I love that the OC - and the bloggers who call this community "home" - are dedicated to their own diabetes self-management - and are aware of the medications, technology, and research that have made - and continue to make - our lives with this disease more manageable. We are lucky to have the resources it takes to live well with diabetes.
There are so many people, though, living with this disease, who are not so lucky. Their life circumstances keep them from learning of advancements - and poverty keeps them from being able to afford even the most basic diabetes treatments. Imagine having diabetes and not knowing what a glucometer is. Imagine having diabetes and not being able to afford insulin. Imagine having diabetes in a place where the nearest doctor is hundreds of miles away - and where your feet are your only form of transportation. Imagine the number of people who die everyday from undiagnosed diabetes because they, their family, and their friends lack awareness about the symptoms - or the number of people who die because they don't have insulin - or because they've been overcome by complications caused by years of inadequate medical care.
As you've imagined these things - they've been happening.
And it's time - again - for our community to step up and make a difference in the lives of people we don't know - and might never meet. You know we do it everyday as we support and advise each other - we have a chance, though, to impact the global community - and those who don't have access to this same level of support and advice.
I received an email this morning from the International Diabetes Federation. They've asked me to put a banner up on this blog - and to spread the word about the first United Nations-observed World Diabetes Day - to take place on November 14, 2007. The theme that's been chosen for this day of worldwide observation is - Diabetes In Children and Adolescents.
Some excerpts from the email follow -
It is estimated that over 200 children develop type 1 diabetes EVERY SINGLE DAY and there's no question that the disease often hits disadvantaged communities the hardest, and that children in the developing world can die because their parents are unable to afford medication. In many countries diabetes is still considered an adult disease and as a result can be diagnosed late with severe consequences, including death. Even after diagnosis many children experience poor control and develop complications early.
This is why one of IDF's key objectives for World Diabetes Day this year is to double the number of children covered by the Life for a Child Program. They also want to encourage initiatives that can help to reduce diabetic ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) and to promote the sort of healthy lifestyles which can prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in children.
Here's what I request of our OC members. Please take a moment to check out the links below - and add a banner for World Diabetes Day to your blog sidebar.
A version of the diabetes circle, the icon used - and that can be seen on so many DOC websites - for the Unite for Diabetes Campaign has now been adopted for World Diabetes Day and the IDF has produced a number of web banners that you can view and download here.
We all know - we've all proven - that together, we CAN make a difference. I hope you'll consider being a part of raising awareness about World Diabetes Day - and this year's theme.