I voted today. Lexi went along with me and had big fun with several of the "I love voting" (Ohio style!) stickers just like the one above. There were several choices to be made on our ballot. I always vote, but today I was especially there to choose a school board candidate that I supported. As we were driving away, I was thinking about choices.
Many things in life happen without our choosing. We can't do anything about them. However, we can choose how to respond to them.
JDRF recently ran a full page ad in the Washington Post and New York Times.
This is what the smaller print of the ad reads:
In fact, kids and adults are dying every day from low blood sugar or complications caused by type 1 diabetes.
In the next few weeks, the FDA has a chance to show it is leading the world in medical innovation, not standing in its way. It will lay out the pathway to bring to market the first artificial pancreas, a lifesaving technology now under development, and the most revolutionary treatment in diabetes since the discovery of insulin.
Three million kids, teens and adults with type 1 diabetes are counting on the FDA to get it right. Our lives and health are at stake.
There are clearly mixed feelings about the ad running loose around the DOC. Some people feel that it is too harsh or "scary". Others feel that it is a really bold ad which could go a long way for educating the public about type 1 diabetes. Amy at Diabetes Mine offers some good insight into these "mixed feelings".
Aaron Kowalski from JDRF chimed in on "the ad" thread on CWD. "I want to say unequivocally that this ad has nothing to do with fundraising and everything to do with driving home the life saving and life changing potential of artificial pancreas technologies."
I am not here to debate about the ad. But I do think that what Aaron Kowalksi says above is key in understanding the message behind the ad. I am not focusing on the one in twenty will die from low blood sugar. I already know what type 1 diabetes can do. The part of the ad that got my attention was the most revolutionary treatment since the discovery of insulin.
Back to choices...
I cannot change the fact that Ally has type 1 diabetes. But I can choose to be educated about it. I can choose to do everything in my power to make sure that she lives the best life possible. And I can choose to advocate for continued research and technology. I have no other choice!
Diabetes Fact #1: Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin producing cells in the pancreas.
Diabetes Fact #2: No one knows exactly what causes type 1 diabetes. However, it IS known that it is NOT caused by poor diet or lack of exercise. Scientists believe that both genetic and environmental factors are involved.
Diabetes Fact #3: Type 1 diabetes, sometimes referred to as Juvenile Diabetes, can strike at ANY age.
Diabetes Fact #4: Type 1 diabets can occur suddenly and causes a dependence on insulin for life. Until there is a cure.
Diabetes Fact #5: To stay alive, people with type 1 diabetes must take multiple insulin injections daily or continually infuse insulin through an insulin pump.
Diabetes Fact #6: People with type 1 diabetes must test their blood sugar 6 or more times a day by pricking their fingers. Ally's fingers look dirty - but when you look closer you see tons of tiny holes.
Diabetes Fact #7: While trying to balance insulin doses with food intake, daily exercise and activities, people with Type 1 Diabetes must still always be prepared for serious hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) and hyperglycemic (high blood sugar) reactions which can be life threatening.
Diabetes Fact #8: While insulin injections or infusions allow a person with type 1 diabetes to stay alive, insulin does NOT CURE diabetes.