I Will Happily Shoulder the Burden of Diabetes

I can still remember something that my Mum once told me. It was shortly after I was diagnosed with diabetes. And it was something that I don’t particularly like to think about. We were sitting at the dinner table one night talking about diabetes, my outlook for the future and the hope that there would be a cure in my lifetime. And then Mum told me that she wished she could take my place. She wished that she could have insulin injections instead of me.

As kind a sentiment as it was, I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse. The thought of my Mum having diabetes scares me. The thought of seeing any of my family members develop diabetes scares me. There was a time where my brother was feeling a bit deviod of energy, and I was jumpy. I was scared out of my mind that he could have diabetes, too.

I know how physically exhausting it is to deal with this disease day in, day out. I feel the trainwreck of emotions that diabetes puts me through every single day. And diabetes sends me jumping through an infinite number of hurdles that life throws at me.

I live, and deal with diabetes day in and day out. I know that I am more than capable of living, and dealing with diabetes each and every single day. And truth be told, I am happy to be the one to shoulder the burden of diabetes in life. I will gladly be the one in my family to have diabetes. If it means that I won’t ever have to see someone I love go through what I have to each day, then having diabetes will all be worth it. And if there is something that I can do to prevent others out there in the world from going through what I do each day, then I am all for it.

The International Diabetes Federation’s Call to Action on Diabetes campaign has caught my attention on social media over the weekend. The campaign calls on us to reach out to our political leaders on Twitter and urge them to take action on Sustainable Development Goals (#SDG) that will help to prevent the global epidemic of diabetes. To help minimise some confronting diabetes statistics like these:

  • 387 million people have diabetes; by 2035 this will rise to 592 million
  • The number of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing in every country
  • 77% of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries
  • The greatest number of people with diabetes are between 40 and 59 years of age
  • 179 million people with diabetes are undiagnosed
  • Diabetes caused 4.9 million deaths in 2014; Every seven seconds a person dies from diabetes
  • Diabetes caused at least USD 612 billion dollars in health expenditure in 2014 – 11% of total spending on adults
  • More than 79,000 children developed type 1 diabetes in 2013
  • More than 21 million live births were affected by diabetes during pregnancy in 2013

Join the Action on Diabetes campaign by visiting www.idf.org/action-on-diabetes and tweeting out a message like this one:

The type of diabetes I have may not be preventable, but others are. And if there is something I can do to prevent others from going through what I have to each day, then I am all for it.

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