Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

By Quinn Nystrom

Can you believe that 100 years ago, a young boy named Leonard Thompson received his first successful insulin injection? On January 11, 1922, 14-year-old Leonard became the first person to receive an insulin injection as a treatment for diabetes. Before that, people with Type 1 diabetes did not survive for more than a few months with the disease.

The world of medicine has come so far in those one hundred years, but there still is much work to do. On November 14, 2022, agencies, organizations, and individuals globally are calling on policymakers to increase access to diabetes education to help improve the lives of more than half a billion people living with diabetes worldwide.

How Can You Help

· Pressure governments to increase investment in diabetes care and prevention.

· Lean on policymakers to increase access to diabetes education and make insulin affordable in the United States.

· Send a letter to your national health minister or policymaker through the website.

· Raise awareness by talking about it with kids and young adults.

One of the best ways to help the youngest generation understand their diagnosis, or the diagnosis of a loved one, is with books. Here are three wonderful picture books to help young learners understand and participate in World Diabetes Day:

  1. Mommy Beeps by Kim Baillieul: Where does insulin go? In the butter compartment of the fridge, of course. Mommy Beeps is a story for children with a parent, sibling, teacher, or other loved one navigating life with diabetes. Within the colorful illustrations and thoughtful text, readers will explore the day in the life of a type 1 diabetic and her child as they go on adventures. Topics covered include dealing with high and low sugars, waiting on hold for lab results, visiting the endocrinologist, and why diabetic machines “beep.” This a delightful book for families with a member who has type 1 diabetes (or type 2!) – but is not diabetic themselves.
  2. Open Up Your Bag by Mike Lawson: This fun picture book about diabetes can be found on Open Up Your Bag is one of several diabetes picture books offered that is specifically geared for children in the early stages of developing their routine of managing a life with diabetes. Parents can download supplemental coloring sheets and activity pages downloads from the Diabetes Doodles website.
  3. Diabetes? Wow…: An Illustrated Guide to Help Answer Type 1 Diabetes Questions by Briar Hoper: Geared toward an older reader (age 13 to 18), this book explains type 1 diabetes in a way that is short and to the point. This book helps navigate the many aspects of diabetes with colorful pictures, diagrams, and descriptions. What is diabetes? Is it contagious, Do you have to get shots? Will it go away? These and many other questions are answered in short, clear snippets to help readers better understand the world of diabetes.

The World Diabetes Day website also has a plethora of toolkits, education materials, statistics, and graphics to help facilitate meaningful conversations about diabetes health care in your community, school, or home. Go here to learn more and be a changemaker!