Okay, so like many of you I am sure, I try to make up creative, cute little titles for my posts. Post titles are the book covers of the blogpsphere and I am all about judging by them in real life so why not apply that life lesson to the internet? And that’s just what I did this time. So while it may not be cute and funny in that obvious way most people seem to like TRUST ME, it really is. The reason why you are immune to this particular brand of cute, you ask? Well, you don’t have to deal with that ever so misunderstood disorder known as Diabetes. Type 1 Diabetes to be exact.
Now before you stop reading and start letting what you THINK you know about Diabetes take over, hear me out. In order to get EVERYONE up to speed check out this VERY informational infographic: http://www.type1design.com/infographic .
Learn something new? I bet most of you did. Any of you suddenly feel a sharp pang of guilt when you were reminded of some Diabetes related joke that you told and now know was completely wrong and really not that funny? I bet a few of you did. Now I’m not blaming you for it. It’s really not your fault and rest assured that you are most certainly NOT the the only one. Personally, I blame Wilfrod Brimley. That old walrus has been the source of much annoyance for me and others who struggle with Type 1 Diabetes on the daily. Just so you know, he doesn’t represent or speak for ALL of us. I think if the Diabetes community , both Type 1s and Type 2s, were to ever decide on a spokesperson, we wouldn’t have chosen an octogenarian with what I can only assume is some sort of speech impediment or bone disease that doesn’t allow him to pronounce the word Diabetes correctly (It’s DiabetEES you old coot!!!).
All the misinformation and tactless jokes may not be deliberate but they do have far reaching, albeit unintended, consequences. I mean be honest, if you thought that a disease was caused by someone eating too much candy, would you donate any money to finding a cure? Type 1 Diabetics already get the short end of the research funds stick because we make up only about 5% of the total Diabetic population. That means the majority of research funds goes towards Type 2 research and while they share the same name (remember the infogrpahic???), they are VERY different. SO, Type 1 is my cause. And the way I would like to improve the lives of the millions of Type 1 Diabetics out there: BIKES!!!
That’s not a typo people. I really did say BIKES!!! My idea would be to organize college aged Type 1 Diabetics into teams and have these teams cycle cross country to raise money for Type 1 research and support groups(And the country I am referring to is the USA. Don’t want people thinking I’m talking about Chile or anything). For the select few who might be thinking that this sounds a lot like a little thing called Bike&Build well by golly you B&Bing sons of bitches, you’d be right! ( http://bikeandbuild.org/cms/ Check it out. Thank me later) I was lucky enough to be part of a Bike&Build cross country bike trip and it completely opened my eyes to the power of active community involvement from a small group of kick ass and dedicated people. My Type 1 cross country ride would take teams of college teens and help them manage their Diabetes while cycling the country. Along the way they would raise money, educate communities, AND inspire other even younger Type 1s that other people like them are doing awesome shit and so can they.
It’s hard to explain what a Type 1 life is like to those who just don’t have to deal with. Let’s just say that it’s disappointing. And frustrating. Type 1 is typically ,although not exclusively, diagnosed when a person is young. From infants that are only months old all the way to 17 year olds and even beyond. Those years are tough enough. Tack on the Type 1 and well, you get a kid that is not only accustomed to disappointment but actually expects it on a regular basis. Not to mention all the emotional and psychological baggage that comes with being SO different from everyone else. And it’s not just the kids. Parents hurt too. The constant worrying if their child has had enough food, if they had too much food, did they take their insulin, did they take too much insulin. It’s a struggle to say the absolute least.
That’s why I would love to teach Type 1 kids, young adult Type 1s, their parents, and the world that while Type 1 is rough life with it is far from impossible. My cross country trip with Bike&Build taught me SOO much about myself and my Type 1. And it was just an awesome fucking experience, Biking the ENTIRE 4222 miles from Charleston, SC to Santa Cruz, CA (Yea we took the scenic route). Being with 29 other awesome crazy kids. Getting into shenanigans you can only get into when you are doing a cross country bike trip. It’s something I think EVERYONE could really benefit from but Type 1 teens and young adults especially. Traveling with people that KNOW and have gone through what they’ve gone through. Telling people their stories. And just being the role models that little Type 1 kids have always wanted to meet. All while making money to cure and support others like them. Only words I can think of to accurately describe something like that would be: FUCKING EPIC.
Well, that would be my cause. Helping Type 1 kids just be kids. If anything I hope some of you none Type 1s learned something new. And remember to take it easy with the jokes. Except the ones about Wilford Brimely. That ass hat has them coming.