There has been talk for so long how the education level regarding T1 diabetes needs to be ramped up. We need to do more. What can we do? For over a year I have been working with Kim May (a d-mom) who owns her own ad agency in Texas (this initiative DOES NOT happen without her and her team’s brilliance—THANKS KIM). She responded to my request to help in this initiative and an idea was born: Let me introduce you to “Get Diabetes Right” (or getdiabetesright.org). What is to follow was created with a lot of thoughts and people-power hours to make something easy, powerful, and where YOU CAN easily participate.
Get Diabetes Right is a grassroots initiative. It’s YOUR initiative. We have designed a series of posters that need to be distributed into your neighborhood (again; courtesy of Kim and her Team). You can print them out of your computer; or pay a couple of bucks and take them to your local Staples/Kinkos/Etc. and print out copies (card stock probably will work best). Choose the poster or posters that you like. Have the Girl Scouts, The Boy Scouts, your class project, you, your family, your support group and with whomever: distribute the correct poster to your schools, your libraries, your family physicians, your pediatricians offices, and anywhere else you think people will read them.
Everyone owns these posters. You own these posters. Feel free to add other posters. Below is the press release on this initiative—–click here and see the Facebook page and what this is all about—-go to the page and hit like. SHARE THIS POST EVERYWHERE. We will be adding items as we go along. We want YOU TO TELL us where you have distributed posters. Go to the site and hit like and let’s get to work. Here is the mechanism you asked for—-now we need people to get the word out. Now is OUR CHANCE to GET DIABETES RIGHT.
PRESS RELEASE (FEEL FREE TO SHARE THE WORD ON BLOGS FB PAGES & EVERYWHERE)
For Immediate Release
Grassroots Initiative Launches to Help Save Lives
Mom from Texas and dad from New York join forces to create awareness about the signs and symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes in an effort to save the lives of children and adults being diagnosed at death.
Kim May (a mom of a child with type 1 diabetes) and Tom Karlya (a dad of two children with type 1 diabetes) have, from across the United States, watched the media portray diabetes incorrectly; lumping type 1 and type 2 together and slapping two diseases with one label: DIABETES. They’ve tolerated the references about losing weight, eating too much sugar, and needing to exercise with no mention about what actually causes type 1 diabetes and they have watched as the number of children and adults diagnosed with type 1 at death continues to escalate. They’re tired of seeing Type 1 diabetes diagnosed at death when a simple blood test, or even a urine test, may have saved a life and they’ve decided to do something about it.
According to the American Diabetes Association website, there are approximately 25.8 million people diagnosed with diabetes; of this number, JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) reports that as many as 3 million have type 1 diabetes. There are no known ways to prevent type 1 diabetes. Society is not equipped with a way to inform parents, pediatricians, school nurses, teachers, and doctors of the signs of type 1 diabetes.
The reality of type 1 diabetes is that children and young adults, otherwise healthy children and young adults, are being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at alarming rates. This disease is chronic; a child will not outgrow his/her type 1 diabetes. No amount of healthy eating, exercise or lifestyle changes will change the fact that a person with type 1 must take insulin for the rest of their lives or they will die. These children grow into adults; a community of otherwise healthy adults that still take insulin or they will die. They will become athletes, politicians, celebrities, entrepreneurs, community volunteers, parents and excellent members of the workforce and nothing will stop them from attaining their goals. But until a cure is found, people with type 1 diabetes will live with the weight of this disease for the rest of their lives.
There is group of children and adults that have no voice; those that die from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes.
This diagnosis of diabetes at the time of death happens because parents, the school nurse and even pediatricians and physicians dismiss symptoms as the flu or a virus, the patient goes into DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) and dies from blood glucose levels that continues to rise. Undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes is a life-threatening emergency which symptoms include: extreme thirst, stupor, unconsciousness, frequent urination, sudden weight loss, decreased appetite, sudden vision change, fruity odor on breath, nausea or vomiting, drowsiness, lethargy, and heavy or labored breathing.
By many accounts, the general public isn’t aware of type 1 – the autoimmune diabetes. Too many times, this diagnosis of type 1 diabetes at death occurs because so many overlook the possibility of type 1 diabetes and explain away the warning signs. It is unacceptable for a child to die this way.
Get Diabetes Right is calling on the media, people with diabetes, parents, teachers; anyone willing to help spread the word. Posters, educational fliers and ads are available, courtesy of Nobox Creative in Amarillo, Texas, at the Get Diabetes Right Facebook page at www.GetDiabetesRight.org.
“Get Diabetes Right is a grass roots movement and is not associated with any particular organization. It is also an ongoing work in progress. The posters and collateral we have provided are just a starting point — Tom and I welcome all suggestions and ideas that will help spread the word,” stated Kim May. “We encourage folks to post their ideas to the Get Diabetes Right Facebook page as we plan to continually update the materials. This effort will be successful because it belongs to everyone.”
Tom Karlya added, “I have often stated that we need to just ‘Not Do Nothing’ in this diabetes journey. This is something everyone can, and should, get involved in. A lot of ‘little efforts’ will add up to an enormous education movement in this country that is long over due.”
If you’d like to help, print out any and or all posters and distribute in your area. Libraries, stores, school nurses, waiting rooms, doctor’s offices are a great place to start. Enlist your local media to spread the message in your area. Please be sure to return to the Facebook page and let Get Diabetes Right know the town, city, and/or community in which you distributed information, as they create a world-wide map to watch the movement grow. All marketing material can be customized, enlarged or emailed directly to you; contact Kim May via the website for details.
Let’s save lives. It’s time to Get Diabetes Right.
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’