Celebrating World Diabetes Day
November is American Diabetes Month. Originally started by the American Diabetes Association over 50 years ago, it's a month where many organizations amplify their diabetes awareness messages and try to capitalize on the buzz in order to raise awareness.
One of the biggest days within November is World Diabetes Day, November 14th. In 1991 the International Diabetes Federation created the movement which became an official United Nations Day in 2007 with the passage of UN Resolution 61/225.
November 14th was chosen because it is the birthday of Frederick Banting. Along with Charles Best, Banting helped conceive the idea that led to the discovery of insulin in the early 1920's.
On the 14th there are many celebrations, large and small, to mark World Diabetes Day. Some of those celebrations include the lighting of iconic sites, monuments, and buildings in blue, a color that was chosen because it reflects the sky that unites all nations and is the color of the UN flag.
Seeing so many buildings going blue for diabetes has always amazed me. There is a list at the IDF website detailing buildings and monuments that will be lit, from Australia all the way to Venezuela, including such notable buildings as the Empire State Building in New York and the Norwich Castle in the United Kingdom. There are more than 250 monuments on the list for 2012, with more being added every day.
I feel ashamed to say this, but I've always been intimidated by the idea of organizing a big gathering or blue lighting for my local area. Much of that has to do with a lot of uncertainty, even though the IDF website has a great guide on building lightings.
This year is going to be different, though, thanks to my friend Mari Ruddy. Mari is an amazing person. She founded the American Diabetes Association's Red Rider program, and is also the founder and director of TeamWILD (We Inspire Life with Diabetes). I've been a fan of Mari for a long time, and I was very excited when she recently moved to my area (Twin Cities, MN).
I saw Mari at a recent expo and she asked if I knew of anything going on for World Diabetes Day (WDD). When I said I didn't, she suggested that we plan something for the area. She insisted that whatever we plan had to be low stress, easy to do, and fun. I recommended that we just start an event on Facebook to get everyone we knew around here to brainstorm.
Getting everyone to agree on anything has been a lot like herding cats – but at least we're talking about it this year! And I'm hoping it gets the momentum moving for even bigger and better events for the years to come. Who knows, maybe we'll get organized enough to start a little committee or something!
Only time will tell if we're able to pull anything together for this year, but regardless of what happens, it is a step in the right direction.
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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