6th November 2016
Letter to the Next President
Dear Mr. or Mrs. President,
Congratulations! You have made it through the name-calling, pressure, and anticipation of the election. Being president should be easy for you, you have made it this far. I am sure there are many issues you have to address and more letters to read, that are far more important than a thirteen year old’s, but I wanted to write to you about something that is very important to me.
Type one diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to allow glucose to produce energy. At this time, type one diabetes has no cure. But I want you to help change that. My grandma has type one diabetes, and is constantly struggling with her blood sugar, insulin pump, vision, and anything else that diabetes wants to throw at her to make her day miserable. But yet, she cooks dinner, cleans her house, takes care of a garden, pays bills, and acts like nothing is wrong. My grandma is one of the strongest people I know. But I do not want her, and other diabetics, to have to live like this any longer. She owns an insulin pump, and it has really helped her. But it malfunctions frequently, occasionally does not give her the right amount of insulin, and is a vexatious. According to Gina Kolata, “even when patients take the right steps to control diabetes, the grueling process can simply wear them down.” Struggling with her insulin pump is time-consuming, and often keeps her up at night trying to regulate her blood sugar.
Diabetes can also affect children. Type one diabetes is also known as juvenile diabetes, which means it’s more commonly diagnosed in kids. At my dance studio, an eight year old girl, that I am very close with was diagnosed with diabetes about a year ago. It was devastating. To find out that someone else I love was diagnosed with a horrible condition that has no cure broke my heart. If there was a cure, my friend would not have to miss parts of dance class when she gets shaky. If there was a cure, she would not have to leave her classroom at school to go to the nurse to check her blood sugar levels. This little girl is so strong that she stays in class, even when she knows her blood sugar dropped. This endangers her life. “The amount of type one diabetes, an autoimmune disease, climbed 21% from 2000 to 2009 to 1.93 per 1,000 children,” according to a study presented Saturday at the Pediatric Academic Societies' meeting in Vancouver, Canada. That is quite a jump if you think about it. These numbers will probably jump up again if we do not start helping to find a cure.
Type one diabetes seems to be getting lost in the scheme of major diseases. What most people do not know is that diabetes is a major disease. “Diabetes is anything but minor. It wreaks havoc on the entire body, affecting everything from hearing and vision to sexual function, mental health and sleep. It is the leading cause of blindness, amputations, and kidney failure, and it can triple the risk for heart attack and stroke,” (Tara Parker-Pope). I see so much on the news and internet about type two diabetes, what about type one? Type one diabetes is more serious than type two because you can die faster if you do not get the right treatment for low blood sugar. “Diabetes affects 25.8 million people of all ages in the United States, or about 8.3% of the population,” according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. A lot of people are suffering with type one diabetes, and not very many people know about it. I would like you to help change these numbers for the better, and make type one diabetes more known as a serious disease that needs more research.
We need more diabetes awareness. Kids and adults with diabetes, and kids and adults without diabetes should know more about the condition. I feel that it is not getting enough research because not enough people know information about it. Kids that have been recently diagnosed with type one diabetes should be taught the symptoms of a blood sugar drop or spike. Same goes for adults. According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Protection, “just seven percent are getting all the treatments they need.” People are missing treatments because they either do not know they need them, or they do not know what can happen if they skip a treatment or two. “Largely because of misunderstanding of the proper treatment, most patients are not doing even close to what they should to protect themselves,” according to Gina Kolata. Patients should be focused on surviving this condition and protecting themselves from all of the different effects. Without enough knowledge of their condition, this is nearly impossible.
Type one diabetes is not something that should be easily forgotten. It affects everything; your eyes, your kidneys, your heart, your nerves, and more. It is scary. We need to be moving forward faster to find a cure for this horrible chronic condition that is affecting so much of our country. People of all ages are suffering, and have to take insulin every day to survive. Taking insulin with insulin shots can be painful and using a pump can be difficult and hard to work. If there was a cure, no one would have to take time to mess with shots or pumps, their pancreas would function properly on its own. With your help, we can progress faster, and make diabetes something that is easily curable.
Works Cited Page
Kolata, Gina. “Six Killers: Diabetes--Looking Past Blood Sugar to Survive with ...” New York Times (New York, NY), 20 Aug. 2007, p. A1+. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.
Manning, Anita. “Diabetes Strikes Younger Ages.” Usa Today, 12 Nov. 2007, p. n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.
Parker-Pope, Tara. “Diabetes: Underrated, Insidious and Deadly.” New York Times (New York, NY), 1 July 2008, p. F5. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.
Szabo, Liz. “Diabetes Rates Skyrocket in Kids and Teens.” Usa Today, 5 May 2014, p. A.9. SIRS Issues Researcher, sks.sirs.com.