Breakthrough Patient Recruitment

: Move Over Movember: November is also National Diabetes Month

Move Over Movember: November is also National Diabetes Month

Recruitment Specialist

We're about done with November, and you know what that means! No, not eating turkey and the end of Movember facial hair-okay, not JUST eating turkey and the end of bad facial hair-but it's also the close of American Diabetes Month. This month is filled with events aimed at raising awareness and funds to help find a cure for this disease; however, diabetes still does not get nearly the amount of exposure that it deserves. One in every 12 people across the globe has either type-1 or type-2 diabetes. But how much is being done in the fight?

Diabetes is the third highest cause of disease-related death, but the amount of  donations it receives is second to last on the list of funds raised through popular fundraisers. Diabetes is often not regarded as a lethal disease by unaffected persons because there are prevalent treatment options for the disease. But, this doesn't change the fact that every 7 seconds someone dies from diabetes. On top of that, people with diabetes are more prone to cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease, and eye problems like retinopathy, among other conditions.

Worldwide prevalence of diabetes is increasing every year and is being diagnosed at younger and younger ages. The CDC reports that there is no sign of this trend stopping. From 2001 to 2009, the number of diabetes cases diagnosed in children younger than age 20 increased 23 percent for type-1 cases and 21 percent for type-2, and the causes for both are entirely different. Type-1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and type-2 diabetes is caused when bodies do not properly produce insulin, the cause of which can be linked to sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets. The stigma surrounding the latter makes the disease seem more treatable; however, the toll this takes both physically and financially can be strenuous. For someone diagnosed with type-2 diabetes while they are in the age range of 25 to 44 years old, it is estimated that they will be spending $124,700 to $130,800 in lifetime medical costs that are directly related to diabetes. Yikes!

Shirts

 

November 14 was World Diabetes Day, which is led by the International Diabetes Federation. The federation sponsored a "blue circle selfie" campaign on social media. Various organizations like Rotary International and the World Health Organization, participated in the Go Blue for Breakfast event, which promoted healthy eating and diabetes awareness. Other events have been going on this month like Smash Diabetes, which is a pumpkin-bashing campaign on social media that also encourages donations for diabetes research. However, as with any disease featured during an "awareness month," it's important to remember that diabetes doesn't go away when December begins. There are events year-round to spread awareness and raise money to help find both better treatment options and a cure for this disease. I have been participating in JDRF Walks for the past several years, which allow people to see those who are benefitting from these efforts in communities across the country (plus, you get to make cool tee-shirts, like the ones pictured). The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's research is also currently working to develop a vaccine for type-1 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association hosts the Tour de Cure cycling event series, which has race locations across the United States. There are tons of ways to get involved on a local scale as well! I'm going to go beat up a pumpkin now…

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