Monday, November 05, 2007

It Is a Big Deal

Here it is 5 days into November and I have failed to mention that it's National Diabetes Month.

I've said before that I would love to see a sea of gray (Gray, really? That's the color we got? Yep, we've just got to go with it.) in November much like the sea of pink we see in October. I'd like to sit down with whoever is in charge of Breast Cancer Awareness month and pick their brain.

Last November I asked everyone to post the diabetes ribbon in their sidebar. Even if you don't have a blog about diabetes, how about post the ribbon and at least mention it's National Diabetes Month.

So, here's the ribbon. Once again, I'd like you to copy, paste, and post.

Why should you blog about it? Why make a big deal about it?

A lot of people think they are just fine, you deal with it and move on. Some say, diabetes doesn't really affect me. I check my sugar and I give insulin and I move on. It's no big deal.

Problem is, it is a big deal.

** In the U.S., the number of deaths from diabetes is more than 180,000 each year – and climbing.

** In the U.S., the number of hospitalizations for diabetes is about 600,000 each year – and climbing.

** In the U.S., the number of people suffering from diabetes is about 16,000,000 – and climbing.

** Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that one in three American children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes during the course of their lives

That's just in the US people, let's look at the rest of the world.

**Ghana: Over 3.2 Million People Die of Diabetes Every Year; Go read this article and see if you still think it's no big deal.

**A person in Zambia who requires insulin has a life expectancy of 11 years. A person in Mali can expect to live 30 months. In Mozambique a person with Type 1 diabetes will die within one year of diagnosis.

If I lived in Mozambique , Riley would be dead by now. Not only that, but he probably would have suffered long before he died.

I've heard it said that we shouldn't complain. There are much worse diseases, incurable diseases even. I'd like to remind you that diabetes is incurable as well. In places like Mozambique the diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes is just as much a death sentence as a diagnosis of cancer or AIDS.

**Globally, at least one person dies every 10 seconds out of the disease.

**High Blood Sugar a Global Killer; go to this study done by Harvard to learn more.

Here's a few more statistics for you:

** Every 10 seconds a person dies from diabetes-related causes.

** 3.5 million deaths are attributable to diabetes each year.

** Diabetes kills as many people each year as HIV/AIDS

** Type 1 diabetes is growing by 3% each year. It is increasing the fastest among very young children.

** More and more children are developing Type 2 diabetes.

Let's touch on some complications that can develop from this disease, even if you have what is considered "good control", these complications can still happen to you.

**Diabetes is the leading cause of heart attack, stroke, blindness, amputation, and kidney failure.

**Diabetic retinopathy causes 12,000 to 24,000 new cases of blindness each year.

According to Prevent Blindness America (PBA), there are 5.3 million Americans age 18 and older with diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy affects the tiny blood vessels of the retina, causing them to break down, leak or become blocked. Unhealthy new blood vessels may also grow, distorting vision over time.

**2 out of every 3 people with diabetes will die from heart disease or stroke.

**4 people's legs are amputated every 3 seconds as a result of diabetic complications.

Yes, it is a very big deal, and it's our job to make people aware.

Please help spread the word. Feel free to use any of the statistics that I have posted here.

Here are some links where the information came from.,000-Cases-Of-Blindness-Every-Year.asp

(Edit: Allison pointed out that the Unite for Diabetes circle is much cooler than the boring gray ribbon. I agree. So, if you'd rather use the circle, here it is.)

Copy, paste, post.


Allison said...

Penny, I vote we completely get rid of that gray ribbon and focus on spreading the blue circle - which is the symbol of the Unite for Diabetes campaign. It's a much more attractive symbol, don't you think? And who says we need to have a ribbon, anyway? I think a blue circle helps us stand out amongst the crowd!

Penny said...


You are right. I like the blue circle much better.

I'll edit my post and put it in too.

Paige said...

Thanks for this, Penny. Great post.

Naomi said...

Very well written, Penny. I like the blue circle, too. It is aesthetically pleasing, and I think it captures attention much more than the ribbon. The ribbon is being used for everything. We need to stand out.

Shannon said...

I have the grey ribbon on my fridge. Must get it on my van!!

Once they get a blue circle out there, that'll go on too.

Thanks for this post~!

Vivian said...

Great post. I loved that you posted all those facts, they are very grabbing and sadly true.

Penny said...


I noticed the grey ribbon on your fridge in a picture on your blog. I have the ribbon on my car. It is the exact same as the ribbon in my blog. I noticed yours is written in cursive. I like it better. I'll be getting a blue circle too when I find one.


Those statistics are sad, but very, very true. The one that got to me the most was that in Mozambique if you are diagnosed with Type 1 you will be dead within a year. How horrible. Those poor people, those poor parents. We are truly blessed.