I was going to write something a little more humorous...
But as I was online yesterday and seeing the outpouring of support for T1Day and Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day, I couldn't help but feel...
Lucky to be part of a community filled with compassionate and caring people.
Lucky to be able to DO SOMETHING to make a difference.
Lucky that I'm not alone.
But most of all...
Lucky that my child has access to the medicine and treatments she needs in order to live a very full life with diabetes.
It really hit me while we were at gymnastics last night. Watching her flip over the bars and balance on the beams and vault and twirl and run... And laugh and smile and dance...
She is healthy.
She is happy.
She is full of life.
We are so very lucky. We are so very blessed.
Because as I watched this and I read status update after tweet after blog, I just couldn't help but think of those who are not so lucky.
Did you know that in some parts of the world diabetes is still considered a death sentence? In developing countries many children and adolescents with diabetes die very quickly.
There are parts of the world where access to insulin and treatment is limited at best. People have to walk for days to reach a hospital. People "struggle to survive with insufficient access to insulin and without access to monitoring supplies or trained diabetes healthcare providers. Unable to control their blood glucose, they develop complications early in life. In low-income countries, it s not uncommon to find youths and young adults with devastating complications such as eye damage and kidney failure. For these young people, the
years spent developing complications are desperately unpleasant and unhappy." - taken from the LFC booklet
I often think about how lucky we are to be living in this century because of all the advancements in treatment. The thought there are still dying of diabetes due to lack of treatment is sobering. It makes me sick.
Don't get me wrong... I know there are people living in this country that are in desperate need of medical help. I know that there are people who desperately need supplies and help with treatment. I have not forgotten them. This also makes me ill.
And don't think I'm not focused on a CURE. Because I am. I want a cure badly. I also want new and better treatments. And I want it now. I get irritated that devices are available in Europe while we wait on the FDA. When it comes to my daughters health, I have little patience.
I just want it all.
So we support JDRF. We walk for a CURE. We raise thousands and thousands of dollars. We advocate. We talk to Congress.
I've done all these things...
But today I felt it laid on my heart that this alone is not enough.
Because NO ONE should die from diabetes. NO ONE.
Your mortality should not depend on where you live.
There are mothers out there who are holding their babies, just like I did a few years ago. Their very sick babies who lay lethargically in their mother's arms. Those children deserve access to medical treatments and care. Those children deserve to live.
It's time to take action. And help globally.
Here are some ways to do that:
Participate in THE BIG BLUE TEST!
(PS - You can order these shirts and other cool stuff HERE. They have options for men, women, and chidren!)
"The Big Blue Test is a diabetes awareness program started by the nonprofit Diabetes Hands Foundation, that takes place every November leading up to World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14. The campaign reinforces the importance of exercise in managing diabetes. People with diabetes are encouraged to do the Big Blue Test any day between November 1 and November 14 at midnight Pacific Time, by testing their blood sugar, getting active, testing again, and sharing the results online at bigbluetest.org.
In the last two years, just 14 minutes of exercise decreased participants’ blood sugar level between 15 and 20 percent.
In 2010, more than 2,000 people did the Big Blue Test. Over 120,000 people watched the Big Blue Test video. Roche Diabetes Care, makers of ACCU-CHEK® diabetes products and services, funded the production of the video and helped it go viral by donating 75 cents for each of the first 100,000 views, resulting in total donation of $75,000. The donation provided insulin and supplies to more than 2,000 people with diabetes in developing countries.
In 2011, in connection with the number of people that do the Big Blue Test, another donation from Roche Diabetes Care will benefit more than 8,000 people with diabetes in need. Five nonprofit organizations focused on helping underserved areas with a high incidence of diabetes in the United States will each receive $10,000, while $25,000 will go to support the work in Latin America by the International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child Programme." - taken from www.bigbluetest.org
Now watch this video to get even more inspired!
You can also support LIFE FOR A CHILD directly.
"The International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child Programme is an international aid program that provides life-saving support to children with diabetes in developing countries.
The Programme works with established diabetes centres in these countries so they can provide medical supplies, clinical treatment and diabetes education to the children and youth in their care.
The Programme aims to provide:
- Sufficient insulin and syringes
- Blood glucose monitoring equipment
- Appropriate clinical care
- HbA1c testing
- Diabetes education
- Technical support for health professionals
I hope that some of these words have touched your heart like they have touched mine.
We are one community. We are in this together. And we have one united goal.
It's up to us to make a difference. Not just for our children. But for children and adults around the world.