Once again, Karen Graffeo, who blogs at Bittersweet Diabetes is hosting Diabetes Blog Week. The fifth annual Diabetes Blog Week will take place from May 12th through May 18th. So Here I am……willing and able. Today’s topic: What am I passionate about?
As many know, I have many different passions when it comes to diabetes. In no specific order; Getting Diabetes Right, recognizing a diabetes diagnosis, advocacy, kids and diabetes, diabetes education, diabetes in underserved areas of the United States, better management, and a cure.
Although, as stated, there is no specific order to these passions; and those who know me know these passions to be true—by far my leading passion is for a cure. For when the cure comes, it negates everything else.
Lately, though, I feel as if the word cure is getting a bad rap. I have been told for over 21 years that the cure was around the corner from many different entities; and so have many others. But it seems like, lately, the cure is being touted by many people as just too far off and will just never arrive. This troubles me.
What is the message we send to our kids if we say the cure just will not come; what is the message we tell ourselves. More than that, the funding for T1 Research is a well which is drying up with each year that goes by and in as much as I think we need to be realistic about a cure, saying it is not going to happen, to me, is just not true. And do not misunderstand me; management tools and the research and development of such tools MUST continue. The NOW is extremely crucial and I am not saying otherwise.
I think the researchers who are pursuing a cure for T1 Diabetes should be challenged at the principles they ‘serve-up’ to us. Challenged. But here is what I see happening; the attitude that only things in human clinical trials are worthy to be watched or funded is a naïve statement at best. The magnitude it takes to get a project from concept to a patient is huge and it is easy for people to cross their arms, sit back, and say that only those projects already in human clinical trials should be funded but the truth is, if everyone is only waiting for ‘that stage’ I can tell you with a great deal of confidence that it is only a matter of years before research stops altogether. It’s easy to jump on board in the final stage.
THAT is easy to do.
Every researcher wants to be in human clinical trials, but the road to get to that point is never the same.
My point here is a simple one, if there are researchers, reputable researchers with a track record (and trust me they are out there), who have theories and ideas that are worthy of pursuit, fund them. But throwing up our hands and saying, “Nope, can’t happen!” is an attitude that needs to change; that attitude is just not within my DNA.
I get it. Believe me when I say I get it. I know the frustrations of seeing things not happen and being told one thing when none of it is true; but being an employee associated with a research center with the reputation of the DRI I also know the passions and brain power and the differences of research that is moving forward and the research that is not. If it is not moving forward, it must be moved out.
I can not change anyone’s mind about how they feel about a cure, and where we stand. But for me, that hope is why I get up every day. When Kaitlyn was diagnosed, I knew that I did not have the ‘brain-power’ or the skills to find a cure for diabetes. I needed to support those that COULD get us there. I searched, and continually search, where I think it best for me to spend my energy for me to fulfill the promise I gave to my daughter, and later my son; by those who DO HAVE the brain power to get us there.
My promise is my breath; and I promised my kids that no stone would be left unturned until we get there. Although crucially important, I did not promise my kids I would do all I could to find them better management tools as the ultimate goal. I do not care how politically incorrect it may seem, how unpopular it may seem, how ‘right’ other paths may seem, or how easy anything else pursuing may seem; but to my kids, I promised, I would not stop until a cure is found. Not a cure pursued when I can, if I can, at certain times and not at others, or during a time when SOMETHING looks good. No. I am in this to push, shove, fight, pursue, fund, and convince anyone else that giving our all one hundred percent is the only way to find something that we cannot yet see; that we cannot yet grasp.
And to me, nothing short of that is acceptable.
I am a diabetes dad.
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