We the undersigned   D Blog Week Day 2, 8702009713 cd5e5f714b o

Today’s Prompt: Recently various petitions have been circulating the Diabetes Online Community, so today let’s pretend to write our own. Tell us who you would write the petition to – a person, an organization, even an object (animate or inanimate) – get creative!! What are you trying to change and what have you experienced that makes you want this change?D-Blog Week

I based my “fake” petition on a real Change.org petition. I am only partly joking.

As an adult my life was turned upside down when I diagnosed with Latent Auto-immune Diabetes in Adults (LADA) or Type 1 Diabetes. But I faced this life-threatening disease with strength, courage and perseverance despite being subjected to ignorance and misconceptions. It is with their future in mind that I file this petition to bring clarity to two very different diseases – Adult Type 1 and Juvenile Type 1 Diabetes. The facts surrounding both of these conditions are increasingly confused by the parents of Type 1 diabetes. Revising the type classifications to more accurately reflect the nature of onset for each form of Diabetes — childhood versus adulthood — would reduce the confusion and would not only benefit those living with both diseases, but it would allow awareness to be raised in a clear manner. I hope that you will join me in this effort.

Adult Type 1 Diabetes and Juvenile Type 1 Diabetes are two very different conditions; yet their names are only distinguished by a word. Their ‘type’ is rarely, if ever, clarified when discussed by parents of children with Type 1 diabetes. This leads to widespread confusion surrounding the differences between these two forms of Diabetes. My petition addresses this issue within four primary goals:

  1. To end the widespread misconceptions about Juvenile and Adult Type 1 Diabetes
  2. To allow advocates of both diseases — adults and the parents of children — to properly educate the public and bring awareness to their unique form of Diabetes
  3. To facilitate more effective fundraising to meet the specific goals of each type of Diabetes

The misconceptions about Juvenile Type 1 and Adult Type 1 Diabetes start with the fact that Juveniles becomes Adults on their 18th birthday. With no mention of ‘Type’, the public perceives all Type 1 diabetes as being the same. This misconception is especially dangerous for Adults with Type 1. They do not yet have a voice to protect themselves from the ignorance and confusion that is putting their lives at risk. Teachers, coaches, medics, nurses, and others involved in caring for Type 1 children often share the same misconceptions as the public and do not think of Juvenile Type 1 as different from Adult Type 1. Dismissing a child’s Type 1 Diabetes as less than a critical condition, as compared to an adult’s Type 1, could result in a life-threatening situation in a matter of minutes.

Unfortunately, the incidence of Juvenile Type 1 is also on the rise; but unlike Adult Type 1, the public awareness campaigns for Juvenile Type 1 do not reach their full potential because of the confusion caused by using the same name.

Finally, the lack of distinct names for the type classifications for Juvenile Type 1 and Adult Type 1 has created an artificial camaraderie within the Diabetic community. There is a perception that one ‘type’ is the same as the other. This should not be the case. It is time for new names, uniquely focused advocacy, an end to misconceptions, and goal directed fundraising. I am not requesting a significant disease reclassification. I am simply requesting new names that properly reflect the nature of onset for Juvenile Type 1 & Adult Type 1 — something not accomplished with the current name.

A name change is not a monumental task. It has been done before. The time has come to do it again. The time has come to do it in a way that respects the opinions of those people living with these two similar, yet very different diseases.