The accomplishments of Bret Michaels and Crystal Bowersox, made it a great week for 23.6 million Americans. For the record, I will casually watch a few minutes of both “Celebrity Apprentice” and “American Idol.” I’m not a fan of reality shows, but that is another topic for another day.
What is my reason for saying that it was a great week for the nearly 24 million I referenced to? Because Michaels, Bowersox, and I are a part of this group.
It doesn’t matter if we’re Type 1, Type 2, gestational, or LADA. We’re a community of people who look, act, and behave normally just like everyone else, but we’re a little different. We have to take care of our bodies differently, whether by insulin, oral medication, exercise, or all three together.
Bret winning “Apprentice” and Crystal finishing runner-up on “Idol” did a lot more than prove that people with diabetes are successful and can achieve great things. It also points out that diabetes can not be treated lightly or be ignored by our society. The Iowa Journal recently did a cover story on the state of physical education in the schools and the growing trend of children being overweight or obese. According to the American Diabetes Association’s 2007 report, 186,300 children have diabetes, while another 2 million are at risk in developing it.
Children with diabetes always tug at our emotional strings and propel us in the pursuit to make life easier for them. What is missing is that adults need as much emotional support and assistance as we live day to day with a chronic disease. Did you know that over 23.5 million from age 20 and older are diabetic?
That’s out of 23.6 million.
The point here is that we’ll spend our time, money, and efforts for children who are affected by diabetes, cancer, or multiple sclerosis, and yet we ignore that the fact that the majority of them who live with these ailments are adults.