Disney and Lilly Diabetes Pair Up for Type 1 Kids

Beth McNamara Health Guide
  • There is no doubt that Type 1 Diabetes is no fun; particularly if you are a little kid who is strapped with its relentless demands. Add to this the feeling of isolation that accompanies having diabetes and a child can feel very much alone and put upon.


    Two large corporate entities, Lilly Diabetes and Disney, are hoping to lessen this feeling of alienation and have teamed up to create a product line of resources that are tailored to living with Type 1. For kids and families who must manage life with diabetes, it can be a welcome relief to have access to resources that are informative and fun, and mainstream the condition. Let's face it, if you're a child, it's much easier to listen to a message when it's being delivered by the Magic Kingdom.

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    One of these resources is a website nested with Disney's Family.com, which offers families myriad resources to cover the gamut of emotions, issues, and trials that face a child and parents managing Type 1. Included is much-sought and needed help for families who have been recently diagnosed, complete with personal video stories from parents and how they dealt with the diagnosis as well as recommendations on how to return to school after diagnosis.  The site also features these sections for kids and parents: a blog by two mothers of Type 1 kids, a Q&A section with experts, a spotlight section that covers nagging problems like dealing with birthday and classroom parties, and even stickers and resources from Disney-branded characters.


    A second collaboration between the two companies is for customized published books. These books will be written for kids of different ages and who are at varying stages of the condition. The stories, some of which are a part of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse series, include much-loved Disney characters, like the spirited monkey Coco. The books are meant to help guide children and their families through the daily issues they face together whilst living a healthy and fun-filled life.


    The third part of this partnership is a contest, Once Upon A Time, which formally will kick off the collaboration. It will be headed by spokesperson Denise Jonas, the mother of pop icon Nick Jonas. To enter, one must submit a story, poem or essay based on your child's experience with Type 1 Diabetes. Deadline is November 30, 2011, and winners will win a trip to the 2012 Friends For Life Conference


    Looking at the venture from another perspective, I find it an intriguing and smart marketing venture into a market that obviously is growing, and doing so quickly. With the incidence of Type 1 skyrocketing each year - over 13,000 U.S. kids are diagnosed with Type 1 each year and the Type 1 population is expected to double in the next two decades, there is little doubt the market is a burgeoning one.


    Furthermore, the members of this community will never get better, so if Lilly and Disney establish brand and customer loyalty early and often with this group, then ideally both companies will have captured these customers literally for life. Likewise, Disney can capitalize on the good will aspect of creating a product line (or in keeping with all Disney branding "a destination") tailored for kids that are forced to contend with a chronic condition.


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    Whether or not you drink the Disney Kool-Aid, it ought to help to have to heavy-hitting corporations on the bench to help raise the general public's awareness of Type 1 Diabetes, because with awareness often comes more research funding and more general acceptance. 


Published On: July 25, 2011