Ninjabetic – Insulin for All
November 14, as many of you know, marks World Diabetes Day. World Diabetes Day is celebrated throughout the world by people living with diabetes, their friends and families and their carers. It is a day when we raise awareness for the relentless and demanding condition that we live with 24/7, the seriousness of living with a long term illness that requires careful attention to detail, meticulous planning and a lifetime of dedication.
World Diabetes Day is celebrated on November 14 for a reason. On this day we celebrate the Birthday of Frederick Banting who, alongside Charles Best, discovered insulin in 1921. Around the globe, on this day, we raise awareness and understanding by campaigning, by advocating and by creating new ways to spread the message for what it is like to live with the challenge that is diabetes.
One campaign that has really stood out for me, and that I fully support, is ‘Insulin for All – Let’s Put the World back into World Diabetes Day’. This campaign has been created by T1International and The Pendsey Trust who have joined forces to create the charity partnership, The Access Alliance. Together, with your help, we can all fight for access to healthcare, education, insulin and medical supplies for all people living with Type 1 diabetes worldwide.
Together, with your help, we can all fight for access to healthcare, education, insulin and medical supplies for all people living with Type 1 diabetes worldwide.
Whilst reading up on this campaign, I realised just how important this movement is when it hit home that thousands of people die every year through not having lifesaving insulin. How can this be? The sad reality is that, in many countries, insulin just isn’t affordable and people are struggling to survive because of that. Diabetes is treatable, yes, but without insulin, innocent lives are lost.
As I look down at my insulin pump, casually on the sofa next to me, I realise how often I take what I have for granted. At the touch of a button I can have my insulin delivered to me via a tube, via the latest in diabetes technology, barely lifting a finger. To think of those who are suffering from deadly high blood glucose levels, trying to survive on what little insulin they have at the time, it fills me with sadness.
Someone said to me recently; “Sadly getting diabetes isn’t means tested.” This was said to me a few days before I gave a talk to a pharma company about living with diabetes. The talk was designed to give senior leaders a taste of what it’s like to live with diabetes so that they can think about what they are doing day-to-day and if it’s supporting people with diabetes. Now I wish that instead of me being up on that stage in front of them, it was someone else. Someone who isn’t as fortunate as I am to have insulin whenever I need it. Towards the end of the talk I was asked the question; “What can we do to make things better for people with diabetes?” My only answer, my top priority, was to make diabetes treatments affordable in order for people to live their lives. If they took anything away from the talk, I hope that was it.
The Insulin for All’ campaign itself has highlighted this as a pressing issue that needs addressing and what better day for it to go viral than on the Birthday of one of the men who discovered our lifesaving insulin. One of their key messages is “We want to inspire action within the diabetes and global community to find sustainable solutions to these life and death issues for people living with diabetes worldwide.”
Can you join them in growing this movement? Can you contribute towards raising awareness for those who are suffering? All they ask is that you submit an image, just like the ones below, and spread the word with them. Use the hashtag #insulin4all and upload your images to http://insulin4all.tumblr.com/.
No one chooses to have Type 1 diabetes. It is thrust upon us and we have to live with it, but we should always have the chance to live with it. Insulin and diabetes supplies give us that chance.