Monday, October 26, 2009

This Has To Stop NOW. And With Your Help It Can

This “Letter to the Editor” was written to the editor of the Idaho State Journal” and was published on Sunday, October 25th, 2009.

BIG THANKS to Wendy over at CandyHearts, who not only emailed me (and others) about this letter, but responded with her own fantastic letter to the Editor on her blog.

Wendy originally found the story on Shamae’s blog, Crazy, Happy, Life. Shamae found this craziness when she opened Sunday’s paper. Unfortunately she was greeted with ignorance and hatred before her morning coffee. Here's what she wrote!


Here’s the letter- in all its ignorance and glory.


On Oct. 3, myself and my girlfriend were eating lunch at Burger King. A family came in and sat across the aisle from us. While the father was ordering food, we were shocked and appalled to see a boy inject himself with whatever medication, in front of God and everybody all while sitting at the table. We found this extremely offensive. That sort of business should be done in private. How about a little respect for those around you. Other than the obvious fact that it's not sanitary for those who use the table next, you have no idea how something like that can affect people. People go through a lot in their life and things like that may bring up certain feelings and memories best forgotten. I would like to thank those that day for totally ruining my meal.

According to Wendy, the author of the letter is Mr. Wallace Barber.

Here's my resonse.

Dear Mr. Barber:

You poor man. How dare that child with Type 1 Diabetes inject himself with a little needle of life saving insulin in your very presence? It must have been very scary for a big grown up man to see a little child do what needed to be done.

Here’s a thought: Man up and get a clue! –The child you wrote about obviously suffered from Type 1 Diabetes, a chronic and sometimes deadly disease.

You sir, (and I use that term ever so lightly) have no ideal what it’s like to be a child or adult with Type 1 Diabetes!

Yes idiot, people do indeed go through a lot in life.

People with Type 1 Diabetes go through daily insulin shots before every meal and at bedtime- numbering in the hundreds of thousands over their lifetime.

We test our blood sugar between 10 and 15 times a day- or fingers bleed and become callused, but that doesn’t stop us. We test, and we test often.

We go through high and low blood sugars on a daily basis- constantly looking to find that the delicate balance between the two - both mentally and physically.

We live life both fearing and anticipating our future. We know what complications could await us…. or not. Yet we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps everyday and live our best lives…despite people like you.

We do what needs to be done (testing, injections, carb counting- multiple times a day,) every single day, 24X 7 and then we wake up and do it again the next day.

We go through the trials and tribulations of having to deal with people like yourself on a daily basis. People who are ignorant, uneducated and selfish regarding our disease.

Children with Diabetes grow up educated, not ignorant, and are a friend to anyone who needs one because children with Diabetes know know what's it like to be treated unkindly by others because they are different.

To date, there is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes. While insulin treats the disease, it does not cure it!

And from your words- there is obviously no cure for being ignorant.

The only treatment is education.

PLEASE, for all our sakes, GET EDUCATED.

As for me, I’ll take Type 1 Diabetes over ignorance any day!

Kelly Kunik

Type 1 Diabetic and Patient Advocate


This is the letter I sent to the editor.


Here’s the link:


Shamae (Ghost written by Loren her hubby) said...

Well done Kelly. Fab letter! I can't wait to see how the paper responds to the overwhelming opposition to Mr. Barber's letter! Thanks!

Wendy said...

Well BRAVO.....

YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Standing Ovation and proud to be part of this revolution :)

Meri said...

Great letter Kelly! I'm SO glad that you got on the bandwagon...we need the word to get out! We need this paper to be inundated with as many letters as possible. I think I'm also a little upset with the paper for even running such an insensitive letter that was so full of prejudice. :(

rachel said...

Another important point to make to people - it's probably more sanitary out in the midst of the restaurant than in the bathroom to be injecting!

meanderings said...

Thanks for spreading the word about this, Kelly. If Idaho wasn't so far away I'd suggest that we all meet there and inject at the Burger King together. I hope the parents read the many responses.

phonelady said...

Bravo Kelly glad we are all on the bandwagon and yes i think the paper will be overwhelmed with responses and print a retraction at least I hope they will we are counting on shamae to let us know if we are going to be in print or not . Ignorance I tell you total ignorance and all of us wrote letters to the newspaper now let us see if they have the guts to print them .

Unknown said...

I just sent in my letter. Posted it here

Does anyone know how I can find out if they printed it?

Scott K. Johnson said...

The ignorance we have to deal with is a real struggle sometimes, isn't it?

FatCatAnna said...

Kelly, I just posted my comments to the editor. Many thanks for letting us know of the story/link - so we can flood the paper with our responses! I say shame on Mr. Barber (let's hope he never becomes dependent on insulin like we all are).

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this is our boy, Mr. "Wally the Potatohead." I have no idea if it's actually him, but how many "Wally Barbers" can there be in Porticello, Idaho??