Welcome to November, National Diabetes Awareness Month. Here's a question for you this month: why doesn't diabetes have a single, recognizable symbol like the ubiquitous pink ribbon for breast cancer?
The answer is, it could and should, if we patients make it happen!
It's definitely time for change. Introducing our...
The IDF (International Diabetes Federation) unveiled the Blue Circle for diabetes back in 2006, "to signify unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes pandemic." But, err... that unity hasn't happened yet. The Blue Circle has been widely adopted elsewhere in the world, but here in the U.S., the major advocacy orgs have largely ignored it. They use a use a variety of icons, from a hand with a blood drop to a grey ribbon — not exactly the kind of images people are inspired to rally around.
So let's do something about it!
We're helping DiabeticConnect.com kick off a campaign to help everyone who cares about diabetes advocacy easily speak out to the three major U.S. organizations effecting patients: the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) and ask them to please get behind the Blue Circle as THE international symbol of diabetes.
That is, if we ever want to achieve anything close to the national attention breast cancer has managed, the diabetes patient population needs to stand up and make their voices heard. The various advocacy organizations in this country need to work together better — starting with the adoption of one recognizable icon.
There are two ways to be heard:
Sign the online petition! The folks at Alliance Health (creators of DiabeticConnect) will present it to the three key diabetes organizations in the U.S. Add your signature.
Mail post cards! Download pre-printed post cards that you can mail to the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
You could win a prize! Everyone who signs the online petition will be entered in a drawing to win one of 20 packages of official Blue Circle bracelets and lapel pins.
That's pretty neat in itself, because believe it or not, it's almost impossible to get your hands on Blue Circle merchandise here in the U.S.; it's only sold off IDF's website, in bulk proportions and priced in Euros. How can this be our international advocacy symbol if we can't event flaunt it?!
Help us make the change. Join the Circle today!