This years’ World Diabetes Day events and celebrations were entirely smothered by the horrible violence that erupted in Paris last night. I live quite close to several of the shootings took place and I spent my evening and well into the night listening to sirens and hearing a few loud noises that sounded like explosions. I refused to turn on the TV but was watching live feed on some news websites as well as my twitter and Facebook feeds until 2am in absolute disbelief.
That shock continued this morning as I tuned back into social media for updates on the tragedy that had unfolded, and to find news of close friends who had had to take detours on their way home or had been actually unable to get home because of police barricades in the streets. One who did not get home until noon today to her husband and 10 month old, breastfed baby.
How could something like this happen? And why here? Why so close to home? What kind of human can execute another innocent human?
And yet, as these questions pound my head, I am very aware that in many many countries, these types of events are common occurrences. So common and yet not reported in news feeds I am familiar with. I had heard nothing of the bombing earlier this week in Beirut until late last night in the midst of all the news on what was going on in my neighbourhood. I realise how privileged I am to live in a place were I can walk the streets without fearing for my safety, or my life or for the lives of my children. I realise how privileged and loved I am to have received so many messages from family and friends all over the world to check in and make sure my family and I are safe.
That privilege, of course, also extends to being able to live well with diabetes. I have access to insulin, blood testing supplies, insulin pumps, education and peer support. None of this, down the the batteries in my insulin pump, have any direct cost for me. Such is the privilege of living in a country with a socialised health care system. And while I can be heard raising my voice to talk about the need for public funding of new diabetes technology like CGMs, I know that there are many, many countries in the world where there isn’t access even to lifesaving insulin or syringes to administer it, let alone refrigeration to make sure it stays potent.
T1 International is an organisation who believes in a world where everyone with type 1 diabetes – no matter where they live – has everything they need to survive and achieve their dreams. They work towards adequate access to insulin, diabetes supplies, medical care and education for all people living with type 1 diabetes. This year’s T1 international’s World Diabetes Day campaign, “We are the world in WDD” is about showing everyone who we are: a global force standing together to push for access to diabetes supplies, care and treatment for all.
It is my hope that we not only stand together for this, but that the global force of humanity can stand together for peace and love in all nations around the globe.