Whether you’ve had diabetes for years, are newly diagnosed, are pre-diabetic, or are simply here to support a friend or loved one who has diabetes, there are some statistics about the condition that might surprise you. For instance, did you know that in the United States alone, there are more than 29 million people living with diabetes? That’s 9.3% of the population! Or what about the fact that there are 1.4 million new cases of diabetes diagnosed every year? Or that while type 2 diabetes accounts for the majority of these diagnoses, each year about 15,000 adults, and 15,000 children are diagnosed with type 1? Did you know that in 2012, diabetes cost the U.S. an estimated $245 billion?
In my opinion, those are some pretty startling statistics. It paints a very important picture– one that depicts the tremendous impact diabetes is having on our economy, and offers insight into just how crucial it is to find a cure to this epidemic.
However, while those statistics are vital to establishing the importance of finding a cure and curbing diagnoses, they can also become the forest that causes us to lose sight of the trees, or in this case, the individual. It can be difficult, when looking at statistics like that to remember that each of those numbers are referring to people. People who are living their lives with diabetes. People who wake up each day and battle a condition that currently has no cure.
And despite all of the staggering statistics that suggest otherwise, diabetes can make an individual feel very alone. It’s alienating, and reading that 29 million other people have the same diagnosis as you likely does little for most people in the way of easing that loneliness.
But the truth is, while your experience is unique to you as an individual, you aren’t alone. There are so many experiences that are shared by other people who are also battling this condition all day, every day. There are people who understand how you feel and what you’re going through. People who understand just how difficult it is to have diabetes.
The story in the video below is that of 10 year-old Katharine Wells. In the summer of 2015 she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Katharine still remembers a time before she was diagnosed.
It’s important to remember that those statistics are more than just numbers. They’re people. People who, like Katharine, hope every day that there will be a cure in their lifetime. We think Katharine is an incredibly brave young lady, and are so happy that her family took the time to put together such a beautiful and real account of what it’s like to live with diabetes.
Take a look.
L.D. and her eleven-year-old lab, Eleanor Rigby Fitzgerald, moved from Seattle to Grand Rapids earlier this year, and are currently enjoying exploring their new city! She likes books, music, movies, running, and being outdoors as much as possible.