Thursday, March 7, 2013

Keep the Hope Alive!

Yesterday sparked a little debate over the post from one member of the DOC; a self-proclaimed Diabetes Dad, who wears a second hat as a paid blogger for one research company. 
His two-part (and ultimately a three-part including the aftermath apology), shocked and awed much of the DOC family by leading into a possibility that something BIG was happening the very next day. 
I followed along, just like everyone else who has a loved one (or two!) investment in hoping that very BIG thing would be a CURE.
In the end, the conversation turned to the possibility of a new technology that would be like a cure but with the added need for the DOC to give more money to continue research and development.
Which I think left many of the DOC feeling let down.
We weren’t any closer to that elusive CURE than we were a day before.
The Diabetes Dad sparked a little something in everyone.  That little something called passion.  Right or wrong, he inadvertently started conversations and fueled desire to DO SOMETHING.  ANYTHING!
In our own real-life JDRF Coffee Group, several moms started a conversation regarding where fundraising dollars were best used.  The debate brought out points on the DRI’s strategy of creating the bio pancreas as well as JDRF’s new campaign which advertises the treatment of the person living with type 1 diabetes (not just finding that cure).
In one of my favorite online communities, the conversation raged further to the discussion of whether or not HOPE was dashed or if people should continue to believe that a CURE might ever be found.  They discussed the idea of wasting energy and resources on continuing to look. 
In my own home, the Naturally Sweet Sisters Dad and I took a moment behind closed doors (knowing that this topic is too hard for children) to talk quietly about our own personal feelings regarding the Diabetes Dad and aftermath of sparks. 
What we came away with is this:  Everyone in the DOC is right.
Well, there are really two critical components here.
The first is that we have to continue to give the best care options that we can to promote health and wellness in our children.  Just as we ensure our children wear helmets and seatbelts to keep them safe, we must make sure we continue to provide our children with the best insulin and products to keep their bodies as safe as we can.  Well being in the short term is our immediate need. 
The second is that we must never give up our HOPE to one day find a CURE.
I post studies all of the time on our Naturally Sweet Sisters face book page.  From things regarding stem cell regeneration to cures in dogs.  All of these studies are important, actually critical to garnering information for that CURE.
One of my favorite quotes is from Thomas Edison:  "I have not failed 10,000 times. I have successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work."
And that is exactly what WE (meaning the DOC, DRI, JDRF, NHI, ADA, Dr. Faustman, and all of the other researchers) are doing to improve BOTH our lives while living with Type 1 Diabetes AND a CURE for Type 1 Diabetes.
I can’t speak for everyone on the topic of where money is best given.  That is a personal choice.  As a strong advocate for JDRF, I do encourage you to consider their efforts most of all.  What many may not realize is that JDRF has funded much of the research that you hear and read about in the news.  While they are working towards a CURE, they are also continuing to keep us in good immediate health and care.  Yes, I want to see an insulin pump that avoids deadly low blood sugars and yes, I want to have a day where we throw that technology away - for good!
To learn more about what JDRF is working on, I encourage each of you to attend a conference or a summit in your local area.
In fact, the 2013 JDRF Research Summit will be held on March 9th, in Bethesda, Maryland.  Details for the event can be found here.
Knowledge is power against feeling let down or betrayed.   

Keep the HOPE alive!

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