Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Be the change you wish to see

Yesterday, March 25th, was the American Diabetes Association Diabetes Alert Day. The premise for Diabetes Alert Day is to be a one-day, “wake-up” call to inform the American public about the seriousness of diabetes. The American Diabetes Association encourages people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and find out if they are at risk for developing diabetes.

I've been reading alot of blog chatter about the revalance of Alert Day and my conclusions after reading all of this remains that Alert Day is a great idea. Type 2 diabetes is an epidemic and it's true, 1/3 of the people that have diabetes don't know that they do. I have friends and family that have Type 2 and yes, their struggle with diabetes is very different then mine. I want everyone I know to know their risk for the disease and learn as much about both types of diabetes as they can. Yesterday wasn't about "us" as Type 1s, it was about promoting the overall idea that you should be informed of your risk for developing a serious illness. And awareness and prevention is a great thing.

As to making a Type 1 Alert Day, why isn't everyday an Alert Day for us? Why isn't everyday about educating people about Type 1, breaking down the stereotypes, and taking the best care of the disease that we have? I don't think appointing one day to tell everyone I know about Type 1 is going to benefit them that much, but rather having those moments at work when someone looks at the tubing snaking out from my shirt and gives me a funny look is the time to tell them "I have Type 1 diabetes, that's the autoimmune kind". I think having the discussion with family on an everyday (or atleast often enough) basis about how diabetes affects you is what it's all about. So the blogsphere may decide on a day to get their alert out, but I'm alerting everyday.

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