Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dear CrossFit: My Diabetes Homies & I Would Like You To Know....

NO, NO, NO. 
Dear CrossFit: My Diabetes Homies & I Would Like You To Know.... 

Making fun of people with diabetes isn’t funny. It’s offensive, disturbing and it perpetuates diabetes myths instead of perpetuating and teaching diabetes realities. 
And because of tweets/jokes/rubbish like yours, diabetes becomes an unending diabetes blame-game,a target and punchline, that keeps people living with diabetes and regardless of the type, in the Diabetes Closet. 
Your offensive tweet  also directly impacts funding for diabetes research. 
Diabetes shaming is a thing and a horrific thing at that. Diabetes shaming like your unfunny tweet makes fun of a very real group of diseases (t1 diabetes, LADA type 1.5, and T2 diabetes,) that are never ending and have the potential to kill. 

And just to be crystal clear, I didn’t develop my type 1 diabetes as a skinny 8 year old because I drank too much soda. 
And my friend Jen didn’t develop her t2 diabetes because of soda. She doesn’t drink soda, weighs 20 pounds less than I do and has always worked out. 
But Jen’s mother and grandmother have and had type 2 diabetes - so there you go.
Genetics came into play - as it usually does with type 2. 
And lets just say for shits and giggles that some people living with t2 struggle with their weight - as a company that promotes fitness and a healthy lifestyle, do you really think it’s OK to make fun of others via social media (or any other platform,) struggling with their weight???
Do you think it’s OK to publicly mock people struggling with their health via social media? 

Diabetes shaming in tweets like yours are exactly why people have difficulty managing/accepting and living with their diabetes

Diabetes, regardless of the type, is never ending, physically and emotionally demanding - not to mention financially draining. 
People with diabetes work so hard and we never get a break or a day off from living with diabetes - personally, I haven’t had a day off from diabetes in 13,687.5 days. 
As a Type1, I do not have the ability to make insulin because my own body attacked the part of my pancreas (the Islet of Langerhans,) that produces insulin, way back when I was skinny eight year old. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks and put on a 3000 calorie a day diet because I looked like a concentration camp victim - my body was literally starving itself. 

FTR: People need insulin to to live - and will die without. I could run marathons everyday and I would still require insulin to live. 
Do you know anyone that’s died because of diabetes? 
Unfortunately I do and I can assure it’s painful, scary, and you will never get over the loss or the pain. 
My older sister Debbie, who died of diabetes complications as a 32 year old type 1 in 1991, didn’t lose her life to diabetes complications because she drank to much soda. 
Debbie lost her life to diabetes for a multitude of reasons - all directly related to diabetes. 
Unfortunately, Debbie was diagnosed in the mid 60’s, a time when there was no such thing as fast acting insulins or diabetes technologies. The treatment for t1 diabetes back then was archaic the life expectancy of someone with t1 in the 1960s was grim.
 Not to mention that no one ever considered the mental side of living with diabetes, nor was  talked about, let alone treated.  Her little body was ravaged from years of living with t1 and watching her die was a tragedy. 
My parents never got over her death - and truthfully, neither have I. 

Are you aware that people with Type 1 can die from something called “Dead-IN-Bed,” syndrome? They die from a low blood sugar in their sleep. Nothing funny about that. 

Crossfit - You will never get a single dime from me. 
But hopefully Coca-Cola will take the extra millions and millions of dollars they have the potential to win in a lawsuit re: your egregious use of their logo/copyright infringement, and use said money to provide funding for diabetes research for the cure, Peer to Peer Diabetes Support, Artificial Pancreas research, grass roots diabetes efforts and the likes there of.  

Kelly Kunik
t1 PWD (Person with Diabetes) for almost 38 years. 

Special shoutout to Moira McCarthy for showing up in my Facebook feed the minute I logged on this morning and alerting the DOC! 


Bridget said...

Love the article! I'd personally like to see them apologize, admit their mistake, and correct it. Their reach is huge, and this is not a simple little error, it went out to tons of people. They then tweeted that those with T1 should know the difference and not get offended. But they still don't get it. It's not about those with T1 or parents of T1's like myself that don't get it it's about the masses they spread their misconceptions and ignorant information to. The lack of empathy for those that have lost loved ones to diabetes is ridiculous.

Unknown said...

Awesome You tell-em Kelly

Anonymous said...

The worst part about all of this is the tweets that Crossfit put out trying to "defend" their tweet! They were terrible! The only good thing that I saw was that SO MANY PEOPLE wrote back about how terrible the tweet was. Here's to the DOC sticking together!

Unknown said...

So glad to see the feedback on the ridiculous tweet made by Crossfit. As a diabetes educator for close to 20 years, I am acutely aware of the daily challenges faced by everyone with every type of diabetes. Yes we teach and I truly believe that most people with diabetes actually are healthier than many without due to the attention paid to healthful lifestyle choices. Keep blogging!

Unknown said...

Well-said!! :)