World Diabetes Day 2011: WWBD? (What Would Banting Do?)
Today is World Diabetes Day, which, not coincidentally, falls on the birthday of Frederick Banting, Nobel Peace Prize awardee, and, more importantly, discoverer of insulin over 90 years ago. Thanks to him, I, and millions others, can live with what once was considered a death sentence.
This year, instead of the usual World Diabetes Day fundraiser my family coordinates to raise funds for diabetes research and a cure, I decided to focus on grassroots education instead.
Unsure where to begin, I started small, partnering with a university scientist/cell biologist and we both visited a local elementary school to give a 10 minute presentation on the importance of diabetes awareness and World Diabetes Day. Turns out, the principal is a Type 1 diabetic on a pump, and the school secretary is a Type 2 diabetic. Small connections can make a big difference.
Best of all, it was a blast! The kids were responsive and curious, many of the older kids were well informed, as well. They didn't want us to go--and not just because they got to go home with blue glow bracelets to mark the day!
It felt really good, and I'm already planning a broader initiative for next year. For those of you looking for some small way to honor World Diabetes Day today, and/or November's month long Diabetes Awareness campaign, scroll down for a few suggestions! If you have others, please, please leave a comment!
- Bacon Wrap Your Pump! (Yes, really!)
- Wear Blue! Reach out to a handful of folks and start talking! I handed out blue glow bracelets this year to get the conversation going!
- Do the Big Blue Test before midnight 14 November 2011 (Measure your glucose, do 14-20 mins. of any kind of exercise, test again after exercise & post the results at bigbluetest.org (each entry helps). Do it as many times as you want.
- Upload your bluesy World Diabetes Day photos to the public group on Flickr or at worlddiabetesday.org
- Tweet about your World Diabetes Day or Diabetes Awareness month activities, and consider joining Diabetes Social Media Advocacy in their Blue Fridays campaign (wear blue every Friday in November)
- Watch this 3 min. poignant video about Alabama's fight to keep the poorest among them (many devastated by natural disasters) with basic insulin and medication
- Learn how to Stop Diabetes with the ADA's campaign basics
- Photograph any Blue Monuments that are lit up in blue today (buildings and iconic sites are being lit up in solidarity for Diabetes Awareness everywhere from the Eiffel Tower to the Empire State Building to Dubai's tallest building!
- Start scheming to get your city or town officials to light up a building in blue for the 2012 campaign. The IDF has a guide to help us with the logistics of lighting a building in blue.
- Watch this flash mob scene that took place in a mall in Jerusalem, Israel yesterday in order to raise awareness of diabetes. It will inspire you to at least consider organizing your own flashmob event some time this month!
"Happy" World Diabetes Day, everyone! Do one small thing today to make it count!