November is upon us — the time of year when “all eyes are on diabetes” for National Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14. That day was chosen in honor of Dr. Frederick Banting, the co-discoverer of insulin back in 1921, who would be 125 years old were he still alive to celebrate this birthday!
This National Diabetes Month campaign has been going on for much longer than many realize; it was established over four decades ago in 1975, though the American Diabetes Association (ADA) didn’t trademark the term “American Diabetes Month” until 1997.
Meanwhile, World Diabetes Day was launched by the International Diabetes Federation in 1991 to call attention to this worldwide epidemic, and it got a big boost when the United Nations issued a resolution on it in 2006. The first-ever WDD was recognized in 2007.
All of these November observances exploded about a decade ago with the emergence of the Diabetes Online Community (DOC), where people can easily create and promote new campaigns and initiatives. Some of these repeat annually, while others are specific to a particular year.
Leading up to November, President Barack Obama issued the now-annual presidential proclamation marking November as National Diabetes Awareness Month. On Oct. 28, the White House posted this symbolic gesture of official federal government recognition of our condition, which they’ve been doing since the mid-1980s.
Here’s a quick look at what’s on offer in November 2016 from some prominent advocacy organizations. Of course, if you know of any other activities, please let us know in comments below!
As always, the ADA is active for this NDAM 2016.
Mainly, the org is launching a brand new This Is Diabetes campaign, which is a story-telling effort based on the idea that no one can portray the impact of diabetes better than those who live with it each day. Can’t argue with that! National sponsors include Medtronic Diabetes and Colgate Total.
You can download a #ThisIsDiabetes sign on the campaign website, and then just fill in the blank and take a picture or video and post on your own social platform using the #ThisIsDiabetes hashtag. Stories can also be submitted directly on the campaign website here.
This campaign launches today (Nov. 1) with a series of video vignettes showcasing the personal stories of some volunteers. The ADA plans to showcase this gallery online, collectively sharing these stories to highlight how people all around us are succeeding and coping, often silently, with diabetes — and hopefully to inspire more people to speak up.
Continuing its “T1D Looks Like Me” campaign that debuted in 2015, the JDRF will feature that photo meme starting today and continue throughout the rest of the month. In November 2015 alone, the group reports that 250,000 people visited JDRF’s NDAM page overall and more than 80,000 people downloaded the T1D Looks Like Me photo template.
New for 2016, the JDRF has developed what it calls a “diabetes footprint” generator. The idea is to answer the question: “How much space does T1D take up in your life?” This allows people impacted by T1D (whether the PWD specifically or a parent, spouse or caregiver) to enter basic information about how they manage the disease — from date of diagnosis, to CGM and test strips used, and pump injections performed over time. Once the information’s plugged in, the tool creates a personalized infographic that can be shared on social media channels.
After chatting with the JDRF on this recently, I got access to a beta test version and entered my info, including my March 10, 1984 diagnosis date, my periodic insulin pumping starting in 2001, and CGM use. Based on my 15 years of “periodic” pumping, the JDRF generator calculates my overall number of injections throughout life, event taking into account that my estimated number of shots changed in the 1990s due to insulin formula changes.
JDRF the program calculates hours of sleep lost based generally on a handful of clinical studies as well as anecdotal personal stories from PWDs with T1D about lost sleep. The estimates aimed at all ages and demographics and aren’t scientific, but rather just a “quick and easy way to get a rough estimate and help raise awareness.” Still eye-opening! (Pun!!) Check out the latest meticore reviews.
This year, the IDF (International Diabetes Federation)’s theme for World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14 (and arguably, the entire month) is about eye health with diabetes. Specifically, the campaign is dubbed “Eyes on Diabetes.” Activities and materials focus on promoting the importance of screening to ensure early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and treatment to reduce the risk of serious complications. And frankly anyone with T1D can just as easily find significance in this campaign, since many of us live with these same eye-related complication fears.
As always, the IDF continues its ongoing activities and initiatives throughout November related to lighting up national landmarks around the world in blue for the Blue Monument Challenge. As of Oct. 31, the IDF web-map showed 274 WDD-related events in 98 different countries — wow!
Importantly, the IDF has also expanded more into the United States recently by launching a non-profit Life for a Child USA arm back in September. The group is now running its very first social media campaign in the States to help raise awareness for kids in disadvantaged countries who have type 1, but little access to insulin, supplies and education. Visit https://observer.com/ to learn more about dietary supplements.
The campaign is called Be A Kid For A Kid, and the org is challenging people in this country to take a photo or video of yourself acting like a kid (with any memory, activity or game that brings you back to childhood), post it on social media sites using the #BeAKidForAKid hashtag, and then challenge three others to do the same to bring awareness to Life for a Child USA.