A diabetes awareness article inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Manny Hernandez
Although the challenges faced by African Americans
in the sixties and people with diabetes today are very different,
because this article is getting published close to Martin Luther King,
Jr. Day in 2011, I took the liberty of applying some elements from his
historical “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963 to diabetes today.
In 1921, insulin
was discovered. This moment came as a great beacon light of hope to
millions of people with type 1 diabetes who, until then, had been doomed
to die as a result of a non-functioning pancreas.
But ninety years later, still too many people with diabetes languish (and far too many still die because they don’t have access to insulin too). Some of them see their bodies decay, some see their souls turn sour.
Ninety years later, lots of people with diabetes lack vital information and support
that can help them live a healthy life with this chronic disease. And
so I've written this article today to dramatize this shameful state of
It would be terrible for people with diabetes in the world to
overlook the urgency of the moment. We live in a time when the barriers
to access to life-and-soul-saving knowledge and support we need have dropped lower than ever.
January 2011 is a beginning. Not just the start of a new year, but the start of a diabetes revolution!
As we share diabetes information and offer support to one another, let’s not forget who the real enemy is. People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes
are not the enemy. It is not even sensationalist media or the person
making inappropriate treatment recommendations. Our enemy is IGNORANCE!
We can never be satisfied as long as there are people with diabetes
living through this disease all alone. We cannot be satisfied as long as
people without diabetes do not understand what life with diabetes is
I know you may be struggling. You may be unemployed or uninsured. You
may live surrounded by people who don’t understand you or you may hide
to give yourself an insulin shot. Know that somehow this situation can
and will be changed!
Although things today are far from where we want them to be, I have a
dream that everyone with diabetes will be able to meet someone else
they can vent with or learn from, to become more informed and empowered
I have a dream that all partners of people with diabetes
will understand how challenging this disease can be for their spouses,
become more informed, and turn into the main source of support for their
I have a dream that one day all people diagnosed with diabetes will
come to terms with the disease and accept that life has changed for
them; that’s the first step for all of us.
And if the right thing is to happen, a cure for diabetes must become true.
And so let a cure ring from every corner of the world.
Let a cure ring from the mighty mountains north of India.
Let a cure ring from the China to Mexico, from Russia to Germany.
Let a cure ring from Brazilian lands to the USA.
And when this happens, we will all be able to sing together:
Cured at last! Cured at last!
*Comparto ese sueño con vosotros.