this might be nice since World Diabetes Day is one week from today.

I went to YouTube and entered Blue Circle into the search box. I found this video from about three years ago. It’s uplifting, but it also makes me a bit sad, since there are still so many who do not know about the blue circle. Take a look:

Enjoy your Wednesday!

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