It's a little bit amazing how one ripple can turn into a giant wave, and how many times that multiplying effect can happen. (In the diabetes online community, the answer to that question seems to be "often".)
Jean Claude Mbanya, president of the International Diabetes Federation, spoke at last week's Roche Social Media Summit. While I may not have heard him speak in person, thanks to the Diabetes Hands Foundation's UStream channel, I did get to watch the video.
And so should you - seriously, go watch it.
It wasn't just the passion with which Mr. Mbanya spoke that impressed me - but boy, does he have a bunch of it. What moved me was what he had to say, his outrage at the current state of global accessibility to medicine, and the determination he has to change that.
And his outrage became my outrage.
To (probably poorly) paraphrase Mr. Mbanya, it's ridiculous that 90 years after insulin was discovered, people are still dying from diabetes due to lack of access to it. As much as I may vent, whine, complain, whatever about life with diabetes, there's a point to be made: I am, indeed, LIVING with it. I am able to obtain insulin when I need it, and I'm able to keep it at the right temperature. I have access to doctors; to pharmacies; to knowledge and education. Not everyone in the world with diabetes has access to these things.
So what can we do about it?
One way is to grab the attention of world leaders; to make non-communicable disease prevention and treatment a priority. In that spirit, the International Diabetes Federation has recently launched an initiative called "O is for Outrage", which you can check out here. Here's a summary of what they're trying to accomplish, taken from the IDF's website:
We are asking the US President to show the world that he is committed to the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). This topic is the subject of the UN's second summit on global health issues [on September 19th]. Having President Obama attend will inspire other leaders to take this issue seriously because "we do not want the world to sleepwalk into a sick future that is avoidable" (Ann Keeling, IDF CEO).The IDF is offering to mail a postcard to President Obama on your behalf, to ask him to attend this summit in September. You can choose from the wording suggestions they have there (most of which, honestly, I wasn't very comfortable with), or write your own card.
Let your voice be heard - that diabetes is worth paying attention to. That WE are worth paying attention to.
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And now, for this week's You Can Do This Project giveaway
(sponsored by Hope Paige Medical) winner...
Congratulations, Aliza! Please send an email to me (at firstname.lastname@example.org) with your phone number and the email you'd like Hope Paige Medical to use when they contact you
about your free medical ID! Thanks to everyone for entering the contest this week -
we'll do this again on July 14th/15th!