Submitted by Cliff Swoape, adapted from websites of American Diabetes Association, World Health Organization, Lions Clubs International, and the International Diabetes Federation
Pretty Blue World…
This month, local monuments, buildings and homes will be bathed in blue light to highlight diabetes and raise awareness of its dangers. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and our pretty, blue world will be just a little brighter blue because of it. Monuments all around the world will glow sky blue to emphasize the global impact that diabetes has; driving home the message that we all live beneath the same blue sky, and diabetes touches all of us in some way.
November 14 is World Diabetes Day raises, instituted to raise global awareness of diabetes - its escalating rates around the world and how to prevent the illness in most cases. Started by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and World Health Organization (WHO), the Day is celebrated on 14 November to mark the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, was instrumental in the discovery of insulin in 1922, a life-saving treatment for diabetes patients.
WHO estimates that more than 346 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number is likely to more than double by 2030 without intervention. Almost 80% of diabetes deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. In the United States, 25.8 million children and adults in the United States-8.3% of the population-have diabetes. Of that number it is estimated that more than 7 million of them are currently undiagnosed. It is also estimated that in the U.S. there are 79 million people who are pre-diabetic.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that arises when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that enables cells to take in glucose from the blood and use it for energy.
Failure to produce insulin, or of insulin to act properly, or both, leads to raised glucose (sugar) levels in the blood (hyperglycaemia). This is associated with long-term damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.
Among a myriad of dangers, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20-74 years in the U.S. That makes it one of the chief targets for the Lions Clubs world-wide, who answered Helen Keller's plea and have been "…Knights of the Blind, in this crusade against darkness" since she asked them to do so at the 1925 International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio.
So please look around you this November, see if you can spot all of the buildings drawing attention to this disease and the impact it is having. Keep looking in this media all month, as it has joined the fight and will run many informative articles about diabetes. Watch and listen for other sources of information. Change out your own floodlights or front porch bulbs this month, and add your building to the cause with blue light bulbs that can be found in most stores these days, even compact fluorescent. Please wear sky blue to show your support and help us in the fight against diabetes. I have a daughter that is depending on us; and if you check, odds are good that someone very close to you is depending on us, too.