The NY Post posted an op/ed piece by Bill Cosby today titled “A Plague Called Apathy” which talks about a great many things that Bill Cosby thinks are plaguing the inner city youth.

I want to tell you about something that I believe is plaguing the sufferers of type 1 diabetes. MISINFORMATION. SPREAD. IN. THE. MEDIA.

Bill mentions Apathy as the big issue. The definition of apathy is: Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern

Apparently, when it comes to learning about the difference between type 1 & type 2, Bill is, at best, apathetic.

Bill is talking about things the NY City mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to do by banning soft drinks in schools. His quote:

“No. 2: Juvenile diabetes. Children are not being taken out of harm’s way. And there are many things that we also can do, but one is you don’t want your child consuming too much sugar. That is what the mayor tried to do with the sugar in the soft drinks.”

Sugar is NOT the cause of type 1 diabetes (also know as Juvenile diabetes). Type 1 is an autoimmune disease. My daughters pancreas no longer produces insulin. This has NOTHING to do with Twinkies, or Coca Cola, or his beloved Jello Pudding Pops.

The sad thing is that if he listed Childhood Obesity instead, he would have a compelling story. That leads to so much more than type 2 diabetes. Prior to putting pen to paper, please do a little fact checking. And how much longer are type 1’s going to have to live with people making them feel bad, telling them they got diabetes by either their own poor choices, or their parents poor choices? It just isn’t fair dammit!

What can we do? ADVOCATE, ADVOCATE, ADVOCATE. Every chance I get, I try to spread awareness. The problem is that the NY Post and Bill Cosby can do so much more damage so much faster then I could ever try to repair. Letters to the editor, to publicists, to Bill himself. A retraction, or at least a correction would be a start. We saw it happen yesterday in this story about the sudden death of a West Allis infant: “The difference between type 1 and type 2“. That story isn’t perfect, but the overwhelming comments about their misinformation forced them to action.

Here is a page of email addresses to the NY Post to try: Contact the NY Post

To Mr. Bill Cosby, I expect an apology. In the paper. Tomorrow. You owe it to the children and parents that truly do know the meaning of the word “fight”. These type 1’s are Warriors.

We have to start somewhere. These stories just keep coming…

*edit: The NY Post has removed the word “Juvenile” from the original post. Now, as this was an op/ed piece, shouldn’t it stand as written by the author? Kinda scary that a news organization would edit or change things like that. However, it still lumps type 1 & type 2 together, and doesn’t explain the difference. But we are being heard…

Team Blackdogsrule

 

 

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21 Comments

  1. Thank you for doing this! It is so frustrating reading the misinformation. These articles and reports that are inaccurate about type 1 the last couple of days aggravate me. The people responsible for writing and/or publishing them are educated people who should know better than to not do their research first! I tried leaving a comment on the article but didn’t see where I could. So thanks for leaving a link to do so!

    • Frank Wisneski

      I tried to respond to Amber, the NY Post doesn’t allow commenting (at least on that article), but I did send a letter to the editor, and I have shared this post on the JDRF Advocacy page

    • Thank you for posting this letter. I am on several type 1 facebook groups and we are all outraged by this story. I can’t believe that they changed the original by removing the word Juvenile! I was outraged by that. I write a blog on what it’s like to have type 1 in our family, my 12 yr old son and my 7 yr old grandson both live with it. We are huge advocates of education, in fact both boys are the 2013 Youth Ambassadors for the American Diabetes Association. We have been to our state Capitol to advocate for diabetes issues, both type 1 and 2. Funny thing is that Mr. Cosby made millions of dollars endorsing Coca-Cola, Jell-o, gelatin, and even White Owl Cigars. He also mentions smoking in his story.
      Thanks for writing a wonderful response.
      Therese

  2. You just said everything I wanted to say but couldn’t find the words. Thank you!

  3. Thank you!!!! For sticking up for all us D parents and our children…

  4. I agree Mr Cosby didn’t do a good job portraying type 1. Honestly tho if you or your child didn’t have type 1 would you have even noticed? I believe people are overreacting. Let’s calmly try to educate without bashing people. My son, that has type 1, knows that sugar didn’t cause this. To me that’s all I need to know. If Bill Cosby was a medical professional it would be different but he’s not He’s an actor!! He was just rambling like people do. I have lots of opinions the difference is that he is a public icon. So what! We have representatives on TV that portray type 1 correctly also. So maybe we should just try to get a positive word out instead of always criticizing. I’d like to been know as part of a group with positive attitude

    • Frank Wisneski

      I agree that Mr Cosby is an actor, and as such, should not have talked about medical issues. The epidemic he speaks of is Childhood Obesity, if it must be labeled, which carries with it many more health concerns than only type 2 diabetes. Heart issues, high blood pressure, the list is long.

      The problem lies in the fact that both Mr. Cosby, and the NY Post have a HUGE audience. Mr Cosby is a beloved actor from a great sitcom. They have done more damage, and spread more misinformation about diabetes then I can possibly ever try to reverse here. Does that mean I shouldn’t try? I should give up? Hell no.

      I try to post positive stories often here and on our FB page. But when I see blatantly wrong info being spread, I owe it to my daughter, who NEEDS a cure, and who NEEDS organizations to fund raise, run tests, experiments, explore new medicines and treatments, etc, to speak out, so people don’t just assume that if she laid off the cheeseburgers and Snickers, and as such, think that instead of needing money for a cure or treatments, she just needs some self control and a gym membership.

      • I think that we can get into that space of not wanting to “rock the boat” for fear we will stir things up in a “negative” fashion. What we forget is that misinformation is negative. It hurts our kids. Perception counts, it drives research, and dollars and ultimately support for finding a cure. Talking about the struggle of this disease and the path we are on with our kids does not have to victimize us. We need to remember that our intention is to empower and to educate and then to act with that intention – always. Not just when it is comfortable That doesn’t mean everyone will understand or like it. Oh well…it’s not their kid.

    • Since my child and grandchild both have type 1, I did notice. If they didn’t have it, I probably would have noticed and thought the same thing that countless hundreds will think; that all people with diabetes have it because they eat to many sweets, I mean if Bill Cosby says it, it’s true. I have always admired Mr. Cosby for his straightforward, unbiased opinions. That’s why this is a huge deal.

      And the fact that Mr. Cosby is an actor, not a medical professional, is exactly why we need to stand up and say enough. If you don’t know what you are talking about, stop. I’m not overreacting, but reacting to a problem within our T1 community and the world. How can we properly educate people to look for the signs of type 1 if everything thinks you get it from eating sugar? How can I turn away from my son continually being asked if he has the “bad” diabetes, or “should you be eating that cupcake?”

      We are generating a lot of hype around this article, which is raising awareness to Type 1 diabetes, it’s a platform to educate. It’s a good thing that this came out the way it did. Last week in my community a child died, unknown causes at the time of death, but it leaked to the media that the child’s blood sugar was 4 times higher than it should have been. The distraught Mother of the toddler was on the news nearly apologizing for giving her child chocolate milk, a little soda now and again, and admitted to giving him juice. I say admitted because it was like she was on trial. Finally the T1 community stepped in and asked for a follow-up to the story. A local family with a child with T1 was interviewed and they told the truth about how you get T1 and that the grieving Mother didn’t cause her child’s high blood sugar. It was tragic. But, anytime we can educate we’re doing a service to our T1 community.

  5. Johanna DeGidio Reynolds

    Letter sent to the editor 🙂

  6. Mimi of five; aunt of ten

    As the great aunt of three T 1’s, let me say that I would like to see the errors corrected publicly by Mr. Cosby. If he is an humble man, he will admit his mistake and publicize the facts. He could easily fund researchers searching for a CURE, before another beloved child becomes a statistic!

  7. My daughter was diagnosed at 18 months old. She had never had a soda…first soda ever was at 6 years old! She is a healthy eater! Fruits, veggies, meat and homemade bread items, she also has celiac disease. She doesn’t get fast food. I did not give diabetes to my daughter or celiac for that matter. Both of her “diseases” are auto immune diseases, I couldn’t stop it from happening to her and that is hard to accept as a parent. I am far from lazy. I check her sugars around the clock…8am, 10am,12pm, 2pm, 5pm, 8pm, 10 pm, 12am, 2 am and sometimes 4am. I haven’t slept a full night in 5.5 yrs! Even my off nights I wake up panicked and need to check. And I am a full time short order cook for her ad well 🙂

  8. I guess seeing this come from Cosby really surprises me…I’ve grown up with his sitcoms, loved his stand up, but I really dislike the diarrhea of the mouth on this one! I am assuming he has no one close to him with type 1 or he would be more educated on the subject. Being the man he portrays himself to be I look forward to his apology. Come spend a day in my house Bill…your head will spin we are so busy and active and sleep is not something for the parents in this house….being a pancreas for a child is a full time around the clock job with no breaks what-so-ever.

  9. Ben McClelland

    Great advocacy, Frank.

  10. I think the misinformation stems from the misleading nature of the term “juvenile diabetes” itself. The term has been abandoned by the medical community for this very reason. Type 1 diabetes affects both children and adults. My brother was diagnosed with T1 in his early 20s. And the number of children, adolescents, and young adults with Type 2 Diabetes has increased dramatically in the last few decades. And as awful as T1 is, it cannot be prevented or treated through better diet, exercise, and education. People’s hearts are in the right place, but I understand how misusing the term does damage. Illnesses that have “fault” are underfunded, even if in some circumstances the person does not make unhealthy decisions to cause their illness, so understanding the difference between these two illnesses is very important. I have to say I believe whomever authored this article meant to refer to the growing number of juveniles with T2 caused by childhood obesity, which is a serious, growing, and in most cases preventable problem. Overall, though, it’s very important to educate yourself before speaking on any topic to the public. Bill Cosby has made some pretty elitist/classist statements in speeches before, and he tends to follow the belief that people are always at fault for their problems.

    • Frank Wisneski

      I agree Annie, if we substitute the word “diabetes” for “childhood obesity” in this story, it serves it’s purpose, and THEN we can talk not only about type 2 diabetes, but also heart disease, high blood pressure, and all of the other myriad issues facing this growing epidemic.

  11. I am with you 100%! I also sent a letter to the editor and just noticed that they have now removed the word “juvenile” from the title. Okaaayy – is that supposed to make us T1 families feel better? I think not. We must keep on advocating! I

  12. Carol helgemo

    Thought Bill Cosby was an intelligent person until I read his article about type 1 diabetes!!! Is he mis informed or just stupid on it”s cause???

  13. I sent a short letter to the NYTimes explaining the difference. Kept it short for editorial reasons, and if enough of us send such letters, maybe they will publish one or two. People do read the letters to the editor, and that will help with education. I actually want better education more than I want an apology.

  14. Letter sent to Mr. Bill Cosby via his official FB page.

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