For those of us who were diagnosed as children and have lived with diabetes for decades, it can seem like management is all we can hope for. There have been some incredible advances in technology recently, however, such as the “artificial pancreas” which promises easier management than ever before. Breakthroughs like these remind me that some of the best minds are working tirelessly on diabetes research and offering real hope for a cure one day.
Luckily, there’s a lot we can do to help them along and bring that day closer!
You could have figured this one out on your own, I know, but it bears repeating. There are many fantastic organizations like the American Diabetes Association, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation, and JDRF to name just a few that rely almost entirely on voluntary donations in order to function and fund life-saving research.
For something a little more out of the box, Diabetes Research Connection makes it easy to support research directly by connecting interested donors with young, early career scientists who are studying exciting, innovative ideas for treating and curing diabetes.
Whether you make a one time gift or set up a regular donation, your support can go a long way. You can even make an impact with nothing but your spare pocket change through the Wall of Change project, or share a single dollar bill when you participate in the Power of One fundraiser, started by 13 year old Johnathan Berman.
Start a Fundraiser
If you want to take it one step further, you can rustle up more support from your community by organizing your own fundraising event in your neighborhood, club, workplace, or place of worship. Stick to what you already love, whether that means a marathon or walk, a bake sale, a neighborhood dinner, a sponsored event, etc. Both the ADA and JRF offer help you can use to get started setting up and run your event.
Say I Do
If you or any good friends are getting married soon, make sure you register with the I Do Foundation. It’s free, and it allows both couples and their guests to donate a portion of their wedding related expenses — everything from honeymoons to gifts to invitations!
If you buy everything on Amazon.com (who doesn’t?) you can support diabetes research at the same time! Sign up for Amazon Smile and select either Diabetes Research Foundation or Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation. Every time you make a purchase, 0.5 percent of the cost will go to support a great cause. Just remember to browse from Smile.Amazon.com instead of the normal site.
If you can bear to part with Google, Yahoo-powered search engine GoodSearch.com can help fund research (or your favorite cause) with every idle web search you make.
Talk & Listen
You don’t have to donate money to support the cause. If you have diabetes, I urge you to be open and talk with your friends and acquaintances about what it’s like to manage the disease. If you don’t have diabetes yourself, focus on being a great listener and support system for your friends and loved ones who do. The more awareness, understanding, and respect we can pass along for people with diabetes, the better for everyone — both in the search for a cure and in our happy, healthy lives until then.