Category Archives: world diabetes day

A Monumental Day

Today is World Diabetes Day.  This day commemorates the birthday of one of the men responsible for my youngest son being alive today–Sir Frederick Banting.  This amazing Canadian was involved in providing us with an inject-able source of insulin–the first step on the journey to cure Type 1 diabetes.
Today is also the first time that my son is going to a diabetes clinic without his mother. Because of where he currently lives, it is not possible for me to travel to attend with him. He is going with his dad.  I received a text while he was in the office looking for some information. I had already been in contact with his new CDE and provided his basal rates and carb to insulin ratios.  The rest of the appointment is/was up to him.
While my son attending his first ever clinic appointment is a big deal for me, an even bigger deal is who my son will see today–on Sir Banting’s birthday.  He will sit and chat with the man who kept him alive on that March day many years ago when he was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
My son is returning to his first pediatrician.  This is the man who told me that the next 24 hours were critical and would tell if my son lived or died.  This is also the man who held my hand and kicked my butt to learn and gain confidence in dealing with this beast we call Type 1 diabetes.
I have said time and time again how hard it is having my children living far away from me. I have moaned and groaned about the challenges of having a teen living away and the many worries that come with that.  The best thing about his move however is this return to his doctor.
His doctor knows my son’s potential. He knows me. He has watched my son grow.  He has always encouraged my son’s independence.  He has also never been shy of telling either of us what he thought.
Today is World Diabetes Day.  Today marks the birth of the man who discovered insulin. Today also marks a full circle in my son’s diabetes care.  He began seeing this doctor as a toddler protected by his mother.  Today he sees him again as a growing young man stretching to find his way in an adult world.
world diabetes day

Happy World Diabetes Day!

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. 

Its a new look!

As you may, or may not have noticed, I have changed the Diabetes Advocacy logo.  It will appear on the website in the coming months (as the site undergoes a face lift) but I thought that I would launch it here first. 

Some of you may be looking at this new logo and wondering what sort of drugs I was on when I said “Yeah! That’s what I want to use!”  You may be thinking that I was exceptionally sleep deprived and forgot what sort of a website I was running at the time I accepted the image. 

Or perhaps you never really got the first logo and figured, well its still just as crazy as before so what’s the big deal?

The original logo had a phoenix wearing a grey diabetes ribbon with a map of Canada in the background.  The diabetes ribbon was an obvious connection as was the map when you know that I live in Canada.  The meaning behind the phoenix was not as easily interpreted.

The phoenix is a bird that rises up from the ashes.  Its splendor is amazing especially when looking back at where it came from. Yes, it eventually burns out and becomes ash again but it will always rise again.  This has become symbolic with my life and more importantly with life with diabetes.  We have days that are good, days that are amazing and days that we feel that we have crashed and burned.  For me the phoenix is a symbol of hope, because no matter what we will rise up from the ashes and be even more amazing and beautiful than before!

The new logo focuses more on the phoenix.  Its power and its beauty.  Diabetes is a nightmare but the friendships it has brought us are more beautiful than any of the ugliness.  Diabetes brings hardships but it has also given me a strength to challenge issues and create change where I never would have gone before.

I have also given up the grey ribbon in place of the blue circle.  I love the grey ribbon, not for its dark color but the drop of blood was a real reminder of what our loved ones deal with each day.  Despite my attachment to that symbol, there is a movement for diabetes to band together and use one symbol–the blue circle that was adopted by the UN.  There is a renewed desire to make this symbol as recognizable as the pink ribbon is for breast cancer. 

I have no idea if this will happen but grey is making way for blue.  We see blue candles lit in memory of who have lost their battle with diabetes. There are the campaigns to light up your home/town blue on  World Diabetes day in November.  Grey is drab, blue offers hope so I have traded in the grey ribbon worn by my phoenix and instead encircled him in blue. 

With that in mind, it was time for me to change as well. It was time for a new logo, a new sense of purpose, and a new face forward in our rollercoaster life with Type 1 diabetes.

November 14th is World Diabetes Day

Yesterday was World Diabetes Day and someone mentioned that people were saying “Happy” World Diabetes Day as if this was a happy occasion. Some noted that it was a happy occasion simply because it was a day that they did not feel alone. It was a day when others would recognize the existence of a horrible disease.

Personally I did not call it a happy day but did feel that it was a day to celebrate. November 14th is chosen because it is Sir Frederick Banting’s birthday. As one of the men credited with the discovery of insulin, I am more than happy to celebrate his birthday. Like too many others, I have seen what a person who lives without insulin can look like. That is just too terrifying not to celebrate the fact that this wonderful man made such an incredible discovery. It is a day to celebrate the fact that my child LIVES each day because of that isolated source of external insulin.

Someone suggested that this is just another day. We live in isolation. People do not understand the hardships no matter how much many of us try to educate them. I agree that most people don’t get it but every time just one person tries to learn. Every time one person asks just one question to educate themselves, that is one more person that we have reached. It is one more person that we have given a glimpse into what our lives are like. It is one more person who can begin to understand and work beside us.

November is Diabetes Awareness month. I admit that this year I have not been as loud or as “out there” spreading the word as I have in the past. As someone once told me, we have to do this every day not just one month out of the year and that is something that I try to do. I continue to work to educate and make people aware…one person at a time is a very good start.