04 September 2007

"Giving"

I'm sitting here reading Bill Clinton's new book Giving and crying. Not because the former President is such an amazing wordsmith but the message, the idea, the generosity of the people he writes about is so powerful and so close to my heart. He speaks of the usual suspects: Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey and a man I'd not heard of Sterling Stamos. The amount of effort and money they give to charitable organizations is mind baffeling, especially since I've been involved with AYUDA for over 3 years now and I've seen the inner-workings of the citizen-sector world. I want so badly for AYUDA to gain larger recognition and to be the organization known for working to empower youth in diabetes communities around the world that it makes my heart ache to think that people don't know what AYUDA is all about. The good we do. The love, effort, time and healing that comes out of our work. We may not be searching for a cure for diabetes like JDRF or the ADA or any other typical diabetes organization but we're trying to allow people in under-developed nations live, to be alive, with this condition. The thought of leaving these kids after camp and returing to a home without insulin or test strips tears me up inside. As Bill quotes Sterling Stamos in Giving as to why he donates so much money, "ten million children die each year of preventable, curable and treatable diseases... global health is a moral opportunity and an undervalued asset that, if properly funded, could yield a huge social benefit...". That social benefit is another child living to see his next birthday, to have the ability to have a happy, healthy life. Don't we all deserve that? Chronic condition or not, we all have the right to live. Paul Farmer was quoted as saying something similar to Stamos in Mountain Beyond Mountain (an amazing book, must read) to the effect of no one should die of a treatable condition. Diabetes is a treatable, although not yet curable, condition. Everyone with diabetes should have the right to affordable medication and the educational tools on how to use them properly, no matter where in the world that person lives. There are so many obstacles and hurdles and questions that the task of helping someone is daunting. Why is it so difficult? Or is it really not that difficult and our approach is just wrong? How can we get more people involved and invested?... Would you help if I asked?
There is so much work being done in cancer and HIV/AIDS research, prevention, looking for cures and cheaper medications. What about diabetes? When will diabetes get the recognition it deserves? Yes, I know about the UN Resolution on Diabetes, does anyone else? Diabetes isn't going away any time soon and neither am I. We need just as much help, if not more. Type 1 diabetes is for life, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No rest, no breaks. It affects 5 times more people throughout the world than does HIV/AIDS. When will we get cheaper insulin and supplies? I have so many questions and not enough answers.















I'm only on the 2nd chapter of Giving so I'll probably talk more about it as I go...
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1 comment:

AYUDA said...

Jules,

I just read this and cried. it is beautiful. I wish everyone was able to have the vision that you do. you are amazing. don't stop writing, you have an amazing voice that can be heard through your letters.

I miss you guys. I hope I get to see you and Mer and Kendra if she is around when I'm in DC for the American Public Health Association conference, nov 3rd ish.

peace, love, and insulin,
Ali