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The Beacon

The Student Newspaper of MAST Academy, since 1991.
The Student News Site of MAST Academy

The Beacon

The Beacon

GALLERY: Prom 2024
GALLERY: Prom 2024
April 7, 2024

National Diabetes Awareness Month

By Mercedes Halliburton
Staff Writer

In 1991, the International Diabetes Federation established World Diabetes Day or WDD. The date November 14 was picked to honor the co-discoverers of insulin, Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best. Later on, in 1997, the US Congress proclaimed November as the National Diabetes Awareness Month.

Diabetes affects 34.2 million Americans of all ages, and 88 million American adults are diagnosed with prediabetes. There are two types of diabetes: diabetes 1 and diabetes 2. Diabetes 1 is genetic and is mostly diagnosed in children. Diabetes 2, on the other hand, is caused by unhealthy habits or pre-diseases. Diabetes 2 is mostly diagnosed in adults but can be diagnosed in children as well.  The belief that diabetes might become the biggest epidemic in the twenty-first century has made it necessary to raise awareness. Over the past few decades, D-Day awareness campaigns and education have been held worldwide for people to learn about what diabetes is and how to support those affected by this condition. 

“I think it’s individuals that do the most to raise awareness”, Melissa Fernandez, who has been dealing with diabetes since she was nine years old, said. “Having a month provides an excuse for media outlets to do stories on the topic. Otherwise, no one might know that Olympic athletes and football players, or that one of the Jonas brothers, have diabetes. That said, there’s still a long way to go in terms of education and awareness.”

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The two main topics that are discussed on D-Day education are healthy food diets and daily exercise. These habits are crucial to leading a healthy life that can prevent anyone from getting diabetes 2 or other diseases.

“Education also increases the chances that someone will follow their doctor’s instructions if they are diagnosed.” Melissa Fernandez added. Apart from education, other events held this month include fundraisers held for diabetes research and diabetes support groups.  The Blue Circle campaign, started by Kari Rosenfeld in 2006, was created to raise awareness for diabetic patients. 

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a fight for diabetes awareness is more important than ever, as diabetic patients are now at an increased risk of serious illness. The usual gatherings of large numbers are now prohibited, so other ways of communication are put into use. Online fundraisers and zoom meetings are now arranged instead of the typical races and triathlons. 

It is now more significant than ever to become part of local fundraisers and campaigns to support the members of our community in their battle against diabetes. Over 7.5 billion people in the world have a chance to come together and contribute to diabetic research every year. With donations, lives can be saved. As a community and as world, let’s be a part of that.  

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National Diabetes Awareness Month