The letters sent by readers are one of my favorite parts of editing this magazine. Living well with diabetes and working to stop this disease truly unite us. Here's what else I've learned so far:
You don't always agree with our cover model selection. As with the tattooed National Basketball Association player with type 1 (March 2012) or the reality-show rodeo clown with type 2 (April 2012), I'll most likely receive some mail about this month's cover star, Sofia Spentzas. Sofia made some healthful changes to avoid type 2 diabetes, inspired by her mother's battle and untimely death.
For those of you who say, "But I've already got diabetes!" or "I wish I could take part in a TV makeover," I hear you. That's why the American Diabetes Association and our volunteers put so much effort into making life better for all people affected by diabetes, whether diagnosed or at risk—through education and advocacy, establishing best treatment practices, and investing in prevention and cure research.
It's a win for all of us when one more person avoids elevated blood glucose and the damage that does to a body. The actions that we mention so often—physical activity, healthful eating, modest weight loss as needed, taking medication as prescribed, monitoring blood sugar—help treat all types of diabetes and prevent complications, and can help prevent type 2. So, why not celebrate these steps together?
You're always willing to share what you know. Your tips, suggestions, and "did you knows?" Thank you.
You lift us up with your words of encouragement. Diabetes is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. It helps to acknowledge that and to find support, as the following video shows. It's got a beat you can dance to and an even better message: youtube.com/watch?v=B1Qa2k2MNSU.
For those of you who can't watch it online, a little girl with diabetes was afraid she wouldn't be pretty because she wore eyeglasses and an insulin pump. People who rock that particular combination, including video makers Sara Nicastro (momentsofwonderful.com) and Kim Vlasnik (textingmypancreas.com), showed her otherwise. That, like you, is beautiful.
Kelly Rawlings, PWD* type 1
*Person with diabetes