Friday, February 28, 2014

While that's all fine and dandy..

It's been a year now, since this very nice man asked me to pull up my shirt, so he could insert this thingamajig into my tummy. I had no idea what to expect or if this device would be meaningful enough to me to have it glued to my body 24/7. I never asked to get diabetes, I never asked to be given this stupid chronic disease. But it's there, it ain't going nowhere and I have to own it to make a difference. I have accepted my condition a long time ago. Although a cure is not yet found, we have access to great technology nowadays. I wish all of my peers could have this same availability to whatever they need to keep their diabetes in control. Life is hard enough as it is.. We can use all the support out there. You may not really know what it's like to have diabetes, but a little bit of compassion and sympathy goes a long way.

Last night, I got a phone call from a very nice lady. She's Dutch and very smart, witty and enthusiastic. I told her it was too bad she didn't have diabetes, because now she couldn't join our club... Of course I didn't mean that (I would not want to nominate anyone for this bloody disease), but that's the kind of conversation we had: very open, spontaneous and honest. Although this lady is not a diabetic herself, she sure knows what she's talking about. It always startles me that non-diabetics make it their goal in life to help diabetics in whatever they find worthwhile.

So this lady and I talked for a while (...) and the conversation felt like I had known her for a long time. Her enthusiasm struck me. I was startled to hear about her determination in finding a cure for T1 diabetes. She knows people. She knows more than a handful of people - people that matter when it comes to finding a cure. She's a manager working for JDRF Holland and she's the one when it comes to fundraising, getting in touch with people who want to make the difference. I was happy she called me and I would be very honored if I could mean something to JDRF and all of us diabetics out there.

Insulin pumps are wonderful and Dexcom is the invention of the century for people with diabetes. While that's all fine and dandy: it's not a cure. We may seem very relaxed and coping, we all still have diabetes. Technology has improved massively and researchers all over the world are doing the best they can to come up with that cure that will kick diabetes in the butt. We need money though... a whole lot of money. Researchers are so close, but they need extra funding to finish what they have started.

That same night, I got another call from Holland. I met this lady a couple of years ago, on a diabetes congress in Brussels. I remembered her as a lady with pezaz, a driving force and most of all: a mom of a sweet little girl with diabetes. That girl is 9 years old now and a cure has not been found yet. It is time to spread the word again and sit around the table for a serious session of brainstorming. Are you with me?

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