Wearing ribbons, lighting candles, and thinking about your friends with diabetes is what we call "Slactivism." You feel like you've done something, but all you've done is make yourself feel good. Nothing changes.
So go on, light all the virtual candles you want, but when you are done, consider what the impact might have been if all that money and media power that went into promoting this slactivist event had been put to the task of telling the public the single fact that might give them a fighting chance against diabetes: that the starches and sugars they eat are what raise their blood sugar and that if they cut back hard on starch and sugar they could lower their blood sugar and avoid all the complications their doctors think are inevitable.
That a "healthy diet for diabetes" is a diet low in carbs is a simple idea that 80% of people with diabetes never hear about. Many doctors don't even know it. If they did, they wouldn't be handing their newly diagnosed diabetic patients ADA sanctioned brochures telling them to eat oatmeal, bananas, apples, potatoes and whole wheat toast. (And no I'm not exaggerating. My doctor gave me that brochure just 3 years ago.)
So celebrate World Diabetes Day by telling everyone you meet the truth about what people with Type 2 diabetes need to do to regain their health: test their blood sugar after meals and cut back on carbohydrates until they see normal blood sugars.
It's that simple. If 1/1000s of the resources put into promoting these slactivist festivals were put into distributing the How to Lower Your Blood Sugar flyer thousands of people might avoid nerve damage, impotence, retinal damage and kidney failure.
For people with diabetes every day is Diabetes Day. They need information not feel good media events. If you have that information, share it with a neighbor or relative who could use it. Maybe it will help, maybe not, but at least you tried.