Sunday, June 23, 2013

American Diabetes Association Meeting 2013

On a weekend with a full moon summer solstice,

And a national title win for the Blackhawks lighting up the skyline, magic is everywhere in Chicago and dreams seem possible. In the midst of this, the ADA annual meeting is occurring.

Research and posters are abundant, and possibilities for better treatments and technologies like the artificial pancreas seem certain. But what about a cure? The answer: more research needs to be done.

NIH budget is smaller for diabetes than for HIV or cancer.

This is despite the large numbers of people that have diabetes, and that are projected to obtain diabetes in the near future.

Manny Hernandez of Diabetes Hands Foundation discussed this fact at the non-profit’s first ADA fundraiser event.  He said, ‘Not that HIV or cancer aren’t important, but diabetes is too’. For diabetes dreams to come true, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, caregivers, and advocates all need to make more noise and to raise more money.

As I slipped away for a brief lunch in this dreamy town of Chicago at the amazing Paris Club to indulge my own dreams of a return to Paris, I reflected on a primary message that I see developing about what needs to be done to make the dream for a diabetes cure come true: more noise and more money.

Summary: Today tremendous economic, social and political pressures dictate the physician’s ability to deliver proper health care. Just like early HIV advocates and cancer advocates, diabetes advocates must unify their voices to make a choir of noise that gets economic, social, and political attention, and eventually more scientific funding. Diabetes dreams can then come true.