Monday, November 11, 2013

Why I Go Blue for Diabetes?

Someone in the Diabetes Community online recently engaged me in conversation about why they do not support a particular color or symbol to embrace diabetes.

What started the whole online exchange was how they were promoting diabetes awareness, using a ribbon that had a little blood drop symbol and used a color that most associate with another health condition.

I supported the advocacy and D-Awareness raising, but noted my hesitancy behind multiple colors and symbols. I noted my support of the color blue.

That person's point: "Diabetes is not a color or symbol, it's a disease. Period."

Over time, there have been so many other colors and ribbons in regard to diabetes that it makes my head spin. I often feel that we're doing ourselves a disservice by having so many different colors, as that seems to tell the non-diabetic world at large that we can't even agree with each other about how we want to communicate about diabetes at the very ground level.

Think of diabetes as a long staircase up to the roof, where it's possible that vague notion for a cure is floating around as something we'd all like to get to immediately if we could.

There are many stairs leading up to that rooftop. And there's even a few elevators nearby that could help get up there more quickly.

But before we can even start climbing or deciding what elevator will zip us up, and before we start trying to tell people about all the different aspects of diabetes understanding and research that sits on each floor, we have to convince the general public that this is a journey they should be making.

Why should they even want to go up there, when they could stay on the ground level and look at going to other buildings that are full of worthy causes like breast cancer, Chrohn's Disease, autism, Alzeimer's, and countless other conditions and charitable pursuits.

That's where the color Blue and the Blue Circle come into place for me.