As we continue through the month of November and diabetes awareness, I’ve been talking more and more to my young students about Nikki and all the things she has to do every day because of T1D. For the 3rd year in a row, I have the sweetest group of students and they love my daughters; so they are pretty much interested in anything or any story I tell about either Amber or Nikki. Because of this, it is easy to begin educating another generation of kiddos about T1D and Celiac Disease. They know the word diabetes and they know they want Nikki to stop having to poke her fingers, stomach and have shots all the time.
This coming Wednesday, November 14, 2012, is World Diabetes Day. November 14 is the birthday of Frederick Banting who, alongside Charles Best, discovered insulin in 1922. I’m proud to say that the school I work for is GOING BLUE. We are asking all parents, students, siblings, grandparents, and anyone else that is part of our school family, to dress completely in BLUE to show support for those battling this terrible disease.
Today I asked my class if they remembered what we are supposed to wear next Wednesday; they shouted BLUE. I asked them if they remembered WHY we are wearing blue. I was looking for someone to use the word diabetes in response. Instead, and in the typical fashion of sweet and honest 4 & 5 year old hearts, they all shouted “WE’RE WEARING BLUE FOR NIKKI!!!” Okay, so their answer was WAY better than the one I was looking for.
Some sobering facts about diabetes from JDRF:
- Diabetes affects nearly 24 million Americans (7.8 percent of the population)
- In the United States, a new case of diabetes is diagnosed every 30 seconds; more than 1.6 million people are diagnosed each year.
- Forty-one children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes each and every day.
- More than $174 Billion is spent annually on healthcare costs related to diabetes in the United States.
- Diabetes kills one American every three minutes.
I hope you will all wear blue on Wednesday, November 14. Teacher Turner and her kiddos will be.