According to statistics posted by RightDiagnosis, Bulgaria has close to 10,000 type 1 diabetics-– which does not seem like a large number at first glance– but you have to take into account that the country only has a population of seven million. And for almost all of these people, it is a life burdened by many diabetes-related healthcare requirements, check-ups and pushing through a burdensome legal system, a life that faces serious health dangers if your insulin refills are not ready on time or your prescription gets lost or changed without you knowing.
As I only spent a year in Bulgaria with diabetes, I did not have to wade through too many of these problems, and in many ways I am glad for the easier, more reliable process in America (which still has areas that can be improved, of course, as many struggling with insurance issues will tell you).
I worry, however, about the thousands of diabetics in Bulgaria and millions around the world who have to live with a chronic disease their entire lives and face so many struggles under a slow and unbalanced healthcare system. Yes, reforms, better treatments and more information would all be useful, but that is not so easy to achieve and cannot help everyone. Change would take decades, even as the generations come up against so many other obstacles…
This all constitutes a major reason why I truly believe a cure for diabetes is the only clear solution to the many problems associated with this disease. We need to be raising awareness, but we cannot wait any longer for a focused, determined change in the search for a cure that will target eliminating diabetes from the group of chronic diseases.