Community News
March 24, 2017 By Denise Barnard
How do you strike out the stigma of diabetes?

Let’s hear from some real people, such as Jessica (pictured above), a high school student who lives with type 1 diabetes: “My grade eight teacher said that he thought type 1 diabetes was caused by eating too much sugar.”

And what about her classmates? “I have also had a classmate ask me if they could ‘catch’ diabetes by having me sneeze on them,” she says.

Jessica’s response? “Being confident, I am happy to explain to my classmates about my diabetes and am appreciative that they ask questions instead of making assumptions, but some other students with diabetes might not be because of their lack of confidence about their diabetes. “

And Tim, who lives with type 2 diabetes, says: “We should stop blaming people for the entire burden of their disease.”

His experience includes childhood and financial challenges, a lack of healthy food, and more. He is not alone. Many Canadians with diabetes face these challenges, too.

What’s Tim’s advice? “Please, next time you seek to ask someone what type of diabetes they have, remember: a person is important regardless of the cause of the disease. Let’s just support and treat it, and work hard to look at all the things we can do to make life better for all new generations and reduce the future numbers of those facing diabetes.”

So, what can the rest of us do to strike out stigma? How about following Jessica and Tim’s lead and educating others about the disease in order to put an end to the shame, blame, stigma and misinformation? And joining us now to rally to strike out stigma and end diabetes!

Have you experienced shame, blame or misconceptions about your diabetes? Tell us your story. 

Do you have a personal story of how your diabetes diagnosis has affected you or someone you know? Fill in our easy personal story submission form, and you and your story could appear in myDC community content. 

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