A Strange Question

I was speaking to another mother of a child with D today about Walk of Hope. I had invited her daughter to come out and walk as well as to be included in my Faces of Hope presentation. I didn't even ask for a donation because I knew they participated in a JDRF walk.

She said she had never heard of The Iacocca Foundation. I wasn't surprised. I'm sure plenty of people haven't. So, I gave her the whole spiel I usually do. It was founded by Lee Iacocca whose wife died at the age of 57 from complications brought on by Type 1 diabetes, and so on and so forth.

Then, she asked, "So does all of the money from The Iacocca Foundation go just to the children too?"


I think I just stood there a second. I didn't really know what to say.

I said, "Well, it goes to research to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes."

Then she said, "I know that all of JDRF's money goes to the kids. And, the ADA usually gives their money to adults."

I said, "Well, the money given to The Iacocca Foundation goes to research to find a cure for kids and adults with Type 1 diabetes."

I didn't know what else to say. She said, "That's nice." And, that was the end of our conversation.

As I was walking to my car I was thinking, "All of the money goes to the kids? What does that mean?"

Then, I remembered a comment I had read on tudiabetes by someone (an adult with Type 1) who said she went to a local JDRF meeting and was told that it was just for the parents of kids with Type 1. She was saying that she didn't support JDRF because all they care about is the children with Type 1 and their parents. At the time I didn't think much of it.

But, now, I'm just befuddled. How can the money just go to kids? If they find a cure are they only going to let the kids have access to it? Do they think that once someone reaches adulthood their D just disappears? Do they think only kids develop Type 1?

I've never thought of Type 1 as a kid's disease. Kids grow up to be adults, adults with Type 1 diabetes. It would be great if they outgrew it, but they don't.

There is enough division between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Do we really need to break Type 1 into sub-categories?

Sorry, the question just blew my mind. I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on what she said.

I guess maybe they never should have called it juvenile diabetes. It must mess a lot of people up to realize that it is not something we grow out of - or like me get shortly after my 21st birthday.

I don’t know if you can access it but someone else just posted something very similar on another message board I post on: http://www.diabetesdaily.com/forum/blog.php?b=835

Many curebie organizations focus on kids to raise funds. I would never donate to any of them.
They create the impression in the general public that those conditions are in children only, that onset happens only in childhood, that children with that either stagnate or die before adulthood.
I see that as an autistic adult and I see that as a diabetic adult.

I can’t say I’m completely surprised. For those of us not living with diabetes (or caring for a child with diabetes) it’s easy to not consider what happens when the child/teen turns into an ‘adult’. The disease doesn’t magically vanish or turn into ‘old-age’ diabetes. It’s still Type 1/Juvenile diabetes.

That’s why I’m working on raising funds for a type 1 cure. It will help me, and it will help all those families who have a child with type 1. I’m an old seasoned and wizened so I can put up with all the crap that comes with diabetes. But I can’t imagine how parents can stand it.

Sorry I’m rattling on. Bottom line is that JDRF is focused on research towards a cure. We’ll all benefit if they actually find one.