Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Diabetes Isn't Bringing Sexy Back

I'm having trouble raising money for my Tour de Cure bike ride and it got me pondering why that is. A friend of mine did a run for cancer not long ago and she had no problems meeting her fundraising goal.

Diabetes versus cancer. Yeah, not as sexy. I don't know if this is due to successful propaganda from the media or if it's a personal problem, but diabetes just isn't as sexy as cancer.
To quote Amy Winehouse - "no, no, no!"
In this case, cancer wins the sexy
Diabetes isn't pink or sexy. It doesn't involve boobs or football players or cute t-shirts or catch phrases. Diabetes is about being grateful that you or your loved one wakes up in the morning. It's about the 3 am blood sugar checks, the low blood sugars, the needles. It's the smell of insulin on your hands after changing a pump site or filling a syringe. It's the depressing feeling that you're a pin cushion.

And this is pat of the problem when it comes to raising both money and awareness for diabetes. I'll admit that my knee jerk thought when I hear diabetes is fat people - people who should take better care of themselves but don't. I think lazy and that they have themselves to blame. In contrast, cancer is pink, it's sexy, it's strong people who didn't deserve the diagnosis. This isn't right, and I know it.

While weight clearly is a factor, both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles in the cause of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery.
2013 data
Diabetes is an expensive disease. An American Diabetes Association study found that in 2012, diagnosed diabetes cost the nation an estimated $245 billion, including direct medical expenses and the cost of reduced productivity. The number is up $43 billion (adjusted for inflation) from 2007, the last time the ADA crunched the numbers - a result of the growing number of people with diabetes. According to this study, people with diabetes spend an average of 2.3 times the amount people without diabetes spend each year on their health. That works out to an average of $13,700 a year per person, about $7,900 of which is directly attributed to diabetes.

With its increasing prevalence and high cost of treatment, diabetes places an enormous demand on the economic resources of the U.S. Approximately 20% of the nation’s health care dollars go to treating people with diabetes. Annual per capita medical spending for people with diabetes is more than two times that for those without diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90% to 95% of diabetes cases, has been found to be preventable through lifestyle or pharmacological interventions. The high cost associated with diabetes suggests that reducing incidence through prevention might lower lifetime medical spending and alleviate some of the future economic burden of treating diabetes.
Make it rain!
Your donation will help fund research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; deliver services to hundreds of communities; provide objective and credible information; and give voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes.

So - again, please donate to the American Diabetes Association by sponsoring my participation in Tour de Cure. You can donate here

Ps! I'll bike no matter what, because I'm a sucker for any good century.

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