Our DKA Campaign
11/2/16
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Editor’s Update: This piece focuses on the launch of the campaign in Pennsylvania. Since publication, the campaign has gone live to over 18,000 pediatric offices in Texas, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Florida. We have recently been approved in Oklahoma, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, Nevada, Montana and Louisiana. We are actively working to reach other states throughout the US during 2017.

The first step is admitting that we have a problem — a DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) problem. When people in the United States are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, approximately 42% of them are in DKA, a dangerous and sometimes deadly consequence of diabetes. Four in every ten people are at such a critical state, that their lives are in jeopardy. That means four in every ten T1D cases had the signs and symptoms of T1D misunderstood or ignored. And in a number of these cases, by the time T1D was properly diagnosed, it was too late. No one should ever die because of a missed diagnosis.

From the beginning days of Beyond Type 1, the problem of DKA has been one that we wanted to solve. Our CEO & Co-Founder’s open letter on the topic in September of 2015 has been shared thousands of times. Our first T1D Warning Signs campaign put thousands of flyers into schools across the country. These efforts have been good, but at the end of the day, they were the equivalent of dangling our feet in the water.

bt1-social-share-warningIn July 2016, we began discussions with the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (PAAAP) about what an awareness campaign to reach every single pediatrician’s office in the state would look like.

We ultimately built a campaign that featured digital newsletter announcements, physical mailings of posters and print collateral, and an online portal with more information and resources. Actor and #PWD Victor Garber recorded audio and video PSAs for offices to use. We sent a co-written and co-signed endorsement letter from PAAAP leadership, parent leaders, leading pediatric endocrinologists and Beyond Type 1 leadership. In October 2016, we officially launched our first state with Pennsylvania and reached over 2500 pediatricians’ offices.

Throughout 2017 and into 2018, we’ll continue to roll out this print and digital campaign in the USA and eventually internationally. While the partnership with PAAAP (and other AAP chapters) is a great first step, it is only part of the solution. We have to work with family practitioners, educators, school nurses, coaches and parents unaffected by T1D to raise awareness.

The dollars spent on emergency services, weeks in intensive care, or additional treatment for kidney or brain damage are in the hundreds of millions each year. It’s unacceptable. Every time we hear that someone either came close to death, or had a loved one who passed away because of DKA, it makes us angry. This cannot be the standard. DKA is preventable. We know it’s preventable because in some countries the rate of DKA upon diagnosis is as low as 10%; in developing countries we see the rate as high as 80%. You only get that sort of range when there is an awareness gap.

Beyond Type 1 refuses to accept that DKA is a common complication of T1D diagnosis. This is an awareness problem. And awareness problems have solutions. We’re proud to lead the charge to solve this problem in the USA, and eventually globally. We’re proud to represent the voices of this community. And we’re proud to put our energy behind such an important cause.

-Thom Scher, Beyond Type 1 COO

Get involved

Want to do something now? 

Want to support the campaign?

  • Make a donation here.
  • For more information on the campaign, or how to get involved at a statewide level, email us at hello@beyondtype1.org.

 

More about DKA

Warning signs of Type 1

Stories

Special thanks

We’d like to thank the dozens of volunteers across the US and New Zealand who have helped and continue to help us reach pediatrician offices with Type 1 Warning Signs posters and materials.

Special thanks to the following parent/family advocates who have successfully championed the DKA awareness campaign with the local AAP chapters in their home state:
Arkansas
  • Justin Flores
  • Carolann Nichols

Colorado

  • Cindy Ward
  • The Barbara Davis Center
Connecticut
  • Samantha Merwin
Delaware
  • Joe and Hope Hampton
Florida
  • Meredith Gibson Rosser
Illinois
  • Joan Benedetto
Indiana
  • Abbie Lawalin
Idaho
  • Sierra Sandison
Louisiana
  • Lauren Labatut Laxton
  • Edward Dallum
Massachusetts
  • Sara Weiss
Missouri (Approved w/special request)
  • Donna Whipple
Montana (Approved w/special request)
Nevada
  • Kimberly and Daniel Ritter

New Jersey

  • Dr. Jeannete Greer
North Carolina
  • Darice Oxendine
  • Tom Karlya
Ohio
  • Malissa Sarver
Oklahoma
  • Corianne Blotevogel
Pennsylvania
  • Michelle Berman
  • Deborah Healy
Texas
  • Carolyn Boardman
  • Amy Josefy
Special thanks to all parents/adults/children who shared their diagnosis stories on the DKA campaign materials to help raise awareness about T1D warning signs.

Thank you to Suzanne Yunghans and Dr. Denise Salerno of PAAAP. Thank you to Michelle Berman and Debbie Healy for acting as parent leaders both within Pennsylvania and nationally. Thank you to Tom Karlya for helping us visualize a nationwide campaign that stands out. Thank you to Victor Garber for lending his talents to our audio and video campaign components.

Press


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