Cure, schmure. (I have to stop naming these blog posts at 3am.)

April 5th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I watched a part of Diabetes Live on TV yesterday on CNBC.  (If you had any question before now, here is the official answer: yes, I am a diabetes nerd.)  I always forget this show exists; I guess that speaks volumes about the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the world today that we as diabetics get a whole TV show about it!  I don’t think type 1 diabetes is a major enough disease out there to garner its own show.  Nicole Johnson was the host—remember her?  The Miss USA who wears an insulin pump?  Brought back memories for me of when we had her poster on the office wall at camp. 

Watching the show left me with two questions: one that has an actual answer (I’m sure it’s out there someplace) and one that I thought was perfect blog fodder.  To demonstrate my new blogging skill and dexterity, I’m going to blog on the “actual answer” question today and on the other one tomorrow.  Whoa.

The JDRF and Mary Tyler Moore had a commercial with all kinds of kids with type 1 diabetes and their families.  Knowing the JDRF’s mission is to find a cure for type 1 diabetes, and knowing that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, it got me to wondering whether or not a cure is even possible for type 1 diabetes.  I know it doesn’t exist now, but I just wonder if it is even possible to cure any autoimmune disease.  I kind of don’t think so, and Google hasn’t yet told me I’m wrong.  (If you know of one, please share!!  Seriously; this kind of thing keeps me up at night.)

JDRF has raised so much money I just sometimes wonder if they are going after the wrong goal.  Of course all the kids on the commercial were joyfully hugging their parents and MTM, but I must say that after 22 years, I’m not looking for a cure.  I want all the best research on treatment, but a cure is not on my priority list.  It isn’t on any of my lists.

I was ten when diagnosed, and I was so excited and so hopeful when all the literature that passed in front of me related to diabetes said “cure within 5 years”.  22 years later, I still see “we are so close to a cure” a number of places.  I guess I’m bitter about that misplaced hope and misdirected energy.  I think that saying there is a cure or that a cure is close fosters a bad reaction. 

If you think you just have to hold off dealing with your disease for a couple years and you’ll no longer have diabetes, no kid is going to deal with their disease.  Type 1 diabetes doesn’t get better.  It only gets easier to live with after you can realistically fit it into your life, learn to live with it and ultimately accept your disease.

Let’s make that acceptance our new goal.  So much simpler, and so much more rewarding.  And POSSIBLE.

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1 comment

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