Monday, 9 July 2012

National Diabetes Week #NDW12

Today, I have learnt a very valuable lesson.


Yesterday, marked the launch of National Diabetes Week here in Australia.  The #NDW12 Campaign is "Let's Prevent Diabetes".

As a dedicated advocate for people with type 1 diabetes, the campaign title raised my hackles and had me tweeting and sending messages to insist that Diabetes Australia bodies use the words "type 2".

I watched as my fellow #T1D Mummas got upset about television coverage, banners on the bridges in Capital Cities, posters, news reports, Facebook posts and tweets.  And I saw the anger rise.  I started to feel ill.  I started to shake.  This is not what I wanted.  I didn't want to incite anger.  I want to bring about change.  I just want people to call a spade a spade - not a shovel.  I want to hear the words type 1, type 2 and gestational  EVERY time that diabetes is mentioned.

I AM disappointed that National Diabetes Week is #T2D focused.
I AM disappointed that DA were not using those two magic words - "Type 2".
I AM disappointed that a marvellous opportunity to educate about #T1D was lost.

But most of all, I am disappointed that we, the passionate ambassadors and advocates for #T1D, are being seen in a negative light.

There is a very, very fine line between advocacy and being seen as troublemakers.

How do we walk this tightrope without falling into the abyss?

"Advocacy is speaking, acting, writing with minimal conflict of interest on behalf of the sincerely perceived interests of a disadvantaged person or group to promote, protect and defend their welfare and justice"

By its very nature, advocacy is active.  It means doing something.  I cannot NOT do something.

Advocacy is what gets me up every morning and keeps me up most nights.  I want an amazing future for my child with type 1 diabetes. 

I do not want her to have to explain her disease to every person that she comes across.  I do not want her to spend her entire life explaining to people that she didn't get type 1 diabetes because of diet or lifestyle habits.  I do not want her to have to be constantly faced with the lack of knowledge and ignorance that the type 1 diabetes community has to face.

And THIS is why I do what I do.

I do not let type 1 diabetes rule our lives - far from it - on most days in our household, an outsider wouldn't even know that this charming disease resides here.  We go about our business.  We enjoy life to the absolute fullest.  We live.

And behind all that, I cross that tightrope.  I hold onto my balance bar.  And I hope and pray that I do not tumble over into the darkness that is bitterness and trouble making.

I am here to do good ...

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful blog. The work you do in advocacy is and ill be appreciated by so many children. Don't stop being who you are. Your passion and drive inspire others and will cause change!


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