I was recently asked to consider mentoring a young teen with T1. After too little thought I accepted. I had a conversation with the parents. I had a conversation with an educator about the extreme difficulties children can encounter when circumstances go awry. And after a week or so, I bailed out.
I think I have a little bit of a guilt trip. But I shouldn’t. I have a full time job taking care of myself. And to balance the moral scales, I’m a kick-■■■ fund raiser for JDRF and ADA.
But it all raises a question - why does the direct diabetes community have to be the primary force pushing for advancements in treatment and/or/ a cure? Yes, there’s the obvious answer - they have the most at stake. But is this true for other diseases?
Take HIV/AIDS as an example. What untold millions of dollars is poured into research, treatment and prevention, and more importantly - who and what drives this effort? Tell me it’s mostly the directly effected community and I’ll shut up. HIV/AIDS is now very similar to T1. Both have moved beyond being 100% fatal. Both require lifetime regimens of medication. Both have super high fatality rates in the third world.
But HIV/AIDS garners huge press, huge government response, foreign aid, celebrity support. But T1 kids in Asia and Africa just fade away.
The kid I was asked to mentor had problems with BG control for years. No doubt ran high at school a lot. I’m a recent comer to diabetes. You all know how your brain works, or fails to work over 200, 300. I just can’t imagine how you all did it in school. You’re one tough crowd and I admire your fortitude if you made it through school. This kid may not. He’s been held back multiple times. He reads and writes far below his peers. The school district has deemed him learning disabled.
I don’t have a great redeeming message here. I think it all sucks. Give where you can. Take care of yourself.