Wednesday, 9 May 2012

learning to live

It's been a hectic few weeks with a dramatic lack of tweets/ blog posts. The combination of my (delightful) mother and maternal grandmother's visit. Stupid amounts of time behind the wheel of the car getting to/from races and of course a paper mountain of marking to do has transpired to keep my little fingers occupied with something other than blogging.

anyway the purpose for my posting today is to inform you of a new and exciting project which i will be taking part in. I'm working alongside Ayuda (whom i mentioned in my last post) andt heir partners aprendiendo a vivir (here's a cool article) on a project promoting exercise in the dominican republic. It is reckoned that about 25% of the population are diabetic with roughly half of those people being undiagnosed. Whilst insulin is readily avaliable education,and test strips, are not. Whilst insulin may be the drug which helps one manage one's diabetes it is meaningless without the knowledge of how and when to use it. Think about flying a plane with no training, and in thick fog. If you don't know your bloodglucose level corrections can't be made, if you can't calculate your bolus because you don't know how many carbs there are in your food or then insulin isn't that useful . In a  country where the average wage is less than 2,500 US dollars a year, test strips at 0.65 USD a pop are a pretty huge expense.
Combine the difficulty of accessing the information and testing supplies with the fact that 70% of the population is classified as doing "zero" exercise and we get a situation where it's unlikely that diabetic people are getting out, getting active and getting healthy because of it.

The education part of the issue is what i hope to help with, along with providing something of an example (or at least sometimes being an example). I've been working on using different insulins, in order to be able to speak from experience and help more people. Anyone who's seen my facebook page will know i have had mixed results but this doesn't speak to the insulin being "better" or "worse" but merely the learning curve of finding out how the insulin works and when it acts during exercise. I'll be going over to the DR, racing and riding bikes, trying to share my experiences with diabetes and give any help or advice that i can.

The test strips part, i need your help with: anyone with any spare strips can donate them (i'll take them across myself and ensure they go to people in need) I'll be going over at the end of the month, an most likely again for world diabetes day in November. Our event (linked above) will have a huge presence in the media and the capital city but one event, with lots of "high profile" diabetics isn't a solution it's just the start of one. What we need to move towards is support for aprendiendo a vivir so that they can continue to do the good they are doing and to expand their influence into other areas. we're using this page to raise funds. Please consider giving what you can to help, strips, money or even your time (AYUDA accept a limited number of volunteers). You will be doing something personally to solve a real problem; nobody asked to be born without a working pancreas, nobody did anything to deserve it and, in a world where i can race bikes with diabetes nobody should lose limbs because of it.

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