When I think of November, much like December, I think of food. This is normally in conjunction with family, which in my case, normally dovetails anyway, regardless of the time of year. But November is the start of the holiday season, and with any holiday, there is food. Lots of food. And Thanksgiving is arguably the most notable food holiday. Sweet and savory, meat, potatoes and pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, for a lot of Americans, these foods are not something they look forward to, it’s something they dread. With nearly 1 in 10 Americans suffering from diabetes, the holidays are more of a minefield than they are a celebration. So it’s both ironic and possibly fitting that November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.
Perhaps more than cancer, certainly more than other diseases like Alzheimer’s and Lupus, diabetes comes in different varieties and to an extent, is entirely preventable, and even reversible. So when it comes to fundraising for diabetes awareness, the focus is not just on treating the disease, but educating people in how to prevent and reverse it. That’s a lot of power to put into something like awareness ribbons or awareness bracelets. But that’s what the American Diabetes Association works tirelessly for every year, especially in November.
The key is to point out, through events, through paper pamphlets with awareness ribbons attached, in news and media, how easy it is to prevent various kinds of diabetes with simple diet and exercise practices. That will not prevent all kinds of diabetes, unfortunately, but for anyone at risk or suffering from type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise can be the main component in reversing or preventing diabetes in the first place! Facts like that save lives, and can make holidays like Thanksgiving something to be celebrated again, instead of something to dread.