Skip to main content

All diabetes is personal

Published: 12/31/07
6 readers recommend

All diabetes is personal: "How does it affect that one individual" is something we ask ourselves a lot. A solemn truth is that diabetes has become more and more global - an epidemic of our time that is reaching further into every country on every continent in the world. The task is channeling the specific human experiences into a lasting movement for improved care.

This issue of diaTribe spotlights global initiatives that we hope will be catalysts for change. The first United Nations World Diabetes Day was on Nov. 14. It was a genuine celebration of our unity, spirit, and perseverance – as well as a clear call for more resources, awareness, and education. From the blue lights that illumined iconic buildings across the globe, to the 246-step march in New York that represented how many millions of people worldwide have the disease, to the inspiring words of Dr. Martin Silink, President of the International Diabetes Federation, we hope this day did indeed represent a "tipping point" for our cause. There are an estimated 246 million people with diabetes globally - that compared to 33 million with AIDS and 25 million with cancer. All conditions should have advocates, but the speed at which diabetes is increasing makes us feel that ours needs even more attention from policymakers and insurers in particular.

In this issue, we have an inspiring interview with Dr. Francine Kaufman, who traveled to six continents over the past year for a documentary titled, "Diabetes- A Global Epidemic" - this premiered during the World Diabetes Day commemorations. Dr. Kaufman is widely known for her work with children and obesity. But in the hour-long documentary, which was narrated by Glenn Close and generously supported by Novo Nordisk, she shares with us stories both inspirational and heartbreaking from other countries and other cultures, and she reminds us of our daunting challenge. "No matter what," she said, "you would be hard-pressed to be on this planet without having diabetes affect your life." You can next see the documentary on December 18 at 8 am EST or you can watch it anytime. A preview of the documentary is on our diaTribe video news site.

diaTribe celebrates a fantastic first year anniversary. Please help us commemorate this milestone by filling out our short survey. We hope to continue growing from strength to strength with your valuable input.

It is no longer news that there is diabetes news every day; we always try to focus on how any given trial, experiment, or product will affect an individual patient. That's how we live it and breathe it. All diabetes is personal, and we are the main characters in our own little dramas... but our stage is truly worldwide. On this note, happy holidays to our global community.

Yours truly,

Kelly Close

Share this article