Are There TOO MANY Diabetes Days?

I’m all for education and I have to admit that one would think that the more days having to do with diabetes, the more education there is about the disease…..right?  Well maybe not.

Diabetes Awareness Day, Diabetes Awareness Month, T1 Diabetes Awareness Day, Diabetes Blogger Day, Diabetes Alert Day, Diabetes Advocacy Day and actually the list goes on and on.  I was speaking to a reporter friend of mine and she told me that she gets more press releases about the different ‘diabetes days’ than any other disease state. 

I asked her if that was bad?  And she said that it is a difficult position to be in as it means she has to choose which ‘diabetes day’ is not only important but which one would be important to her readers.  She said it is really way too much. 

As I spoke to some of the many people I know who are involved in the diabetes community a common thread-of-an-answer came back to me.  Many people in the diabetes community have a cause or aspect that they feel is important and they think it just as important to let people know about that aspect.

But is that okay to be so diabetes-specific rather than seeking the bigger solution of educating the population as a whole with one centralized messaging?

As I stated, one would think that the more opportunity to get the word out there the better but my reporter friend had this to say about that (paraphrased): Ever hear the old story about a kid talking to his mother about mother’s day and the child asks “when is kid’s day?”  to which the mother responds ‘every day is kids day’?  Everyday at a newspaper cannot be given to diabetes awareness, or at least the amount of days we are asked to publish something, and with so many choices about diabetes–there can be, and is, no unity in the messaging that diabetes advocates crave. 

Wow.  This was an eye opener for me.  So I present it to you the diabetes community…..what do you think?

I’m a diabetesdad.



5 replies on “Are There TOO MANY Diabetes Days?”

There is never too many! How many weeks have we seen Pink everything in the NFL? The more people that see, hear and read about it the better. 90%+ people don’t even know the difference between T1 and T2.

“But is that okay to be so diabetes-specific rather than seeking the bigger solution of educating the population as a whole with one centralized messaging?” This is a false dichotomy. Regardless of whether you have prenatal, type two or type one diabetes, what aspect of your life it has the strongest affect on, which complication it has produced in your body and even the numerous different events, days or fundraisers that are being done the central issue is still diabetes. So the reporter feels a moral conflict in making decisions about what stories to run or share. I say that is good thing, becuase she has to face it and be aware of the reality of what others are going through. Its real hard to try and be apathetic when your phone is ringing all the time and your mail box is full. The real question here is how honest are people being about facing the reality of how much serious diseases like this can have serious affects in so many numerous and vast ways and in so many peoples lives? Are we really giving the issue of health care for people with life altering and threatening chronic or terminal illnesses the attention and respect it deserves? I live with it inside me so it consumes my attention everyday and I dont let trivial questions like are there too many days, events or fundraisers for something gain any credence in my mind.

I understand where too many days may seem confusing and as a new-ish D-Mom (My son was diagnosed last September) I can see why.

November 1, is TID Day
November 9 is DBlog Day (that is how I found you)
November 14 is World Diabetes Day
February 4, 2013 is Diabetes Art Day
Big Blue Test is ongoing

Those are just a few I could think of off the top of my head but there are so many more.

I completely understand the need to bring awareness to diabetes and educate people on the difference types but why can we not concentrate our days into weeks throughout November? After all November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

Although, if we jammed all of the D-days into the same month a lot of the d-bloggeers would be going bonkers with how overwhelmed they are with topics and what to write about. I know I would be.

Keith has a point. How many weeks have we seen pink on the players and on flags and other various things in the NFL? Now, when have we seen a national sports team wear blue for diabetes (that wasn’t already part of their uniform)? I don’t think ever, if I am incorrect, please let me know.

While I am at it, how come companies don’t plaster stores blue in November to support Diabetes like they do in October to support Breast Cancer? Why can’t we get a major clothing manufacture to design clothing for D and help raise awareness at the same time? Don’t get me wrong, every charity deserves to raise money but this is about diabetes.

Please accept my apologies if this sounded like a rant. It was not my intention.

I agree, there are too many days. I’m not sure if they are created by people or groups looking for attention (“the XXX day is the brainchild of YYY”) or what, but too many days does diminish the importance – and clouds the purpose – of each one. I was completely confused on November 1 to find that it was a “day”, because I thought “the day” was November 14. Without looking it up first, I’m still not sure what the difference is (T1 versus all types, I think?). But it screams of a group divided rather than a group united in a cause.

Comparing this with the breast-cancer awareness is not a fair comparison. Yes, the pink symbolism is everywhere during that month, but it’s one month for one cause. It’s simple to understand, and that makes it work. There is no distinction between cancer-type, breast type, or treatment type. It’s unifying, it’s simple, and it works.

The diabetes community does have a persistent voice, but it’s not a clear, consistent voice. That’s where we go wrong.

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