This annual campaign is not just about raising awareness but also about fostering a deeper understanding of diabetes, breaking stereotypes, and offering support to those who are living with this chronic condition. One initiative that the Children’s Diabetes Foundation created is the “You Are More Than Your Numbers” campaign, which strives to highlight the humans behind the disease.
Raising awareness of diabetes is a key part of Diabetes Awareness Month. Type 1 diabetes appears suddenly, but the start of the illness can usually be detected with blood tests years prior to onset. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas ceases to manufacture insulin, a hormone essential for our bodies to convert the food we eat into energy. People with type 1 diabetes must take multiple daily injections of insulin just to stay alive, but insulin is not a cure.
Symptoms of type 1 diabetes include:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive irritability
- Extreme hunger accompanied by weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness and fatigue
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is still able to manufacture insulin and treatment usually consists of oral medications and a strict diet.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include any of those listed above and/or:
- Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
- Recurring or hard-to-heal skin, gum, or bladder infection
- Blurred vision
Understanding Diabetes: Beyond the Numbers
Diabetes, a group of metabolic disorders characterized by high and low blood sugar levels, affect 37.5 million Americans and over 537 million people worldwide. Often, diabetes is reduced to numbers – blood sugar levels, insulin doses, A1C readings, and more. However, the “You Are More Than Your Numbers” campaign originated by The Children’s Diabetes Foundation is a poignant reminder that diabetes is not just about metrics; it is about the individuals and their stories.
The campaign encourages everyone to look beyond the statistics and embrace the personal narratives of those living with diabetes. It is about understanding the physical, emotional, and psychological challenges that come with this condition. By highlighting these aspects, it aims to promote empathy and support for those impacted by diabetes.
The Human Faces of Diabetes
One of the most powerful elements of the campaign is its focus on real people. It shares personal stories and testimonials from individuals who have diabetes, highlighting their resilience and the daily triumphs over their condition. Through their stories, the campaign reveals the emotional and psychological battles that often accompany diabetes management.
These stories humanize diabetes and demonstrate that the disease does not define a person. Rather, it is just one aspect of their lives. This approach can help reduce the stigma associated with diabetes and promote open conversations, understanding, and inclusivity.
Furthermore, the campaign encourages active participation in Children’s Diabetes Foundation’s community events, educational workshops, and support groups. The idea is to create a network of individuals who can share their experiences, offer support, and inspire each other to lead healthier, more fulfilling lives.
In conclusion, Diabetes Awareness Month is a crucial time to remember that diabetes is not just about numbers but about people. The “You Are More Than Your Numbers” campaign is a powerful initiative that emphasizes the human side of diabetes, encourages empathy and understanding, and supports individuals living with the condition. By sharing stories, challenging stereotypes, and advocating for improved healthcare, this campaign plays a vital role in improving the lives of those affected by diabetes and working towards a future free from the burden of this chronic disease.
Want to participate in our campaign? Visit childrensdiabetesfoundation.org/event/diabetes-awareness-month!