With nearly 26 million children and adults with diabetes in the United States and another 79 million with prediabetes, the American Diabetes Association has announced November as American Diabetes Month to demonstrate the impact this disease has on families across the country. Many don’t realize diabetes leads to a myriad of disorders including many diabetic eye diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy–a leading cause of blindness in America. To raise awareness, the American Diabetes Association offers many ways in which you can get involved:
- Submit your personal image to the “A Day in the Life of Diabetes” mosaic and show what the daily life of diabetes means to you. The mosaic, which began in 2012, is made up of portraits of diabetes sufferers posted by themselves or by a loved one. To make the mosaic even more impactful this year, the mosaic “target” imagery will change several times throughout the month to show more images.
- Visit the American Diabetes Association blog, “Diabetes Stops Here, where you can read success stories and messages from other followers and celebrities and participate in several questions such as, “What extraordinary things have you accomplished while living with diabetes?”
- Go see a NASCAR race with Ryan Reed, whose race car will be wrapped in photos of the mosaic and will be featured in several races during American Diabetes Month.
- Help spread the word about American Diabetes Month by printing out and displaying American Diabetes Month posters available here.
The rate of diabetes among Americans and especially children is rising at a staggering rate . In 1995, only three states and Washington D.C. had diabetes prevalence rates of 6 percent or more. By 2010, all 50 states had reached that level. But with greater awareness through events like American Diabetes Month, hopefully we can slow the progress of this debilitating disease. Check back in the next few weeks for more posts about diabetes and its effect on the eyes.