Wednesday, November 14, 2007

World Diabetes Day

He cried, saying that he didn't want to have diabetes.

"Mom, I'm scared."

We held each other, having absolutely no idea what this all meant.

I have such mixed feelings today.

Excitement-- about all of the attention WORLDWIDE that will be given the disease that invaded my son's body over three years ago.

And sadness-- over the fact that Joseph (and so many others) have to live with something that requires this much attention.

But still.

This is pretty damn amazing.

And really, really important.

Because think about it:

Every year approximately 70,000 children (nearly 200 a day) are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes-- a disease that, in the absence of insulin and careful monitoring every single day for the rest of their lives, would be a death sentence.

And even with insulin and careful monitoring, there is always the immediate danger of life threatening low-blood sugars; the specter of long-term complications.

Every. Single. Day.

Now, you might assume that most people have at least a basic understanding of this disease.

One that affects so many-- with such devastating consequences.

A disease for which there is no cure.

But, they don't.

In fact, according to a recent nationwide survey, "nearly 80% of the American public does not know the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes."

Worse, almost 70% believe a cure exists for type 1 diabetes.

So, people-- today is big.

Very big.

Because today is all about awareness.

About education and understanding-- and hopefully, motivation to act.

Please take a moment and think about how you can take part.

Maybe it's as simple as taking a walk.

Or gathering with others to witness (and be inspired by) a symbol of hope.

Or maybe it's giving time or money to an organization that supports diabetes research, education, and advocacy; or one that gets diabetes supplies to those who don't have access to the medication and education they need to survive.

Whatever you decide, just please let it be something.

For my son.

For all of the children and adults living with this disease.

And for those of us who love them.


Jillian said...

Once again, Sandra you stopped me in my tracks. I was convinced that today was not worth it, and it would pass by relatively unnoticed. But you have given me a little bit of hope, that maybe just maybe today will be the start of a change. I don't want anyone else to go through this, or look the way that Joseph does in that picture. Hopefully today's events will do something about that.

Elizabeth said...

Wow, Sandra that picture is very moving. I know exactly how Joseph felt then. And that makes me very sad. Thanks for posting that today.

Sara said...

Wow- That picture!


Nicole P said...

Sandra - Powerful image. Powerful words. Powerful feelings. Hopefully, will make for a powerful day for EVERYONE who lives with this thing.

Thinking of you guys.

Tell Joseph I say hello.

- Nicole

Donna said...

Hi Sandra,
I remember that day as a child myself. It was terrifying. No child should have to go through that kind of day, not Joseph, not any child. Let's hope & pray that today something is done that produces a cure so that no child has to deal with this disease again.

Lea said...

I have such a good feeling about today. Like it's the beginning of something bigger than us. Great post!!

Caro said...


Wow. Every person who thinks that type 1 diabetes can be cured needs to have their bubble burst. They need to see the picture you posted here. And every person who thinks it is a trivial thing, that if it can't be cured it doesn't matter because at least it can be managed - they need to see this picture, read your words and the words of everyone else living with this damn disease. They need to know how hard this is.

Hopefully, with the help of things like WDD, we can go some way towards making that happen and get ever closer to the elusive cure.

Thank you for this post


sonal said...

Hi Sandra.

My company just put up a non-profit website for diabetic kids and their parents.
It's called, which in India means 'little bird'

would like you to tell us how to make it more useful so that parents and children can cope with diabetes better.

Do write to me at Would really like to make life easier for diabetics in India

Chris said...

Your awesome Sandra.
i want to do more.

Allison said...

Hi Sandra-

I've been reading your blog for awhile and enjoy hearing your perspective as a parent. Thanks for commenting over at my blog.

The picture you posted is so powerful, thanks so much for sharing.

:o) Allison

Kerri. said...

This was a beautiful post. And that picture speaks far more than a thousand words.

Amylia said...

When you have a minute...You've been tagged for the random 7!
The rules are simple:

1. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Oh, and have fun!

Heidi said...

Hi Sandra, once again a beautifully written post - and a very important one! I can relate to Joseph's feelings at diagnosis, and it seems as if he has just as supporting parents as I have, so be proud of that.

As a side note, I have just tagged you for the 7 meme if you want to participate. The rules are on my blog.