Saturday, June 16, 2012

From a Father to Two Fathers

In honor of Fathers Day, The Diabetes Dad recently wrote an open letter to the two fathers in the US who are hoping to win the next presidential election in that country. Being Canadian and not overly into politics beyond asking for various diabetes related expenditures, I was shocked by what I read. I was also impressed that this father of two children with diabetes had so eloquently challenged these other two fathers to take a moment and make a difference to their constituent living with diabetes.

Tom Karlya, The Diabetes Dad, astounded me when he wrote that "the upcoming election for president may well cost over two BILLION dollars." He further noted that after all that spending, the only thing that will be there to show for it is that one of those fathers will have a home at 16 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington for four years.  He told that them with .1% of that money (which is a staggering $1million), the cost of perhaps one national TV commercial, the Diabetes Research Institute could be that much closer to a cure for people with Type 1 diabetes.

I invite you to read the letter.  The math will astound you. The extravagant US election spending will terrify you but the point is well made.  They could chose to make a difference and help others for such a comparatively small amount of money.

After reading this, I was curious to see what spending was like here in Canada. We know that if we could tap into some of the federal MP's controversial spending, we would have insulin pumps for every person with diabetes who wanted one and schools with adequate funding to keep our children with diabetes safe.

That is what happens when they get into office but what do the fathers who are currently leading our major federal parties spend to get themselves in office? In our case, much less than their US counterparts.  Elections Canada has capped spending at $21million.  I know that the DRI would not turn down a $21,000 donation to help fund a cure any more than the JDRF or CDA would. They would also not turn down the money spent on one national TV ad during a campaign season.  

Its sad that our leaders and those in high profile politics do not necessarily think that way. I hope that Tom's letter reaches the American fathers to whom his letter is directed. I would love to see them take up his challenge and help to fund a legacy rather than just worry about getting a moving truck.  

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