Diabetes Awareness Month……Do We Miss an Important Target????

TargetI had this thought.

Now I know that surprises many of you but it was an interesting thought and I wanted to share it; and ask your thoughts as well.

I kept thinking about November.  Diabetes Awareness month.  There was a ton of things done across the diabetes landscape.  Good things.  Important things.  But very many things.

Within the walls of our diabetes world, we heard (and saw) many objectives achieved. But what was done outside our own community as one voice.   I had this idea.  Next year, all of the wonderful things are done for diabetes awareness month all month-long with the exception of one day; November 14th.

On November 14th, every single person involved in the diabetes world; writers, bloggers, PWDS, Family of PWDs, organizations, foundations, and everyone in-between has but one objective:  To do one thing OUTSIDE of the Diabetes Community to educate the world around us about diabetes. Not a fund-raiser, not to let people know about a particular organization, but to EDUCATE about diabetes.

Then you can go to FB pages Project Blue November and/or Get Diabetes Right (two sites that just seem to belong to everyone and not one specific entity) and share what you are doing.

Does not matter the type of diabetes you are dealing with, or what organization you are involved with; next November 14th for World Diabetes Day the one single goal is to educate.  Warning signs, warning signs in relation to the flu, the difference between the types of diabetes, what to do to help someone having a glycemic reaction, or whatever you feel is important–and here is the catch—YOU MUST present this educational program in/to an area that has nothing to do with diabetes.  A school, a library, a community gathering, a letter to the media, a press release, a lecture, BUT some sort of outreach where diabetes is usually not heard.  Give a lecture, hang a poster, make a call…whatever you feel comfortable doing….you do.

All of the fundraising and other programs can take place all month-long but for one day—-one unified voice shouting—-YOU NEED TO KNOW about diabetes.

As I looked around once November came and left; all I kept thinking was; “Has the world learned one thing more about diabetes?”

Any thoughts?

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.


7 replies on “Diabetes Awareness Month……Do We Miss an Important Target????”

This is exactly what we did this year. My son was diagnosed at age 3 and is now 10. His teacher invited him to do something to share about diabetes with the class in whatever way he felt comfortable. He and I worked to put together a little PowerPoint presentation and talk which he presented on World Diabetes Day. He also gave the IDF blue circle pins to his teachers, nurse and principal on that day. It was very well received by his classmates who had several good questions and it really empowered him! Also, the nurse invited staff and students to wear blue in support of World Diabetes Day.

Tom, you post was exactly what my friend and neighbor, Carol Cramer, the creator of Rufus the Bear with Diabetes(R), and I were just speaking about. Until there is a cure for diabetes we need to offer education, encouragement, and care to families and create educational and diabetes awareness opportunities in our communities. To begin focusing on World Diabetes Day 2015 now is a grand idea! Carol and I have been brainstorming with one another and some of our diabetes resources about creating a larger community awareness. I will share your ideas with Carol. Thank you for the Facebook links. I will share my new book, “Purr-fect Pals: A Kid, A Cat & Diabetes” on those sites to help children and families who are newly diagnosed and those who have been living with diabetes. Thank you Tom. I appreciate all the candid and passionate ideas you share on your blog. Sincerely, Sheila

Education of the general public is an ongoing effort and the mass media (given how newspapers imploded) are not much help and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Most of the U.S. already thinks they know plenty about diabetes, yet they often have a mix of fact and fiction made possible by the coverage that already exists. I question whether patients should be assuming this responsibility? Isn’t managing a chronic illness enough, and now we must assume a public health policy role, too? While our individual stories can go a way, they do not educate millions nor can they be expected to. I think there’s a role for the American Diabetes Association to play here, but I question their willingness and motivation to do so.

…but are we different than any other ‘disease-state’? Left to the devices or strategies of others; I am unsure of the outcome. I guess in any action—-we are unsure of the outcome. When I took on the task of trying to educate the public that DKA can be confused with the flu—even before diagnosis…..I stumbled upon something that resonated with people. It deals with kids, could hit/impact/kill any kid (I was shocked how THAT resonated with the outside world), and it is a good thing to ‘message’ out to people. I am still learning and growing with ‘A Child Cry for Change’ but I am learning a lot and going where the road takes me. But THAT message is a powerful one, I am learning more and more. I have to tell you that when I see your name on anything I write, I am always honored that you take the time. Your abilities and passion are a very high bar for me and to think you ever read, much less comment on, my writings is always humbling for me. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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