Last week in conjunction with the start of National Diabetes Awareness Month, the launch of their new logo and their new T1Day, JDRF posted this ad in both the New York Times and Washington Post. I personally did not see the ad in either paper but on the JDRF’s Facebook page. Well, this has caused quite the stir around the diabetes online community. I wasn’t going to write anything about it but instead step back and lurk at what people had to say. However while reading through the very long thread over at Children with Diabetes, it got me thinking.
When I was diagnosed back in 1981 my family was told that a cure was around 10 years away. As of today, I have been living with type 1 diabetes for 29 years, 10 months and 14 days. My father lived with it for over 30 years before complications took his life, both figuratively and literally. Call me pessimistic, but I do not foresee a real cure in my lifetime. I’ve come to accept that I will live with diabetes for the rest of my life. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t have some hope for a cure. Since I believe a cure is not in the predictable future, what I
would like need now is for the diabetes management tools to continue to improve to help me and other people living with diabetes do just that. Live. But healthy. Safely. Enduringly.
There are many things that can go wrong in the life of a diabetic. On both ends of the BG spectrum. That 1 in 20 dying from a low blood glucose is just one of them. While the scientists work on finding that cure, I think what is important to us all now is decreasing the number of precious lives lost from this disease. From whatever cause. And helping us maintain as close-to-normal BG levels as possible so that we can improve our chances against complications. If an organization chooses an advertisement that some find fear mongering or sensationalized in order to draw attention to a disease that needs well, attention, I don’t think that is so wrong. Things have come a long, long way since the days of urine testing in tubes and sterilizing syringes before injecting and giant BG meters that took almost 5 minutes to read a result with no memory. But we still have so much further to go. And to get there we need the work of organizations like the JDRF or DRI or ADA. No matter how alarming their ads may seem to some.