Today is World Diabetes Day. This date was chosen because it was the birth date of the famous Canadian, Sir Frederick Banting. Dr. Banting of course is one of the scientists credited with the discovery of insulin.
Insulin is the life sustaining hormone that allows my son to annoy me and live his life to the fullest today. On March 17, 2000 I saw firsthand how vital insulin is to a body. That is the day that doctors finally realized that my son was no longer producing his own insulin. He was dying before our eyes. His body was surviving by eating itself and in a two year old, there is not a lot of body to use as nourishment. He was given 12 hours to live. But live he did and today I remain eternally grateful for Dr. Banting’s discovery.
When Dr. Banting made his discovery he felt it was the first step to a cure for diabetes. He did not envision that over 80 years later we would still have no cure for this disease only his life sustaining vials of insulin. He did not know that for many, insulin would be a costly extravagance. He did not know the difficulties that people in both first and third world countries would have in obtaining this life saving therapy.
In his honor, we continue to fight to make the world better for people living with diabetes. In Canada we work to get our provincial governments to cover life sustaining insulins and devices that will reduce the risk of complications in later years. We lobby our federal government to provide more funding to groups and organizations who are working hard to improve technology and ultimately fulfill Dr. Banting’s vision of curing diabetes forever.
Today, I am wearing my blue for my son who lives with this horrible disease each day with dignity and courage. I wear blue for hope…hope that his life with diabetes will improve. Hope that he will never have to struggle to afford his supplies. Hope that one day he will say “When I had diabetes I wore an insulin pump.”
Today I am wearing blue for the millions of other people living with diabetes, many of whom I have never met. This disease takes a horrible toll on both those living with diabetes and those who love them. It also has brought together many amazing people and for that I am extremely grateful. So thank-you again Dr. Banting for saving my son’s life. Thank-you to researchers for not giving up and working to create a better life for my son and others living with diabetes. Thank-you to the many friends, family, and followers of this blog, my Facebook page, and the website. Your support for these past 12 and a half years have given me strength and courage to continue each day.