Recently I watched the Tribe Called Quest documentary and found out through it that Phife has Type 1 Diabetes. In a lot of ways, the disease has caused havoc in his life. My aunt has Type 1, my father-in-law has Type 1. It hasn't been unknown to me, yet I never understood EXACTLY what it is.
From the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation): Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved.
Here's the thing for me. I always thought of my aunt's injection of insulin as somewhat a cure. It's not. She'll have to do that every day for the rest of her life. Same goes for Phife, same goes for my Father-in-law, same for the millions of Americans suffering from this disease presently . Since I don't always see these injections happen, it's easy for me to take for granted the difficulty of a life lived needing to measure so many factors throughout a day just to survive. The chairman of the JDRF says that those with the disease "need to be mathematicians, physicians, personal trainers, and dieticians all rolled into one."
Since Type 1 can strike suddenly, it also means that none of us are exempt or immune. We need a cure. Right now there are as many as 3 million folks with Type 1, and about 80 people are diagnosed with it PER DAY! That's staggering. For more info visit www.jdrf.org. Meanwhile, support Diabetes research and get your fresh up at the same time by purchasing some gear from Type 3, featured in the commercial above.