Wednesday, November 14, 2007

World Diabetes Day

Apologies for updating the blog very rarely lately. There are a couple of blog texts that I've started but not finished yet, because somehow I lost the plot half way through them. And this week has been quite busy and so I haven't had a chance to get back to the texts. Usually that's what it takes; I have to put the problematic text aside for a while, and then take a look at it with "new eyes", as they say in Finnish, and I can then iron out the problems and finish the text.

But, just quickly, I wanted to point out that today is the World Diabetes Day. It's a day that's endorsed by the UN, organised by the International Diabetes Federation and is celebrated worldwide. To mark the day, monuments are being illuminated around the world. For instance, the Empire State Building in NY is one of the partners of the campaign.

The day is focusing attention to this chronic condition that almost 250 million people have. There has been a lot of discussion lately about type 2 diabetes that is linked to obesity and is spreading in the rich countries very fast. The main focus of this day is a bit different. The IDF wants to point out that there are 240 000 children with diabetes in developing countries, and some of them are still dying due to a lack of proper care and awareness about the condition.

Being a type 1 diabetic myself (for 3 years now) I know that when diagnosed and properly treated diabetes is something you can live with and it doesn't limit your life in any significant way. But it takes constant monitoring and treatment. I need injections everyday, in average 5 times a day, and measuring blood glucose level almost as many times. Things can get very dangerous very quickly if either injections or monitoring aren't available. In developing countries, juvenile diabetes often goes undiagnosed and even when diagnosed, medication isn't available or affordable. IDF currently supports the treatment of 700 children in developing countries and is looking for more sponsors to increase that number. To donate for this worthy cause, go to Life for a Child -website. (It should work with PayPal and with credit cards, although I just tried and it refused mine.)

Other ways to get involved are to donate to Diabetes UK, or in Finland by going to this website, where you find a bank account number to donate to, or for a more continuing involvement you can join the D-support ring by filling out the form here.

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