The 10 Most Popular Diabetes Stories from 2017


The year is coming to a rapid close, and it’s a great time to reflect on the accomplishments and inspiration of the past year. We’re really proud of the content we’ve created here at ASweetLife, bringing breaking news, recipes, lifestyle pieces, and bits of humor and insight to the diabetes community every week. Which is why we’ve leapt ever-so-casually into the Wayback Machine to take a spin through some of our most popular diabetes stories from this year. Is your favorite on the list?

Actress and Diabetes Advocate Mary Tyler Moore Dies at 80: “For years, the first voice that greeted us on the JDRF phone system was that of Mary Tyler Moore. As it should have been. Ms. Moore was, after all, the heart, soul and lifeblood of the JDRF. It is not an exaggeration to say her willingness to share not just that voice, but that smile, that honesty, and that star-power pushed the diabetes treatment and research landscape to the place it is today.” In 2017, we said goodbye to one of the most prominent, dedicated, and inspiring advocates for people with diabetes – Mary Tyler Moore. Moira McCarthy’s moving piece on Moore’s passing and her lasting influence on the diabetes community is a must-read.

The Never-Relaxed Parent of A Child With Diabetes: “As I held my son and waited for him to “come back”—and yes, through the years I envision that during hypoglycemic episodes he does go someplace else, where his arms and legs are tied to bricks, where he seems to slip away from me—I realized that I’ve gone somewhere, too.” Annie Stoltie writes about what it’s like to parent a young child with type 1 diabetes and how their lives have changed since her son’s diagnosis.

I Know About Needles: Sarah Vedomske, one of A Sweet Life’s newest writers, made her debut with this beautiful essay about the intimacy of needles in her diabetes life. “I know about the orange-capped syringes, how to hold the barrel up to the light, tap the tiny air bubbles to the top, push the plunger, squeeze them out. I know, from being a perfectionist, that sometimes no amount of flicking and tapping and cursing and squinting will release that last miniscule burst of air. I know it is not recommended to reuse these, but I also know that I’ve reused a syringe to the point of all numbers—the measurements—being worn off, to an unmarked barrel, eyeballing my dose.”

Succeeding with Diabetes on a Vegan Diet: We looked at veganism and diabetes again in 2017, interviewing Lee Ann Thill for her perspectives. “But veganism isn’t entirely about diet, for Lee Ann. There’s a bigger picture in play, and one that directly touches her experiences with diabetes. ‘Being vegan has made me more curious about power – who has it, who doesn’t, forces maintaining those dynamics – ways to alter power dynamics, and more critical of how my actions can better reflect my personal values, notably, fairness, empathy, knowledge, and creativity.’”

In Defense of the Unicorn Frappuccino: ASweetLife’s editor-in-chief, Jessica Apple, dives headfirst into the controversy over Starbucks’ unicorn frappuccino, which was unleashed last Spring. “The people of the internet have been making jokes about the Unicorn Frappuccino, calling it diabetes-in-a-cup. And everyone knows that unicorns don’t give you diabetes, so the joke isn’t funny. And what also isn’t funny is that the one responsible for the type 2 diabetes crisis in America is not a horny horse or any single food/beverage corporation, but the U.S. government.”

The Promise of Generic Insulin: “In between working towards a PhD in computer science at U.C. Davis, Di Franco is working to understand enough about producing insulin in a simpler and cheaper way to establish a protocol for enabling almost any business entity to produce insulin. Without the enormous R & D costs that Big Pharma likes to point to when they speak to costs, the Open Insulin Project hopes to open the market to cheaper insulin and happier people with diabetes.” Larissa Zimberoff takes a look at the progress made towards generic insulin.

Solving the Jackie Robinson Diabetes Mystery: “Today, exactly two years before the 100th anniversary of Robinson’s birth, it’s not common knowledge that he lived with diabetes. In fact, his diabetes remains so shrouded in mystery that there isn’t even a clear consensus about which type he had.” Did you know that baseball great and first African American to play in the major leagues, Jackie Robinson, had diabetes? Alex O’Meara takes a look at this mystery.

New Theory About the Cause of Type 1 Diabetes: What’s beta than a new theory to noodle around about the origin of type 1 diabetes? The ASweetLife team checked out this news story in depth. “In order to gain a better understanding of why the immune system attacks the body’s own source of insulin — the pancreatic beta cells in the islets of Langerhans — the team took some clues from cancer molecules that are targeted by the immune system after successful treatment of the cancer with immunotherapy.”

Girl With Diabetes and Insulin Allergy to Receive Pancreas Transplant: What do you do when you have diabetes and you’re allergic to insulin? Columnist Moira McCarthy covered this story for ASweetLife. “A 12-year old South Carolina girl with Type 1 diabetes and what her parents describe as an intense allergy to insulin therapy is set to undergo a rarely performed whole pancreas transplant at the University of Minnesota.”

7 Diabetes Technology Updates for 2018: We can’t close out 2017 without looking into 2018, taking a peek at what’s next in diabetes technology. Christopher Snider closes out our list with his look at what to keep an eye on next year. “When I think about the scope and potential of diabetes technology, it’s more than just a specific product or products that may come to market. So here’s a glimpse at some of the companies and movements that I am going to pay close attention to next year as diabetes technology looks to take another major step forward in 2018.”

But these aren’t all the posts we loved in 2017. Take a look through our recipes, or what’s new in diabetes advocacy, or at some personal stories from PWD like you. And thanks. A big thanks for reading ASweetLife in 2017. We’re excited to bring you more diabetes information and inspiration in 2018!

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