Handfuls of Hope and Diabetes Awareness
What I find most frustrating about living with diabetes is the lack of understanding the public has about the disease. Do your friends and extended family know that there are 3 forms of diabetes - Type 1, Type 1.5 and Type 2? Do they know which one you have?
Type 1 juvenile diabetes is one that gets a lot of confused looks from people. We don't look overweight or sick. Type 1 is seen more in children, but less well-known than type 2. Everyone seems to know someone with diabetes, but the fact is not many of the general public knows that there are differences. In 2007, a nationwide survey showed that nearly 80% of the American public did not know the difference between type 1 and type 2. The survey also showed that 68% of respondents believed a cure existed.
We, who live with it, are responsible for getting the message out. Whether type 1, type 2, or type 1.5, we all need to realize that we can change that statistic. A little education goes a long way. It will create more money for research, it advocates for better understanding, and a community for everyone including those who don't have a direct relationship. If you want to stop feeling irritated by questions, then start educating your friends and colleagues. Hiding it, or ignoring them, only keeps everyone in the dark!
This past weekend a local girl whose brother lives with type 1 posted an invitation on Facebook. She wanted to rally support for her brother by educating the people around them and to change non-action into action!
Here is what she wrote on the Facebook page:
Juvenile Diabetes (also known as Type 1) seems to be ignored more and more everyday. Type 1 is when the pancreas, which produces insulin to level the sugar in your blood, stops working. Without insulin your body can't function right and you can die. Many kids have lost their lives to this disease and even though we have technology that can give the body insulin like the Pump or you can transfer insulin by a needle 3 times a day, it's still not enough. Enough children are suffering from it, and it's time for it to stop.
On March 1st write HOPE on your hand or knuckles so when people ask, 'What's up with the random word on your hand' you can spread awareness about diabetes.
If you would like to find out how you can make donations or contribute to finding a cure to diabetes, you can visit www.jdrf.com.
"Hope," a single, emotionally-positive word will be written on our hands. Leave it to this bright mind to realize that in order to change "un-awareness," create the interest in a cool and inviting way! The idea has been well-received - enough so that this blogger decided to share it with you!
But one big question remains and I'd like public's support to create the message: What's the 20-second elevator speech? What powerful message can we give that has the same snap that the "hand" writing has? I have hope for a cure for type 1 diabetes. So help us come up with a response for educating people who don't know about our HOPE for a cure!
Want more inspiration? Read When Art and Diabetes Inspire