A World, United for Diabetes
By Tom Karlya
A while back, I wrote about the lack of a diabetes symbol representing a universal appeal to all organizations in the "diabetes field". The fight against diabetes, the fight to cure diabetes, the fight to help others with diabetes, the fight to unify those with diabetes; some sort of symbol that could umbrella it all and be accepted by any and all diabetes organizations. Could it be that an organization has actually succeeded in doing just that? The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is picking up steam, more so than when they first initiated the effort for a UN resolution on diabetes just about a year ago.
Recently I was at the ADA conference in Chicago and that IDF little blue circle was everywhere. Some people I spied wearing this symbol of a unified diabetes world under a blue sky of cooperation were head-honchos with major organizations (I will not divulge names to protect them). Can you imagine people from organizations as diverse as the JDRF and the ADA wearing the same global symbol? Be still my heart. I can't remember the last time I saw so many people catching on to a single focused initiative. Resolution 61/225, entitled "World Diabetes Day," was passed last December 20 by the General Assembly in the United Nations.
Not to be misunderstood, and listen carefully as I tell you, for the first time the world recognizes that diabetes is a serious threat to world health. Here's the catch - it's the FIRST AND ONLY disease that has gained this acknowledgement world wide that was NOT an infectious disease. This isn't malaria, AIDS, or another infectious diseases. Now the "just diabetes" 21 million Americans live with every day - that diabetes - is now considered a world wide threat. To be clear, I'm not happy about the distinction of diabetes being a worldwide problem but truthfully, you can't solve a problem if you don't acknowledge its existence. Now the world knows what we, as members of the diabetes community, have known for some time: diabetes is a real problem and the best way to beat it is to work together.
So on November 14th, put away the sneakers, the bikes, the bow ties, and the golf clubs and do something for the world. Wear your blue circle and also wear the same color blue that day. Unite for a world where diabetes will be controlled; Unite for a world where diabetes can be beat and for this one day, Unite for Diabetes.
Go to www.unitefordiabetes.org for more information on what you can do to help. To every hospital, foundation, organization, association, and individual living with diabetes, unite for the world and for you, together it's time for us to go blue.
I'm a diabetes dad.
dLife's Daily Living columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team to find out what will work best for you.
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