Scary – but true and necessary

Last week, JDRF published an advertisement in the NY Times and Washington Post that caused a commotion in the diabetes community.

The commotion is not about the new logo seen in the ad – designed to highlight the organization’s focus on both youth and adults with type 1 diabetes.

The commotion is not about the point related to the logo of dropping juvenile from their name, since 85% of people living with type 1 diabetes are adults.

The commotion is not about the rebranding effort discussed on their site – explaining that the cure is both a destination and a journey and that they recognize their duty to improve the lives of people living with diabetes.

The commotion is about a scary statistic – 1 in 20.

I’ll admit – that number is scary. When my mom catches up on her blog reading and sees this ad, she will be scared. I get that.

Here’s the thing – that advertisement is not for us. We have Meg and Nick to help us with support and fundraising.

This ad?

It was designed to get the FDA off their butts to approve the technology we need. It is not designed for parents to put on their fridge or show to their kids. It is for the FDA.

Here’s what I don’t understand. We have been begging the diabetes organizations to get behind us and push the FDA into action so that we can have the technologies already available in other countries. They do that, and we still complain?

Diabetes is scary. The more people I know with diabetes, the scarier it is for me. I don’t want to lose any of my friends. But that will not keep me from living; it will inspire me to live each moment to the fullest.

Please also read posts by Jess, Jessica, and Martin (and hopefully Hallie who has a good perspective as a parent of a CWD – seriously, READ HER POST!) who discuss this topic better than I can.

Also, I have included part of a speech Jeffrey Brewer (President and CEO of JDRF) gave back in June. This is the direction that JDRF is headed, and we better hold on.


  • FANTASTIC!!! So well said, my friend. And the video is an added bonus. But I LOVE what you had to say, too.

    Did I mention I love the new passion and direction in the JDRF? Cause I do! 🙂

  • No one that deals with diabetes in one way or another wants to see a statistic like that. It’s terrifying! But that possibility is there. And it’s the job of organizations like the JDRF to get that information to the right sources in order to promote the NEED to change those statistics. Well said Sara.

  • Awesome input, Sara! 1 in 20 is scary….but, to me, so is 1:1000 or 1:10,000. The fact that insulin can save or take my daughter’s life in the blink of an eye, regardless of the stat, is scary to me. Period.

    PS — Lovin’ the new logo 🙂

  • Thanks for the love! I’m so with you. Yes, its scary. But it’s the truth. Ignoring the monster in the closet doesn’t make it go away. It’s time to be bold. Great post!!

  • As a mother who has lost a child to this disease and the fact that I’m friends with many other parents who have lost since my son died, I can tell you “our” community isn’t happy with this campaign. While we LOVE that we are finally acknowledging that our kids can die from this disease (and are at an alarming rate), I don’t like that my son is being used to promote an artificial pancreas. Many of us feel this way. A cure? Yes. Sure. PLEASE. But not to push a project that many of us feel will actually increase the # of deaths, not decrease. And we are not alone in this thinking. I hope so very much for you and everyone else that I will eat those words. I hope! Truly.

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