Time to shine the spotlight on T1D

Dear media,

You missed a HUGE opportunity!

Remember that article you wrote on diabetes?

You know, the article that featured Whitecaps MLS player Andy Rose who just so happens to have type-1 diabetes?

The one where the first paragraph noted how the Freestyle Libre had changed Rose’s life? And the second paragraph talked about how Rose was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes as an adult at 26? And how he was well positioned and more than willing to build awareness around this disease?

Oh media, this article had started out so promising:

Finally a news report on type-1 diabetes that focuses on the amazing things people are doing with this disease; finally a news report to dispel the long-standing belief that type 1 is predominantly juvenile only; finally a feature that would create awareness on our piece of this disease that is so often forgotten about.

But then, BAM, by the fifth paragraph, it was a crudder.

No longer talking about type-1, you efficiently segued into type-2 and highlighted the death-fearing dangers associated.

Honestly, I should have known, the title was a clear indicator of where this story would go: It’s called the silent killer because you may not even know you have it


But seeing that dominant, eye capturing photo of Rose and his Libre directly above the type had me hoping for something different.

Surely, this article would give us our time.

But nope, I was completely duped.



How many times have we read about type-2 diabetes and the dangers of diabetes and the complications of diabetes?

How many times have the negatives of this disease been featured?


Over and over again, these are the stories we’re told. Or if it is a type-1 specific feature, it’s often with children, which, don’t get me wrong, is awesome, but it’s not the whole story of this disease.

For decades we were labeled with juvenile diabetes. Even long after graduating from Children’s, many of us were still associated with the “juvenile type” of diabetes.

Even in my own schooling a prof argued with me that it was a diagnosis for the young.

Dear media, dear prof, dear anyone who thinks this disease is for kids only, I am 41 years old and I’ve had type-1 diabetes for 32 years. I assure you my disease is not juvenile.

I have friends who were diagnosed in their 20s, like Rose, 30s, 40s. Heck, I evenly recently met a fellow who was diagnosed in his 70s with type-1 diabetes, not type-2.

This disease does not discriminate age.

And I’m tired of reading about how my lifeline will supposedly be shortened because of this disease.

Would you like to see my labs? I’ll show you my cholesterol, I’ll show you my HDL:LDL ratio (optimal/less optimal fats). They’ll tell you my lifeline is as good, if not better than many without this disease.

Would you like to see my activity level? I’ll show you my Strava account. I’ll show you my running, cycling, and dragon boating medals. Surely, that will show you that this disease isn’t stopping me. Surely, it will show you I’m not sitting around waiting for it to kill me.

That’s me in the middle of 120km bike ride – with T1D!

Would you like to meet a few of my T1D friends? How about the one who’s regularly stationed on the soccer pitch, or the one who cycled from Vancouver to Calgary this summer, or the one who’s a star track athlete with UBC Thunderbirds, or the one who is out running or cycling nearly every day, rain, snow, sleet, shine, travel, or home?

Every one of these people are doing AMAZING things with type-1 diabetes.

This (#10) is my friend Jamie killing it on the track! Photo courtesy of Jeff Sargeant, UBC Athletics.

And frankly, I’m tired of so many of these diabetes awareness articles focused on type-2 diabetes.

Nothing against type-2, but we type-1s, we deserve a little bit of the spotlight too.

Surely, we deserve more than four paragraphs.

Dear media,

If you’d like a redo, call me 😀

3 thoughts on “Time to shine the spotlight on T1D”

  1. Fantastic post, and I totally agree. I’m tired of hearing about Type 2. I’ve been Type 1 for over 35 years and I’ve seen it all, done it all and been through it all. And the kicker is that a lot of it likely WOULDN’T have happened if I hadn’t been diagnosed Type 1.

    1. Exactly! I’ve experienced some crazy lows (literally and figuratively) with this disease, but I’ve also experienced some pretty awesome things because of this disease. I try to focus on those, and ALL the things I’ve done despite being told early on I couldn’t do, as much as possible 🙂

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