The Oklahoma State Legislature and Governor Mary Fallin have proclaimed that April 2 will be designated as Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Day. Representative Tom Newell along with JDRF Board of Director, Sunny McRay, coordinated this day to inform people about type 1 diabetes (T1D), a very misunderstood disease. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that strikes both children and adults. Unrelated to diet or lifestyle, T1D causes lifelong dependence on injected insulin and carries the constant worry of life-threatening complications. It requires intensive, never-ending management. There are no days off and there is no cure.
Sunny approached Representative Newell about this event because of her son, Jake, who has T1D. Jake was diagnosed with T1D on January 31, 2012, at the age of eleven. Jake began using an insulin pump four months after being diagnosed. He doesn't let T1D define him or stop him from doing the things he enjoys. She says, “Jake is very active in athletics; he plays offense, defense, and special teams in football and is on the starting line-up for his basketball school team as well as his league team. He also excels in academics. Two of his favorite subjects are science and math. Jake is hopeful there will be a day again that he doesn't have to stick his finger with a needle to check his blood sugar constantly, count carbs at every meal and continually wear an insulin pump. He would like to go back to the way things were before he was diagnosed. We hope for a cure every day for T1D”.
Beyond the personal hardship and health impacts of the disease, diabetes wreaks havoc on our economy. Diabetes and its costs are rising rapidly. In just eight years, from 2001 to 2009, type 1 diabetes among youth rose by 23 percent. Overall, diabetes cost the United States economy $245 billion in 2012 and those costs are expected to more than double by the year 2020. Medicare costs of diabetes were $104 billion in 2012 and are projected to increase to $226 billion by 2020.
There is hope though. Medical research is advancing rapidly, and there are exciting advancements in therapies and new drugs for diabetic eye and kidney diseases that are helping people live healthier lives. And scientists are learning more every day about how people develop the disease, information that may one day lead to new prevention strategies.
“I encourage everyone – whether you have type 1 diabetes or know someone with the disease – to help us raise
awareness by attending Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Day on April 2nd.
• 12:30 PM Meet at the Fourth Floor Rotunda
• 1:30 PM Presentation of Proclamation, House Gallery
Please RSVP to attend the event to Sunny McRay, 405/351-0812 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Angela Little, JDRF Advocacy Chair, 580/222-7756 or email@example.com.
Oklahoma State CapitolPhone:
2300 N Lincoln Blvd., Oklahoma CityWebsite: ok.gov