Monday, August 20, 2007

At Least We Got A Paragraph!

Today the NY Times ran an article on the increased risk for heart attacks in diabetics. Mind you the headline stated Diabetics and not Type 2 diabetics which the 4 page (online version) of the article was almost entirely about. The only mention of Type 1 diabetics was that we are "often thin". Now I don't mean to feel like the bastard step child of the medical community but seriously at least throw us a bone! This comes on the heels of a friend of Courtney's mentioning to her that my blog is boring because it is only about "blood sugars." I'm more amazed each day by the misunderstanding people have with Type 1 diabetes and continue to try and think of outlets to get the word out about this disease.

For example, today ESPN had a segment on Sportscenter about Todd Crandell, a former heroin addict who was able to overcome his addiction through triathlons and ironmen competitions. Todd's story was inspirational and I would love if a similar piece was done on athletes who overcame diabetes. On any given sporting event you'll often hear about an athlete who overcame some adversity in his life to reach the position he is at today. However, groups like Team Type 1, athletes like Adam Morrison, Jay Hewitt, and Michael Sinclair are hardly ever mentioned. I spent my football career without the worry of blood sugars and can't imagine having played at the level I did while having to constantly check my bs.

I think the only way to improve the products we have to help treat the disease (like the work Amy at Diabetes Mine is doing) is to improve the awareness of this disease. My motivation to train for Ironman Lake Placid was in part to inspire all those diabetic kids who are afraid to put on a uniform of some kind but if our message never reaches those kids how are they supposed to be inspired? I'll continue to write like all those people on my blog roll do and hopefully one day our message will be heard.

8 comments:

Dying Water Buffalo said...

*yawn* all this blog talks about is diabetes.

:P although, hey, people complain on my blog when i talk about fascinating things like schnappi, so I have no answers.

Scott said...

We need more than a mention. You might want to check out my October 2006 blog posting here.

Wingman said...

Agreed Scott - well said!

Anonymous said...

If they find it boring, then they can go somehwre else. The people who care, and who appreciate this message are the ones who matter, and not represented in one person's account of being bored. They can go read about Paris Hilton, I am sticking with Blood Sugar becasue I agree and believe in your message and fight! If one kid is inspired by what you are doing ed, then be very proud!

:-) Mary

Alison said...

I agree. Honestly, whenever diabetes is mentioned in my paper here, it tends to focus on the disease itself and of course they never forget to mention all the complications that can go along with it. Rarely have I seen a story that focuses on the human aspect of it and day to day life.

In terms of sports, I have seen various stories with Adam Morrison mentioning it and also Gary Hall Jr. talking about his diabetes more in depth maybe more so than others. As you said, Amy does a good job in helping to get the word out and share other's stories. In fact, I think my favorite story/interview on her blog was with Olympic skier Kris Freeman. It was really good.

A few athletes have published books about their experiences. I get all my testing supplies and stuff from diabetesmall.net and I always see this book advertised in their catalog by football player Jay Leeuwenburg, might be an interesting read if you haven't checked it out. :)

kath said...

And you forgot Scott Verplank! Winner of the Bryon Nelson, and so far #12 money winner of the year.

Most of his interviews in the sport world mention that he is a Type 1 Diabetic and that is he on an insulin pump.

Not only is he a major athlete, but he's dealt with it his entire career -- and it's a much longer career than any of the other Type 1 diabetics you have mentioned.

Wingman said...

Kath,

Sorry about forgetting about Type 1's favorite PGA golfer! But I must say I do a better job controlling my blood sugar over 18 holes than I do over a 3 mile run which is why I mentioned the athletes I did, I'm in aw that Michael Sinclair can play at an all-pro level while being on a pump.

Cara said...

You know, I agree completely that there should be more information about diabetes and the differences between Type 1 & Type 2. There are so many inspirational people who have done amazing things that have Type 1 diabetes. And the fact that article said we "are often thin"! I wish that were the case for me. I haven't been thin since I was 14. (Although I am working on it!) People make assumptions too easily. If you come up with any nationwide campaign ideas, let me know! I want to help.