Be The Change You Want To See

May 3rd, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I was happy to be a part of the Diabetic Youth Foundation’s FUNraiser this weekend and I had a great time walking with the families and kids.  Thanks, DYF!

Before we launched on our walk, one boy stood up and started talking about how much camp had changed his family and his (type one) brother’s life for the better.  He made some comment about his brother’s classmates initially thinking diabetes was contagious when his brother was first diagnosed.

We all kind of laughed when he said that… who could be so silly to think diabetes is contagious?!

But I’ve been thinking about it ever since!!  I don’t remember anyone ever asking me if my diabetes was contagious, but I guess I can see how some not in the know can think diabetes is contagious… radio and TV commercials area always mentioning “diabetes” (of course, those are almost 100% of the time directed towards those living with type 2, not type 1 diabetes) only proliferate the staggering amount of mis-information.

That said, I quickly did a google search for “diabetes contagious” and I am really disappointed by what I found!!

I found a lot of replies on general question sites that involved phrases like “is stupidity contagious?!” and “please don’t be so ignorant” and some really sarcastic things I seriously doubt someone would say as a response in real life.  (At least, I hope they wouldn’t!)

Now seeing THAT kind of thing upsets me.

Listen, I’m just as frustrated as the next person living with type one about the misinformation out there about “diabetes” and I feel just as gypped out of a full name that doesn’t have to share the disease name with an older larger sibling taking all of the gloryI’m just as tired of answering the “can’t have sugar” questions and I’d be just as happy to have no one look at me as they ask me again “but you aren’t overweight…?”

But really?  Answering an honest question about either type of diabetes with disdain and mockery?

We can do better than that.

We need to take steps if we want to eliminate the misinformation out there.  Yes, WE need to be the ones to explain what life really is like.  WE need to do it—no one else can.

It comes back to being the change we wish to see in the world—one little step and one little answer at a time.

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