(aka, getting pinned on the ADA show floor).
Alongside the red ribbon for AIDS and the pink ribbon for breast cancer, diabetes now has its own simply recognizable symbol that you can pin to your lapel to show support and promote awareness. The little circle, brainchild of Kari Rosenfeld of the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) and her daughter Clare, now stands large as the symbol of "Unite for Diabetes," a worldwide campaign for a United Nations Resolution on diabetes. (The blue color is meant to evoke the color of the sky).
So what you're lobbying for by wearing this pin is urging various governments to pass the UN Resolution, which calls for:
- awareness and education regarding the "devastating human, social, and economic impact of diabetes, especially on low and middle income countries
- underscoring its impact on the most vulnerable and "special needs" groups such as young children, the elderly, indiginous peoples, migrant people from developing nations and diabetes during pregnancy
This shook me up a bit. Living in the relative wealth and comfort of the US, it's easy to whine about shortcomings of our health care coverage and the day-to-day frustrations of diabetes -- while forgetting about the havoc this disease wreaks on people in less fortunate parts of the world.
Get this, from the IDF/ADA briefing today:
"Diabetes today affects more than 200 million people worldwide.
It claims more lives per year than HIV/AIDS, killing a person every 10 seconds (!)
Yet awareness of the global scale of the diabetes threat remains pitifully low."
Get yourself a blue circle pin if you can. It's the least we can do. Info about the campaign and logo downloads are available here.