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[IP] Re: Diabetic walking to south pole to raise money/Tammy's thoughts

In a message dated 10/12/02 7:37:17 AM, email @ redacted writes:

<< Here's my problem with a diabetic doing extraordinary things such as
walking to the south pole, etc. that we hear about.   When your son gives
his report and mentions the person has diabetes, it gives people the
impression that if you can do something this magnificent and adventurous,
etc., that diabetes must not be that limiting or that serious of a disease.
I mean, this is one person out of a million doing this.  But the kids won't
stop to think about that - they'll just get the message that a diabetic can
do anything - and they can't.  Let's face it.  This guy's going to have
numerous problems a person without diabetes doesn't have to give a 2nd
thought to.  I'm sure he's taken all kinds of precautions so his insulin
won't freeze, extra carbs, extra diabetic supplies, etc., but he has to
give much, much more thought and deliberation into making this walk than a
non-diabetic and it just doesn't lend itself to getting people to donate
money for research, fund raisers, etc.!
, when we have things like this happening.  Just my thoughts. Also, while I
at it - I don't like the message the Am. Diabetes Assn puts out that "you
may have diabetes and not know it".  Again, people think - well, it can't
be THAT bad if you can have it and not KNOW it.  As we all know, when our
children are diagnosed, we know it within days OR THEY'RE DEAD!  Two of
mine almost were.  So they need to get a new slogan - what they're talking
about, I'm sure, is TYPE II, - they kind that can be PREVENTED!  Both of
these things I have brought up mislead the public.  And that's why we're
not getting the funds for research.   Tammy >>

You have a good point about the south pole walker and public perception. I 
don't think it's a reason to not do it, I think it's a reason for us to 
educate and advocate more.
My husband says, "It's not like it's going to help anything by saying 'let's 
just sit here and be ordinary.'" I love him!
I also had another take that might be worth considering.
I think the reason walking to the south pole to raise money is exraordinary 
for this person is because he is diabetic. That's the whole point. I ran a 
marathon to raise money, and people were more impressed that I did it having 
diabetes than if I hadn't because of the extra effort it took to control my 
disease and accomplish the goal. So, I don't think the impression all people 
get is that these lofty goals are "easy" for people with diabetes. I think 
sometimes the opposite is true. In fact, sometimes I think people think it's 
more difficult than it actually is for people with diabetes to do something 
others view as outrageous.
All we can do is educate people and hope for the best. I remember being at 
the marathon starting line with a diabetic friend and a non-diabetic who was 
watching us set our temporary basals and testing, etc. and she said, "Wow, 
you guys really have a lot more to consider in doing something like this, 
don't you?" She really got it. It was great. 
As for your thoughts on Type 2s, I agree with George. It is not easy having 
Type 2 nor can it always be prevented so I think having compassion for each 
other is more important than competing for attention or suggestions that one 
type is more important than the other. As for the ADA, I do wish the 
organization did a better job of distinguishing the types and educating about 
them. But I also understand that appealing to the masses (most are Type 2s) 
is part of any good publicity campaign and they must do this to accomplish 
the bulk of their mission. Also, I don't think people think a disease is less 
serious if you don't know about it. Many people can have cancer and not know 
and I don't know one person that thinks cancer is no big deal.
Again, all we can do is our part in education and awareness and advocacy and 
hope for the best.
dxed T1 9/92, pumping since 1/02
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