I came across this:

Some of you will say that it’s all in good fun and just for laughs. I disagree. My son and daughter have type 1 diabetes. That alone is enough reason to be offended by this pic and by those who share it. But I’m not going to stop there. I’m offended because this picture portrays my children as chubby, over-eating, sugar-loading “Lil Diabeetus” as if they have no name, face, or feelings. And if that isn’t enough, it implies that they did something to cause their diabetes. When did life-threatening illnesses become a joke? When did children fighting every day for their health become funny? If you can put your kids to bed at night and not give it a second thought, good for you. I haven’t slept through the night in 5 years. Every morning I go into my kids’ rooms and watch to see them breathing as if they are newborn babies. And that is NOTHING compared to what they have to deal with every second of every day…the highs, the lows, being stuck with sharp objects daily. And pictures like this create one more obstacle that they have to crawl over in the middle of their carb-counting, finger-pricking, shot-taking, infusion site changing, stomach aching, hands shaking, nearly fainting life. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimune disease. Their bodies mistakenly thought their insulin producing cells in their pancreas were bad and destroyed them forever. They can’t make anymore. It might have been a virus. It might have been toxins in the environment. We may never know. But what I do know for sure is that it was NOT caused by any of the following:

Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies

Little Debbie Swiss Rolls

Little Debbie Zebra Cakes

Little Debbie Nutty Bars

Little Debbie Fudge Rounds

Little Debbie Star Crunches

Little Debbie Fudge Brownies

Little Debbie Marshmallow Supremes

Little Debbie Frosted Donuts

Little Debbie Honey Buns

Little Debbie Pecan Spinwheels

Little Debbie Gingerbread Cookies

Little Debbie Donut Sticks

Little Debbie Cinnamon Rolls

Raise your hand if you are now hungry for a Little Debbie snack cake!

In fact, I think I will go to the store right now and let my kiddos pick some out. They certainly deserve one.

Candy Bar Math Causes Diabetes

I’ve seen this picture too many times to count. Let me share with you why I don’t think it’s funny:

#1 It suggests that my son and daughter did something, or worse, ate something to cause their diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. While we may never know exactly what triggered their little bodies to attack the cells in their pancreas that make insulin, I’m CERTAIN it wasn’t because they ate too many candy bars.

#2 Diabetes is no laughing matter. My kids are in a constant battle for their lives. The list of complications from diabetes is too long to list. Blood sugars that are too high can result in comas and blood sugars that are too low or that drop too rapidly can cause seizures and brain damage. And as much as I don’t like to even type the word, both can lead to death. It’s a never-ending balancing act and diabetes seems to always have the upper hand.

#3 Sugar, yes the same sugar found in candy bars, is a lifesaver. My children never leave our house without taking some type of fast acting sugar with them. Candy has saved their lives too many times to count. Eating sweets did not cause their diabetes but it certainly does play an important role in keeping them healthy and alive.

#4 People with type 2 diabetes have feelings, too. What possesses others to poke fun at someone with a serious, life threatening disease? I’m happy for you if your body works the way it’s supposed to. Why make fun of those who aren’t as lucky?

#5 And last but certainly not least, this picture isn’t funny because thousands of people with diabetes are forced to look at it and it is, yet, another reminder of the ugly stereotype they have to fight every day.