For months, I have wanted to become involved with Diabetes UK. It is time for me to turn my diabetes into something positive, and this was a great start. The three day collection period was intended to raise awareness of the risks of type 2 diabetes. 2.9 million people in the UK currently have diabetes, with many more thousands showing signs of having Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes UK says that if nothing changes, by 2025, 5 million will have the condition. This is a scary thought.
Not only was this a weekend for raising money for Diabetes UK, it was a chance to talk to people in the community – many people knew someone with diabetes, but a lot of people also didn’t know a lot about the condition. The two extremes were eye-opening. The majority of people with diabetes that I spoke to, said they were type 2.
I felt a pang of sadness, as one couple came over, both in their 70s. The wife asked if I was diabetic, and asked me if I ate a long list of sweets, sugary drinks, junk food, whether I smoked, drank etc. It turns out the husband does all this, and refuses to change, even though he knows his health is already deteriorating. The man reminded me of how my grandad abused his body, and how desperately I wish people wouldn’t treat their health as trash.
It is definitely this attitude that needs to be tackled in my community. How that is done, is the challenge. I find that people are stubborn, and don’t want to change their lifestyle. The only thing I could say to the man to make him think, was that every little step leads to another. Walking for 15 minutes a day, is better than not walking at all. Little steps. Bitesize chunks.
On the other hand, we did have a fair few children approaching us, telling us that they had diabetes. Every one of these children told us this, with a smile on their face. They are brave little angels, a lot braver than I would have been if I had been diagnosed as a child!
I really love how willing people were to contribute to this cause. A lot of people sounded disappointed that they could only put a small amount of money in, but imagine this…there are over 60 million people currently living in the UK. 2.9 million people have diabetes. If just 2million people gave £1, this would be huge for Diabetes UK.
The money raised this weekend will be invested in:
- Life-changing support for a million people with diabetes, so they feel less scared and isolated by their condition
- Preventing thousands of future cases of Type 2 diabetes, meaning that fewer families are affected by the devastating effects of this condition
- Research into a vaccine that could stop forever the development of Type 1 diabetes in children.
I’ve had such a good weekend, and would just like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Big Collection, whether it be £10 or £1. As Tesco say, “every little helps”!