Kinda embarrassing, since when I was working I used to make fun of my stay at home mom friends who made such a big deal over the programs they watched on TV. But alas, I LOVE my shows. I even watch the news. I didn't use to, but I actually really enjoy the local CBS 5 news.... they have some great anchors and I like their "keeping it real" approach to reporting.
So, yesterday, on World Diabetes Day I was happy to see a portion about Diabetes. There had been A TON of breast cancer stories during Pink October... and I wondered if Diabetes would even get a mention come November.
Unfortunately after the very short and to the point blip that diabetes received I was frustrated and angry. So, what else could we do, but write a letter? Sugar Daddy actually did the honors, and we sent it off to the published email for the general manager of the station.
To Whom It May Concern:
Our 5-year-old son is a type 1 diabetic, so at first we were pleased to see some mention of diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation on this “World Diabetes Day.” However, we take significant issue with how the story was reported, as would most type 1 diabetics themselves.
The segment copy as it was read stated that “most future cases are preventable because they will be tied to weight gain and not getting enough exercise.” This may be true for type 2 diabetes, but it is NOT true for type 1. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disorder that affects both children and adults; diet and exercise have no bearing whatsoever on a person developing this variant of the disease. It is not preventable; it is only treatable by administration of insulin.
The segment as it aired made no distinction between type 1 and type 2 when making this statement, thus perpetuating the misinformation that surrounds type 1 diabetes. This misinformation not only is frustrating to those of us who must continually explain or defend how we raise our children, but it also, we believe, slows our society’s advancement toward better treatments, and, eventually, a cure for this disease.
If you wish to learn more, please visit our blog at http://www.sugarkidsblog.com. It contains information about type 1 diabetes, as well as other resources made available by the greater “diabetes online community.”
On behalf of the larger community of parents of children with type 1 and adults with type 1, we appreciate your attention to detail when reporting on such matters.
We closed the letter with our contact information.
I sincerely hope they read our letter. I sincerely hope they will take the time to learn more about BOTH types of diabetes, before they decide to report on it again. Because after all... for a news station that prides itself on "Telling It Like It Is" they sure dropped the ball on this story!