What You Can Do
The future is indeed bright, but that does not mean diabetes patients don't have to work hard. Maintaining tight control and battling highs and lows is hard work that weighs heavily on a child and his family over the years. That's why, in the end, a biological cure is the real answer. Every family needs to work hard but not give up on that goal. Once they settle into life with diabetes, every family must ask themselves every day: Am I doing all I can to help reach the goal of a biological cure?
As discussed in Chapter 20, there are plenty of places that need your help financially. You don't have to be a millionaire to make a difference. With close to one million people suffering from Type 1 diabetes in America, if each person gave $100 a year, a billion dollars a year would flow into research for better care and a cure. Find a way that you can pitch in. Form a walk team. Write a check. Ask your boss to match it. There's power in numbers, and every family just needs to pitch in a bit to achieve the goal.
The same goes for your voice. It takes time to settle into this life with diabetes, but once you do, never settle for it for your child. Educate yourself by reading all the updated diabetes information you can.
Google can send you a daily update on diabetes issues. Log onto google. com and sign up for a daily list of articles that discuss Type 1 diabetes; you'll have a record of everything new going on in the field, as well as new advancements, recent findings, and study results.
Find a place that you know will help you learn and understand. Then find a way to speak out. Sign on as a diabetes advocate with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Write letters and e-mail your elected officials to let them know you are watching how they vote on important issues such as funding for the National Institutes of Health. As part of a large team of voices, you will be heard.
In the end, no book or treatment or understanding of daily care will ever add up to what a cure will mean: freedom for your child, for your family, and for you from the burden of diabetes.
That's a solution that needs no subtext.