Fantasizing with a dollar and a dream
Let’s suspend reality for a moment. Many people in America are doing today that anyway.
As of this writing, the Mega-Millions lottery jackpot is up to $640,000,000. That’s more than half a billion dollars. What would you do if you won this enormous jackpot? I admit, I’ve fantasized about it a bit.
Of course, I would make sure that my family and I were taken care of: housing, college tuition, all that good stuff. I would keep my house – I like it here – but I’d probably put in a pool and maybe hire a housekeeper (with excellent carb-counting skills) to do the cooking and cleaning for me.
But what of the rest? Although I’ve probably got a better chance of waking up tomorrow, magically cured of diabetes, than I do of matching all six numbers, it’s still nice to dream.
As a person with T1D and as a member of the growing DOC, I can’t help but think of how I could help my friends and myself. My first thought, in my Mega-Millions fantasy, was to provide much needed funding to Dr. Faustman’s research for a cure. But then what – can I stop there? Who’s to say that she’s going to find the answer? Maybe Islet Sheets are the Holy Grail. Or something else. I really don’t know. There are plenty of other researchers who are also working on a cure, and who am I to judge which will be successful? And while I’m optimistic about Dr. Faustman’s BCG trials, the Juvenile Diabetes Cure Alliance (JDCA) doesn’t even list those methods as contributing to what they call a Practical Cure. And I don’t believe you’ll find a more comprehensive review of the different approaches towards a cure anywhere than you’ll find at the JDCA. Nonetheless, there is no cure yet, and there may never be one.
But is the quest for a cure really the angle I should be looking towards? I read about my neighbors in this virtual diabetes community who are skimping on their supplies, skipping BG tests, using inferior Regular and NPH insulin, cancelling doctor visits, and so on, because they just can’t afford the care they deserve. I’m sure that, somewhere, a T1D is sitting on a sidewalk shaking a paper cup, trying to collect enough spare change so he could afford to get his next fix of Humalog. It’s an incredibly sad and depressing reality, and finding a cure in 2025 will do nothing to help these folks get through the next thirteen years. I would love to give everyone the help they need, but the World Health Organization estimates there are about 346 million PWD’s in the world (Type 1 and 2 combined). If I were to give each one of them two bucks, it wouldn’t do much good.
Maybe trying to give the diabetes community the medicine and supplies they need is the wrong approach. Maybe it would be better to encourage and motivate them to take care of themselves. You know, the whole “Give a man a fish…” proverb. The best fishing teachers – I mean uncertified diabetes educators – come from the Diabetes Online Community. Manny, founder of the Diabetes Hands Foundation, created TuDiabetes.org and EsTuDiabetes.org to bring overwhelming global support to those of us who once felt so alone. Perhaps supporting the DHF is the way to help the community at large. (There are many D-bloggers out there who also offer encouragement and motivation, but we’re talking charitable donations here, and since blogs generally don’t solicit donations, I won’t name them here).
I’d love to help Meri Schuhmacher and her family. Fortunately, prayers don’t cost a thing.
The point is, winning the Mega-Millions might make some things easier, but it would also make things really complicated. I’m not quite sure how I would spend the $640 million jackpot if I won it, and it makes me really conflicted just to ponder the possibilities. It’s tough to figure out where to spend your money when you have a lot of it. And, as is the case for many of us who want to contribute to “the cause”, it’s tough to figure out where to spend your money when you don’t have a lot.
But I will make this one guarantee: if I win the big prize, I’ll invite all of you to my home (or another suitable meeting place) in New Jersey to thank you, in person, for being a loyal follower of this blog – all expenses paid. You and a guest can enjoy round-trip airfare to Newark Liberty International Airport and a week’s stay at the Holiday Inn in Parsippany (or a reasonable alternate), and it’s on me. Just leave a note in the comments.
If that’s not a way to buy blog views, then I don’t know what is.