Stop Diabetes

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Some Type 1 Diabetics might disagree with me and I might ruffle some feathers but I have to admit that I have beef with the ADA (American Diabetes Association).  Having said that, I do think the ADA is great.  They are doing a lot of great advocating for diabetes and provide a lot of great information.  I was jealous that I missed their Scientific Sessions conference a few weeks back.  I followed the conference on Twitter and it did seem like they provided a lot of great information in their sessions.

My beef with the ADA though is that their slogan is to “STOP DIABETES.”  I have diabetes but I can’t stop my diabetes.  I wish I could.  How easy would life be if I could just stop it.  I would love to stop worrying about counting carbs.  I would love to stop pricking my finger or inserting my CGM sensor or my infusion set.  I would love to stop the guilt I have from having a bad day with my blood sugars and eating.  I would love to STOP DIABETES.  However, I can’t.  Nothing I can do can stop it.  It’s here in my life; it’s not going away.  The only way I can STOP DIABETES would be to time travel to the future, five years from now, when there is a cure.  But since time travel doesn’t exist as far as I know, I can’t STOP my diabetes.

I used to live in Northern Virginia and would go to the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center hotel often because they had a restaurant there that I liked (Finn and Porter has amazing sushi!).  This hotel was also near ADA’s headquarters and they would have meetings at this hotel fairly often.  I would go for dinner and I would see the ADA signs to Stop Diabetes.  This used to ruffle my feathers.  We moved away from the area so I wasn’t around the Stop Diabetes campaigns all that often anymore.  But then I went into a Subway and I noticed that they also have signs up from the ADA to “Stop Diabetes.”  I’m not sure if this is every Subway or just the one that I went to but again it angered me.

Sure, the majority of diabetics are Type 2 and they probably can stop their diabetes.  To be honest, I don’t know all that much really about Type 2 other than the basics and possible stereotypes that may or may not be right.  Maybe Type 2 diabetics can stop their diabetes.  If that’s the case, that’s awesome.  If it’s not the case, why does the ADA continue to have that as their slogan?  I went to the ADA website and they have statistics for diabetes but they don’t determine how many are Type 1 versus Type 2.  They do say on a different page that Type 1 is only 5% of all diabetes cases.  Type 1 and Type 2 are different.  You can’t stop Type 1.  Putting the two diseases together doesn’t make any sense and if you are an organization representing both Type 1 and Type 2 but have your slogan as something that only relates to one of the types. Sure 5% isn’t much, but it is over 1 million people.  1 million people who can’t stop their diabetes.

I know people have petitions to have the Type 1 diabetes name changed or diabetes in general changed to have Type 1 and Type 2 differentiated more and I am torn on my opinion.  I see both sides of the arguments.  The only thing that makes me feel slightly more towards the change side is ADA’s campaign to “Stop Diabetes.”  I feel that it is not educational to people that don’t know about Type 1.  Their slogan might lead people to think that I can control my own destiny and I can stop this disease that impacts my everyday life.  The only thing I can change is the control the disease has over me; I can’t control it enough to actually stop it.

Thanks for letting me vent.  I doubt anything will change but hopefully people know that Type 1 Diabetes can’t be stopped (insert Miley Cyrus song). Below are just a few images from their website where they want to “STOP Diabetes.”


7 thoughts on “Stop Diabetes

  1. Sometimes I get the “feeling” that the ADA markets for Type 2’s, and the JDRF for Type 1’s….but for years, I was also a bit miffed that JDRF seemed to always focus on kids, when here I was a Type 1 diagnosed at 21 years old, and no one believed me because “only kids get type 1.” I’m not making much sense today, but I think you know what I mean 🙂 And I totally get what you mean, too!! 🙂

    • Yes, I know exactly what you mean! It’s hard because friends and family don’t really understand the difference so they see the ADA and think ah Kelley can just “stop her diabetes.” I’m pretty sure even my mom thinks if I just work out and eat right, I can stop my diabetes. I wish I could but I can’t. The JDRF is great and it could just be a misconception on my part but I feel like the ADA is more visible than JDRF and yeah now that we are adults with Type 1 it feels like we don’t fit in sometimes.

  2. I tend to agree, and it’s a big reason my fundraising has all gone to JDRF and not to ADA (I politely decline to participate in the ADA ride with friends, but enthusiastically join in JDRF’s walk). While I know ADA caters to both T1s and T2s, their publicized mission — the rallying cry, if you will — is ambiguous. And while caring for the two has some commonalities, the fundamental cause of the types is different, and the way to “stop” them, therefore, is entirely different.

    In order to convince me that you are sufficiently knowledgeable in diabetes, you need to demonstrate to me that you understand the two types, and this campaign fails miserably in that (I know the ADA is smarter than the campaign, but still…). This campaign doesn’t reassure me that their criteria for hanging the “Mission Accomplished” banner is the same as mine.

  3. I have to be careful with my words…

    Fwiw, I agree that the campaign has great intentions but will constantly be burdened by a messaging disconnect with the type 1 audience. And, your complaints/fears/issues are well discussed and considered among my coworkers and peers. Trust that you are not along with these feelings.

    Luckily there are a number of different avenues to support these efforts: ADA, JDRF, DRI, IDF. If you’re supporting *someone* or *something*, you’re part of the solution. I won’t begrudge anyone for choosing one organization over another.

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