World Diabetes Day is on the 14th of November, and this year the theme is Diabetes: Protect Our Future (for more on this, click here for Ash’s great write up).
Which is awesome. That relates to all of us, type 1, 2, gestational, LADA etc. Yay awareness! This day is an incredible initiative, as the campaign draws attention to issues that are of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public spotlight.
I have an issue with it this year.
When you look at the campaign, there are phrases such as:
“Diabetes and its complications are largely preventable”
(Not my type. Complications preventable? Absolutely! My diabetes? There is no way it could have been prevented)
“World Diabetes Day will promote greater awareness of the risk factors for diabetes and encourage best-practice sharing in diabetes prevention.”
(That’s great! Awesome! Doesn’t relate to me!)
Honestly, this makes me feel like crap and a little bit ignored.
There is a discussion of how type 1 is not preventable, but it is literally two sentences at the start here. This bit is in a subheading link, so unless you’re like me and extra keen to read everything about the campaign, you won’t see it. People like me aren’t the ones that need educating, it’s the regular people with no connection to the diabetes community that don’t know anything about it that need the educating! How are we going to educate the masses if an important distinction is hidden in a second subheading?
Even the freaking video has ‘diet and lifestyle’… ‘together we can change this’…
Good, great, thanks. The video on your main page not only completely disregards the type 1s sitting there watching it who did nothing to increase their risk, but also misses a vital opportunity to educate the typical person watching this 2 minute video.
The theme of 2009 – 2013 is education and prevention, but I feel like the education bit is completely discounted by the generalised use of ‘diabetes’ all over this campaign. How can we preach ‘education’ if WDD doesn’t educate people that type 1 isn’t preventable? I spend my life saying “No, it wasn’t my diet or lifestyle, my body just attacked itself one day”.
Just because we only make up 10% of diabetics worldwide (if that, it may be lower), doesn’t mean that we should be put under the same umbrella. Please don’t think that this post is saying ‘Ew type 2″, it’s anything but! We are all united in our common goal for more awareness. The diabetes community is a tight knit community, regardless of our type.
BUT I don’t like feeling ignored. I feel a bit weird getting on board with a campaign that can’t even be bothered to put a ‘type 2′ in front of anything to do with prevention.
I did nothing to cause this, why can’t we use this ‘education’ campaign to educate people about this?! What hope have I got in educating people if the IDF website doesn’t even put this distinction front and centre?!
I don’t know where I’m going with this blog post. Basically, I’m a bit cranky. How hard is it to put a ‘type 2′ in front of prevention, really? I give a lot of time and effort into the diabetes community, and I don’t like feeling ignored or pushed off to the sidelines.
I still love World Diabetes Day, I’m just not loving the campaign 100%!
EDIT: I did forget to say, there are cases of type 2 that can’t be prevented, these guys just lost the genetic lottery! An older friend of mine (hey Linda!) got type 2 in her late 30s, and she was incredibly fit and healthy. It’s more that type 2 CAN be preventable in a majority of cases, whereas there is no chance with a type 1. This is why I want type 2 in front of prevention. Please don’t think I’m type 2 bashing. I love you guys!