May is fast approaching, as is author Brenda Novak’s annual action to raise money for diabetes research. As I shared with you last year, I’ve known Brenda since the start of my writing journey and she is one of the sweetest and most encouraging authors you could hope to meet. I had the pleasure to sit beside her during my flight home from my first RWA National Conference. We talked about our families and missing our kids and Brenda shared her worries over her youngest of five children and his life-threatening struggles with juvenile diabetes. Nothing can be more frightening for a parent than to have their child be under constant siege of a life-threatening disease. A few years later I was thrilled to hear about the benefit she was putting together to aid diabetes research. The support she managed to rally inside and outside of Romance Writer’s of America was awe-inspiring. In the past four years her auction has continued to grow. Last year the auction raised $252,000–that’s more than A QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS!
Bidding begins on May 1st, but it could take a day or so to preview all the donations. Be sure to bookmark the page! Bidders can also register early and click “watch item” on those of interest to get automatic updates!
This year I’ve donated a western style (of course!) purse filled with my complete Wild Trilogy and other goodies. Hope you’ll stop in to check it out!
I did some digging on the history of diabetes and was surprised to learn this disease was identified more than two thousand years ago in the first century A.D. by Greek physician Aretaeus. He named the affliction “diabetes” from the Greek word “siphon”. He recorded that “fluids do not remain in the body, but use the body only as a channel through which they may flow out.” While ancient doctors could identify the illness, they were powerless to treat it. In fact, doctors had little success in aiding their diabetic patients until the 20th Century. Until 1921, the best a doctor could prescribe was a low-calorie diet to help prolong a diabetic’s life, but this did not stop the progression of the disease or help the patient’s suffering.
In the fall of 1921 Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best made a discovery breakthrough with a concoction of canine pancreas extract–insulin. When administered to a young boy dying of diabetes, his dangerously high blood sugars dropped to near normal levels within 24 hours. Until the discovery of insulin, most children diagnosed with diabetes were expected to live less than a year. Since insulin’s discovery, medical breakthroughs continued to prolong and ease the lives of people with diabetes.
I’ve always thought of it as a the “sugar” disease, but had no idea until these past few years how devastating a disease it truly is. When I was a kid I recall a few diabetic kids in my classes and thinking they were the lucky ones, because they got to have mid-morning snacks while the rest of us had to wait until lunch to get any food from our lunch boxes. Some of my relatives were diagnosed with diabetes later in life. How about you, know someone who has diabetes?
Today one comment poster will win an advance copy of my June anthology STETSONS, SPRING & WEDDING RINGS!