If you have diabetes, it’s Friday, one day out of… the rest of your life.
You’ll be inundated by social media mentions of WDD and the color blue (chosen as the patron color of awareness) will be worn by those in the know. I had planned on telling you all the events and excitement that is going for World Diabetes Day, but instead, I woke up with this in my head…
This I Believe
I believe that if your pancreas doesn’t work as it should, you are part of my community. This means my voice is yours to raise if you want to help the community as a whole. This means I will champion for you, no matter where you fall on the “pancreatic spectrum”.
I believe that all 382 million people living in this world with diabetes today deserve to live their lives without discrimination, stigmatization, or finger-pointing. Diabetes doesn’t discriminate. Neither should our community.
I believe that diabetes awareness begins with me. The more I understand about my diabetes, the more comfortable I am passing on the right knowledge to others, be it friends, strangers, or the general public.
I believe that I have a duty to educate people about diabetes without prejudice or anger. We are not a house divided; some individuals with one type of diabetes has been helped by another’s research. To silo us is to separate us and the potential to learn from each other. I do not expect the general public to understand the difference between different types of diabetes, just as I do not purport to know about all of the different types of cancer. They are all devastating and have different courses of treatment, just like diabetes.
I believe that it doesn’t matter what diabetes is called. I have it. Mine might be different from yours, but in the end, our goals are the same: to live long and well with as few complications as possible.
I believe that access to technology and treatment should be available to all. Regardless of where you are, what you do, if you have insurance or live a life of privilege, we do not have a choice.
I believe the fault is in our genes, not in our choices. No one “chooses” to have diabetes and to berate or belittle someone for a perceived lifestyle discounts the science showing that most diabetes involves a genetic predisposition.
I believe that the impact of diabetes is not just on our bodies, but our psyches, wallets, and families as well. There is not enough treatment effort given on the psychological aspects of living with diabetes, not enough financial assistance given for those living with this chronic illness, and not enough support to those who love us. This needs to change.
I believe that a cure will not be the end of living with diabetes. I will always live with the vestiges of this disease, even if there is a cure found. The damage that has been done to me by the disease will live on long after a cure. There will be no way to undo what diabetes has given to my body and my mind.
I believe that we all have work to do for diabetes, using what talents we have. For some, it’s advocating, fundraising, or awareness. For others, it’s the important job of living gracefully and with dignity. We all matter in the work we do.
I believe that we cannot live a life of diabetes alone.
I believe in the power of community.
I believe in us.