Thursday, November 1, 2012

Diabetes Awareness


November 1st begins Diabetes Awareness Month. As with all T1D families, this month brings about a wide range of emotions; way too many to properly put into a short blog article. There are 3 things that I would, as I often do, like to remind non-T1D families:
  • Insulin is not a cure. Let me say that again, INSULIN IS NOT A CURE....IT IS LIFE SUPPORT. Its only function is to keep a T1D alive, which is accomplished through multiple, daily injections or site insertions (similar to an i.v. insertion).
  • The onset of type 1 diabetes has NOTHING TO DO WITH DIET OR LIFESTYLE. There is nothing a person can do to prevent T1D and, for now, nothing a T1D can do to get rid of it. Type 1 diabetes  is NOT contagious; you can't "catch it". 
  • A T1D can do anything a non-T1D can do; which includes eating sugar.  Yes, they can dance, swim, run, play football, baseball, soccer.......etc., etc. In fact, there are many gold medal winning, 1st place finishing, national champion achieving athletes that have T1D. 
It is important to talk about this disease; to lift any cloud of stigma attached to having a chronic illness. Nikki has always talked openly about having type 1 diabetes. In fact, she routinely speaks at early childcare centers, elementary schools and middle schools about what it means to have type 1 diabetes, and now Celiac Disease. It is just as important for the family and friends of T1D's to be educated about the disease and to help educate others. The phrase "I've got your back" comes to mind; it's how family and friends should view their mission in the fight against this disease.

My own life has been touched by a wide variety of people who have to live with type 1 diabetes. This includes my own daughter/dancer/artist, ballet teachers, a beauty pageant winner, a United States Olympic athlete, a nurse, a school psychologist, a high school math teacher, a niece, a nephew and too many teenagers and kids to count. The one universal trait they all share? Strength Beyond Measure. Their daily fight to stay alive has shown me, with complete clarity, what is truly important in life. So let me close this blog by saying

"To all T1D's everywhere, your inner strength is an inspiration to millions of people. May GOD bless you and may the need for Diabetes Awareness Month soon be a thing of the past". 



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