What qualifies you to be a good diabetes advocate?

With my involvement in the diabetes community I’m upset at my own people for not giving more support to Paula Dean. My personal opinion on it is that everyone goes through a different mourning period when they’re diagnosed with a chronic illness. Who are we to judge her on her timeline? Also, the diabetes community (and media) embraced Bret Michaels when he (after years of having type-1 diabetes) decided to start being more public about it on Celebrity Apprentice. Is he the picture perfect diabetes lifestyle? No. But he was embraced because he at least was willing to come out in public and raise money and awareness. Why is our opinion of Paula Deen different?

Or take Halle Berry? The diabetes community (and the world) don’t even know what type of diabetes she has. “In a December 2005

Daily Mail article about Berry and her diabetes, the paper said she had Type 2. In a 2006 New York Times article, the Times said

she had Type 1.”  She herself said, “I’ve managed to wean myself off insulin, so now I’d like to put myself in the Type 2 category.”

The American Diabetes Association had to come out with a statement saying, “We don’t want people with Type 1 to hear about this and stop taking their insulin,” said Diane Tuncer, the association’s director of communications.”After hearing one story about a celebrity, people shouldn’t begin questioning their treatment. No one should stop treatment without consulting their physician,” she said.

So for one she’s not even putting out correct information about the disease, and two she’s been unwilling to do any good for diabetes unless it concerns going to the celeb-filled Carousal of Hope Ball in Beverly Hills every other year for diabetes. That’s it. She’s the most beautiful woman in the world and one of the most well known. She could do so much for the cause and chooses not to.

My respect with Paula is she’s always been true to herself, she now has a chronic illness that unfortunately has some conflicts with the whole empire she’s created but at least she’s trying, and she came out when she was ready. Let’s applaud celebrities who are you using their celebrity to help out our cause of diabetes. And let’s remember that none of us are perfect. With 25 million Americans having diabetes and it costing the country hundreds of billions of healthcare dollars we need any diabetes advocate we can get.

Halle Berry…I’m waiting for you…