Diabetes Awareness Month!

As you may know, I am always a fan of the underdog: you know that girl (or guy) who you’re secretly rooting for in that new romantic comedy, because she (or he) is always getting the short end of the stick. Why shouldn’t they get the fame and glory?! I mean, they work just as hard as the main character, if not harder…am I right or what? Ah, end rant and back to my point.

This may come as a surprise but November is Diabetes Awareness Month! Hurray! Check out this video with the ever-so-sexy Victor Garber as the voiceover:

This awareness campaign is heavily overshadowed by the oh-so-popular Canadian Movember phenomenon for men’s prostate cancer and overall awareness for men’s health. Of course, men’s health is very important and the idea that men all over Canada are growing — while some are attempting to grow — quite horrendus caterpillars above their upper lip for charity is a fun and great way to raise awareness and funds. However, I want to stand up for the little guy today.

Diabetes, specifically Juvenile or Type 1 Diabetes, is the number one cause close to my heart. At the tender age of five years old, my baby sister — well, now she’s 16 and a half years old– was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

hey sister

In the summer of 2001, after returning from a trip out West to visit some of my mom’s family, my parents decided to bring her into the hospital to get Victoria checked out. She had been super cranky — still is– always thirsty and something just didn’t seem right. I remember it was around Halloween when I found out about my sister’s diagnosis and I remember somberly telling my sixth grade friends about how she “probably won’t be able to eat any Halloween candy” and you know, that’s a super serious issue. Ah, ignorance.

Well, now I know much more about Type 1 or Juvenile diabetes and I want to spread the factoids about it so any sort of myths or assumptions can be completely dispelled — vamoose! Just call me Criss Angel.

  • Unlike Type 2, Type 1 Diabetes means your pancreas has failed to work properly and is pretty inconsistent about dispensing that insulin you need desperately to regulate glucose levels in that sexy body of yours.
  • In Type 2 Diabetes, your pancreas has been altered due to poor eating habits and an unhealthy lifestyle. Type 1 means IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. You probably inherited some sort of funky gene or chromosome or whatever from your parents, so…blame them! Just kidding, let’s try to stay positive here…and I’m not really a geneticist.
  • YOU CAN EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT — except for that thing you’re allergic to, obviously — as long a) it’s in moderation (really, this should be a rule for everyone), b) you correct with insulin afterwards and c) you monitor your blood sugar regularly.
  • You can play sports/participate in physical exercise…it’s not like you need to live like bubble boy. Extra precautions just need to be taken to ensure low blood sugar doesn’t occur…so eat, girl, eat.
  • Just because Juvenile Diabetes sounds like kids only get diagnosed, people at any age can be diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. Juvenile Diabetes is just called “juvenile” because it is most commonly diagnosed at a young age or even in teenagers and young adults.
  • If you want more info — or information that is more science-y — hit up the interwebs or go to http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=105381 for more factoids.

There are NINE MILLION Canadians living with diabetes or pre-diabetes…that means ONE IN FOUR Canadians! Let’s find a cure for the little guy, so we can all live a better, healthier life!

xx

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