Monday, February 1, 2010

An Open Letter To Oprah & Dr Oz - Please Get Your Show About Diabetes RIGHT

Dear Oprah and Dr Oz:

Rumor has it that on Thursday February 4th, you’re doing a show titled "America’s Silent Killer," and it’s completely dedicated to Diabetes.

And as a person with Type 1 Diabetes for over 30 years; a diabetes blogger and Diabetes Advocate, who comes from a family with a long history of Type 1 Diabetes, I appreciate that fact.



If you and Dr. Oz want to save lives and educate the public, differentiate between Type 1 –which is an autoimmune disease. And Type 2- a metabolic disease, and give equal time to both.

I’m hoping that you and Dr. Oz will go so far as to have an Endocrinologist on to discuss Diabetes in all it’s many shapes and forms.

I’m hoping that you’ll explain to the American public that both Type 1 and Type 2 are reaching epidemic proportions.

I'm hoping that Types 1.5 and gestational diabetes will be discussed as well.

I’m hoping that you tell the American public the realities of diabetes, instead of perpetuating the diabetes myths and stereotypes.

I’m praying that you will tell the American people that as type 1’s, no matter how much we exercise and eat healthy, we will always have to take insulin- no matter what!

As a person with Type 1 Diabetes, I could run a marathon daily, and I'd still have to take insulin every single day - because my life depends on insulin to survive and exist.

WHY? because PWDS (people with diabetes) bodies don’t make insulin due to that the area of our body that actually produced insulin (The Islets of Langerhans) was attacked and destroyed by our very own cells.

As a person with type 1, I have to tell you I’ve felt like type 1 is the Jan Brady of the diabetes family. The media always seems to talk about the more popular type 2 (Actually wrote a post re: titled, Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!) and those of us with Type 1 continually have to explain the differences, because the media never does.

Newscasters never seem to get the diabetes facts straight.

I’m not sure if it's shoddy research, time constraints, reporters not actually being aware of the different types of diabetes. Maybe they just don’t care about type 1 diabetics because they receive more advertising dollars from products/drugs geared towards type 2’s.

I think it’s most likely a combination. Whatever the reason(s), this needs to change!

Lives depend on people knowing ALL the diabetes facts/types!

I’m hoping that the Oprah Show Producers have done their research and hit the diabetes nail on the head so to speak.

I'm hoping....

Don’t disappoint your viewers with Type 1 Diabetes – Represent all people with Diabetes – not just one particular facet of the diabetes population!

Yours for a cure!

Kelly Kunik

Type 1 PWD


George said...

I hope they get it right. I really really do.

Cara said...

Here's to hoping.
I think part of it also has to do w/ the fact that there are more T2's. Sadly, there are more, so they get all the attention. Sigh.

Nan said...

yes k2!! did you somehow send this to the O show?? this is exactly what i've been so frustrated about lately!! these shows w/HUGE platforms spewing info at 100 miles an hour and they don't get all the facts right! i so hope Oprah gets it right!

Scott S said...

I saw this threat on and I have to say, the Big O's track record on health info. is pretty bad, so I don't have much hope ... but I guess we'll soon find out!

Crystal said...

Jan, Jan, Jan!!!
You brought it today, k2. Love. It.

Hope they read this and get it right, all facets of Diabetes, on Thursday.

Unknown said...

I hope they get it right too.
I just saw an episode of Dr. Oz a few weeks ago and it was on Diabetes. Dr. Oz and the ADA put on a free Diabetes screening in Time Square. Then they took a few people from the screening and told them how they can cut their weight and eat healthier. I don't recall them talking about T1. I hope they do in the ep with Oprah. But if it's about "America's silent killer" - I'm thinking it's going to be T2 primarily. ::sigh:: Hoping for the best though.

Penny said...

Oh I REALLY hope so. Cause if they don't get it right and my sisters and Mom, who watch Oprah and hear all the mis-information, that's all I am gonna hear about caring for Gracie.

They will start to tell me what kinds of exercise would help her with the 'betes and if she would only eat her veggies.. and no more McDonalds for her!...and she cannot, absolutely cannot have a birthday cake on her birthday.

Dear Lord, please let them get it right. For my sanity and hers.

Rachel said...

I also really hope that they get it right. I will be watching that's for sure!

Cherise said...

I hope they do but I bet they won't. I'm setting my DVR for this. Awesome post!

Chris Stocker said...

Diabetes is misconstrued a lot on television, let's hope she gets it right.

Faye said...


"D"as in "D" said...

Great post. I hope somehow Oprah and Oz get a clue and get it right. Because I am overweight, my own husband thinks I can lose weight and be Type 1-free. The media...friend and foe...

Nicole said...

Great post, I also wrote Dr.OZ a letter on Dec 3 09 about his misinformation on his diabetes episode. I was not even able to watch the whole episode I was sooo mad!! I have a 4 year old T1 daughter who was diagnosed on Feb 13th 09

Thanks for sharing your amazing letter. I suffer from dyslexia and sometimes it is hard for me to find the right words and proper spelling and things just have trouble making there way onto paper or in this case an email. But I defiantly found a way to get my letter to him. I realized later that I made a little mistake in some of my phrasing but I'm sure he got the idea. I still however have not gotten a response. I'm still waiting!!

Here is the link for the letter if you are interested in reading it.

Sarah and Sara said...

Please say you really sent this to Oprah!!!

Pamela said...

Thank you thank you thank you! I hope she listens.

CK said...

Thumbs up! Well written! Every single bullet point and every word. Thank you for this and thumbs up. I'd be happy to hear/read what you think AFTER the show. Unfortunately I won't be able to see it.


M said...

KELLY KELLY KELLY> I haven't spoken to you in a while-There isn't a chance in Hell they will get it right. My own doctor's can't! I am a true 1.5 and way quirky. It's about time we educated the right way. Best to you k2. M2

Diabetes Super MOM said...

Amen sister!! Well put and thought out. People need to know the difference and that the challenges are different.

I feel there are more things and resources for those who have type2.. but, I don't really know.

Thanks for sticking up for all of us!

Anonymous said...

I'm a teenager and I hope people start talking more about t1, most people my age think that there is only one kind of diabetes(t2) and to get it you have to be old or overweight.

FatCatAnna said...

Kelly - Thanks for the heads up on the upcoming show in America! Be interesting to see what is said, and of course, all we PWD's will no doubt write in and tell them what D is all about! I know I will! Must go set up PVR now!!

Kay Litchy said...

Amen sister. I get so sick of people who think I could be "cured" if I just ate right and exercised more. I've even had people ask me if I'm trying to loose weight. Because I weigh a hefty 107 lbs. Ugh.

Araby62 (a.k.a. Kathy) said...

From what I see online we'll all be throwing things at our TVs later today. Aaaarrggghhhh...

Tried to comment in one of the video sections, let's see if they post it!

Anonymous said...

pheeew, and i thought i might be the only one going crazy over the complete lack of acknowledgement of the two types! I sure do hope Oprah and Dr. Oz do something to address this!