What Does a Diabetes Cure Mean To You?
At the JDCA we always talk about how important it is for the diabetes foundations to focus on a cure for type 1, including the importance of defining a Practical Cure and establishing a timeline for achieving a cure in order to create focus and urgency.
But it is also important to remember, on a personal level, what a cure means for all of us. What do you want in a cure, and how will you live your life without type 1 diabetes?
Below are some responses from the JDCA team, all of us who have been diagnosed with type 1:
Drew, Associate Editor:
“Thinking about what a cure would mean to me feels like a dream, one in constant throes between pessimism and optimism. I’ve had type 1 diabetes since I was 15 years old – meaning I’ve had the disease for a little over seven years now. My memories of life before this chronic illness are still extremely vivid but I’m always drawn to how large a role the disease has played in my life since the diagnosis. The injections, the blood tests, the doctors visits, the carb counting and every other thing about managing diabetes permeate so many parts of my daily existence.
Working with the JDCA has opened my mind to a world of possibilities for the future however. The way I view the possible reality of a cure is constantly revitalized by taking a more active role in understanding current research prospects and how the influential and increasingly funded charities work together and apart. A cure would mean a lot of things to me. It’d mean throwing away all my supplies in celebration. It’d mean eating some pasta carefree and washing it down with some beer(s). It’d mean finally being able to just relax and enjoy a day without the lingering worry of how unpredictable diabetes can be.
The power of people working together cannot be underestimated. I truly believe that being empowered by knowledge and pushing for transparency within the diabetes organizations can lead to a seismic change in how real, tangible, goal-oriented cure projects are funded. I used to think the cure would never come, and while there are so many mysteries we still haven’t solved in regards to diabetes, I’m beginning to think some breakthroughs may be just around the corner. Positive thinking can go a long way.”
Nick, Associate Editor:
“A cure for me means that I’d finally be able to live the life of careless excess and hedonism I’d always wanted to, where I sit in my underwear for days on end eating chicken that’s been fried in bacon grease and covered in powered sugar, my only incentive to move being that I don’t want to get pee stains on the couch.
…On second thought, maybe not.
Truth be told, a cure wouldn’t effect my present so much as my future. I’d love to not be attached to a pump anymore (I have gone off it in the past, but it’s the only system that fits my life well). I would love not having to worry about the ticking clock of getting good health insurance (the elimination of pre-existing conditions in the new healthcare plan will go a long way to alleviate that, but it’s still an issue). I would love not having to worry that someday, in the distant future, I might have a kid who gets type 1 (I was diagnosed at 13, so I can’t imagine have to take care of a newborn with diabetes).
The bottom line? A cure stops the worry, the fear of what may happen down the road for me. Things are good now, but are only going to get tougher as I get older. A cure ensures that the young never have to know the hardship of the disease, and that the old no longer need to worry about fending off the problems of having diabetes for decades. It means that, in some parts of the world, a disease that’s normally a death sentence is now as easy to get rid of as a common cold.
I think that’s something we can all stand behind.”
Stoyan, Associate Editor:
“Diabetes has taught me some important life lessons. I think almost everyone who has suffered through the disease can attest to just how much better organized they are now, and how much more closely they can follow a schedule or a regime. And while I plan on cherishing these lessons, I also plan on celebrating with much joy the day we can finally have a cure and can say goodbye to diabetes for good.
A cure would mean that I, and the millions of other diabetics alive today, have struggled with a very restrictive and limiting disease, but that we have battled through, have demanded sweeping industry changes, and have achieved something that will be remembered for a long time in the medical industry: a real, Practical Cure for (what was once) a chronic, dangerous disease. A cure for diabetes will be an unbelievable victory, one that seems far away now but one that I am convinced we can achieve if we keep pushing and advocating.
From a personal standpoint, I most of all look forward to taking my first hike without diabetes, where I can enjoy nature and fully trust and rely on my body without needing injections, pumps, blood sugar meters, strips, or any other reminders of the disease.”