Disrupting Diabetes

The model of Disruption

The model of Disruption

I’ve been asked by a large Dubai school to present and conduct a sort of creativity seminar for their older students.  As part of a creative agency, TBWA, we practice a motto of ‘disruption’, which is a way to break brands out of the ordinary and turn them extraordinary. Sometimes this can be very difficult when we are asked to create advertisements for bland or boring subjects. But it is through Disruption that pet food, in the case of Pedigree, became a call sign for ‘the love of dogs’, creative outdoor, print and tv campaigns as well as great events. Examples of some ads can be found here.

Because people often tell me that it is hard to be Inspired by Diabetes (as mentioned in a previous post) I thought why not bring the concept of Disruption to diabetes. This way, kids can learn about the disease, be given tools to tap their creativity and put the two together to make art that will be entered into the competition. The purpose for me is to engage older kids and get them to submit art in a variety of media so that I can share it with the world.

If anyone has any ideas how to get students excited, please let me know. Any brainstorming techniques, cool diabetes visuals, examples of diabetes art, it would be a big help.


Having fun!!!

In the spirit of ‘Inspired by Diabetes’ I thought it would be nice to look at some places around the web that take a lighter approach to awareness and living with the disease.

The American Diabetes Association has a section on their website called ‘Fun and Games’. It is a page featurning many diabetes-themed games to take your mind off diabetes for a few minutes. Games such as Build a Healthy Kid and the Interactive Crossword puzzle are both educational and fun for kids.  

There are a number of fun quizzes online to test your knowledge of diabetes. One great one is the Celebrity Diabetes Quiz on Diabeteens.com. This quiz is more diabetes specific but still fun.

Here’s a neat game on the diabetes blog Tudiabetes – It is a True or False game played through the comments section of the post.

Calling all Middle East artists, musicians, poets, videographers

UAE poster

UAE poster

The Inspired by Diabetes art competition is back in Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE and this year there are even more great prizes, including art studio space from the Jam Jar, professional photography classes, art workshops, music studio recording time and other great prizes.

Anyone from any age with any level of skill can enter in any category. The competition is wide open so forward this email to your friends.

For more information check out:

www.inspiredbydiabetes-me.com (official site)

I’m Inspired by Diabetes (Facebook group)

www.inspiredbydiabetes.com (global site)

Or email: inspiredbydiabetes-me@tbwaraad.com

The serious side of humour

Laughter, they say, is the best medicine… I’m starting to think that there is a lot of truth to this popular statement. Researchers for years have been lauding the benefits of humour and its healing abilities, both physical and psychological. Laughter, studies have shown, lowers your blood pressure and helps your heart beat more smoothly. It relieves pain and reduces inflammation. It helps your immune system fight germs but leave your healthy tissue alone. Not to mention it brightens your mood and the moods of everyone in ear shot.  For people living with diabetes, laughter has a lot of positive benefits.

What’s funny about having diabetes? While diabetes is a serious condition, psychologists will tell you that humour is a great way to put it all into perspective and relieve stress related to the disease. In addition to that, studies show that laughing lowers your levels of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol increases insulin resistance, while adrenaline tells your liver to pump more glucose into your blood. This is how laughter helps lower blood glucose and keep it down for quite a while.  Theresa Garnero, a healthcare worker and cartoonist described the benefits of humour on www.dlife.com:

  • Enhances communication – A little humor helps to break down awkward moments.
  • Allows for expression of anger – Language was invented in order for people to communicate, whereas humor was invented in order to complain. Dealing with a chronic disease can trigger anger and humor is a wonderful way to help process the emotions.
  • Benefits health –  Laughing increases endorphins, decreases blood pressure, decreases pain, and decreases anxiety.
  • Reduces stress – Having diabetes is stressful and humor can help to relieve this burden.
  • Promotes learning – Turn the “ha, ha” into an “aha” moment. The laugh-learn connection is well documented in the literature.
  • Lowers blood glucose (sugar) – A research study from Japan showed that those who watched a brief comedy show after eating had lower glucose values that those who did not see the program.

Researchers are now saying laughter can bring balance to all the components of the immune system, which helps us fight off diseases. Laughter reduces levels of certain stress hormones. In doing this, it provides a safety valve that shuts off the flow of stress hormones and the fight-or-flight compounds that swing into action in our bodies when we experience stress, anger or hostility. These stress hormones suppress the immune system and raise blood pressure. When we are laughing, natural killer cells that destroy tumours and viruses increase, as do disease-fighting proteins and cells that help in immune response.So get laughing!! One great site I found has been LOL Diabetes, a blog where users can post funny stories, pics and comments to help those diagnosed with diabetes cope with the difficulties of living with the disease and to boost the body’s ability to stabilize blood sugars and reduce cardiovascular complications often associated with diabetes. Plus it’s fun!

Glucoboy: Diabetes Management for Your DS or GBA

This is a great idea. Nintendo is really smart.


Posted by Jonathan on Monday, December 3rd, 2007 at 5:20 on Gaming Today: News for Gamers

glucoboy1.jpgThe DS can do a lot of things these days: tune into TV, test your brain, make you look like a fool whenever your asked to blow into the mic while playing it out in public. But it looks like Nintendo’s little device has just gotten a new use with the “Glucoboy.” The Glucoboy is essentially a glucose monitor that plugs into a GBA or the GBA slot on a DS. The cartridge is intended to make diabetes management more fun for younger users by awarding points each time they perform a test. More points are awarded for falling within specific blood sugar limits, which can then be spent in the two included games or in the GRiP (Guidance Reward Platform) community for accessories, apparel, and cards for one of the games, called “Knock ‘Em Downs.”

The device was introduced a couple weeks ago in Australia for World Diabetes Day, and was created by Paul Wessel. Wessel came up with the idea when he noticed his 9-year old son would always misplace his glucose monitor, but could always find his Gameboy. It took him three years to get Nintendo’s approval, but now he has a great gadget in production to help diabetic kids keep track of their blood sugar level. Hopefully though, this doesn’t start a trend of games that require human blood to play.

Inspiration comes from where you least expect it!

IBD logo

Welcome to the Inspired by Diabetes blog for the Middle East. This is meant to be a meeting point for everyone who is affected by this disease or interested in knowing more about it. Here you are welcome to post pics and artwork that you plan on submitting to the competition. For full rules and regulations, visit http://www.inspiredbydiabetes-me.com/. It’s a great initiative to raise awareness of a really important issue that’s affecting this region heavily. So discuss, post, and have fun!