It's blue circle day. The symbol was adopted in 2007 by the United Nations to represent worldwide unity in the fight against diabetes. Progress has been made since World Diabetes Day's inception, including better technology, increased awareness, and more organizations at work to help people with diabetes. Those building blocks of progress give me hope.
I even catch myself thinking about the end-game for this whole diabetes thing. It's quite possible that within the thus-far elusive 10 year window my daughter will be able to go about her business with little to no concern about diabetes. The advent of a true artificial pancreas now seems inevitable. Smart insulin and other pharmaceutical advances will make life simpler and safer for people with all types of diabetes. There are an increasing number of paths towards biological cure therapies. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have hope for my child.
Yet for too many people that light is a mere glimmer, if they can see it at all. Parents are wondering how they'll afford the next vial of insulin. Children in third world countries are travelling hundreds of miles to diabetes clinics. Grandparents are choosing between food and prescriptions. Families are suffering physically and emotionally because they do not have access to even the most basic diabetes care: a knowledgeable physician, a glucometer with enough supplies, and the pharmaceuticals they need.
So for me the question becomes, what needs to happen so that all of us are really united in that blue circle of diabetes, so that all of us can have hope? I can't wrap my answer up in a tidy bow for you today, but I can tell you that there is no shortage of organizations at work on behalf of people with diabetes here in the US and around the world:
International Diabetes Federation
Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition
American Diabetes Association Advocacy
These organizations and many more (if I've left out one you feel passionately about, feel free to comment below) are finding ways to provide hope for those for whom diabetes is a hardship in ways many of us can only imagine. If World Diabetes Day Resolutions are a thing, then I resolve to find another way to be involved this year in advocating for the basic diabetes needs of all people with diabetes to be met. Everyone with diabetes deserves to have hope.