Posted in Family, Type 1 diabetes

For World Diabetes Day: So here’s to you, Dr Banting (with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)

World Diabetes Day logoThis World Diabetes Day, let’s not dwell on the trauma and heartache of the millions of people surviving around the world with Type 1 diabetes.

There’s no point blaming them or anyone else, because it’s a disorder that occurs through no fault of their own. They can’t help the fact that diabetes changes their lives forever – and not in a good way. They’d rather not have to submit to the multiple daily blood tests and insulin injections or infusions. It’s not such a big thing to make a fuss about – all they’re trying to do is  stay alive. Oh, and to ward off the complications that can occur from badly controlled diabetes. It’s a long list, it’s dull and it’s not pretty: blindness, amputation, premature heart disease. Oh, and I almost forgot the biggest one: death. Almost immediate death is inevitable for those not lucky enough to have access to modern diabetes management therapy. Better not to talk about it.

Laura with JDRF mascot Rufus bear
My daughter Laura with her JDRF mascot, Rufus Bear, given to her when she was 3 because the coloured felt patches on his body showed her where her multiple daily insulin injections had to go.

And anyway, it’s not as if Type 1 diabetes is a new or original story:  it’s been around for centuries. It’s just that before Dr Frederick Banting identified and isolated insulin in 1928, death would have been imminent for anyone unfortunate enough to develop Type 1 diabetes, so there wouldn’t have been so many of them around as there are today. Well, not for long, anyway.

Nor is it something that matters only today, on World Diabetes Day, because for those who have Type 1 Diabetes, every day is a Diabetes Day. There’s no day off. They’ll have it for the rest of their lives, so why all the fuss today?

photo of insulin discoverer, Dr Frederick Banting
Diabetes research pioneer Dr Frederick Banting: great mind, big heart (photo: Wikipedia)

So let’s make light of it instead. How about a song? Here’s one to sing in celebration of the extraordinary pioneering work of Dr Frederick Banting for his Nobel-prize-winning research that made that magical substance, insulin, available for therapy today. It’s not a cure, but it least it lets diabetics live in hope till a cure is found. Today is Dr Banting’s birthday. Happy birthday, Dr Banting! Let’s hope that some day soon, scientists will take your revolutionary, life-saving work to the next level, and make diabetes history. I’m sure we’ve all got better ways to spend November 14th.

Frederick Banting was not a materialistic man, selling the patent for insulin for just one Canadian dollar, so that everyone could benefit. Modern drugs companies, please take note.

So not surprisingly, Dr Banting says he doesn’t want any birthday presents – just send money to the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Because he couldn’t wish for a better present than a cure.

Song for World Diabetes Day

(to the tune of Mrs Robinson,

with apologies to Simon & Garfunkel)

And here’s to you, Frederick Banting,
Diabetics love you more than you can know (Wo, wo, wo)
God bless you please, Dr Banting
At least since your research we’ve had a way
Alive to stay…hey, hey, hey

We’d like to celebrate the many lives that you have saved
We’d like to thank you for your research
Look around you, all you see are grateful patients’ eyes
That Nobel prize was the very least that you deserved

And here’s to you, Dr Banting
Diabetics love you even when hypo (Wo, wo, wo)
God bless you please, Dr Banting
Your insulin injections help us stay 
Alive today… hey hey hey

(Hide your syringe in a  place where no one ever goes
Put it in your pantry with your dextrose
It’s a little secret, just our T1D affair
Most of all, hide complications from the kids)

Coo, coo, ca-choo, Dr Banting
Diabetics love you more than you can know (Wo, wo, wo)
God bless you please, Frederick Banting
We wish that we could meet you just to say
Thanks to you, we’re alive today

(Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon
Counting out the carbs before our dinner
Cry about it, shout about it
We don’t get to choose
Ev’ry way we look at it, we lose)

Though now it’s gone, our old carefree life, 
Still we turn our grateful eyes to you (Woo, woo, woo)
For thanks to you,  Frederick Banting 
Though normal life has left and gone away
Thanks to you, we’re here to stay

For more information about the pioneering work of Dr Frederick Banting and his Nobel prize, please click here.

If you can bear to read them, here are some other posts I’ve written about our experience of Type 1 Diabetes. I promise they don’t contain any more songs.

Not All Dreams Are Impossible

Diabetes – Another Fine Mess for Laurel and Laura

On The Fourth Anniversary of My Daughter’s Diabetes


English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

5 thoughts on “For World Diabetes Day: So here’s to you, Dr Banting (with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)

    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Jo – and for reblogging it too. Having Type 1 Diabetes in the family isn’t just tough on those who have it and on the parents who care for them – it’s tough on the siblings too, as we’re becoming increasingly aware. Your support will have been of enormous help to your sister. We send love and best wishes to you both. Debbie, Gordon & Laura xxx

  1. Reblogged this on Joanne Phillips – a writer's journey and commented:
    For World Diabetes Day, I’m sharing this wonderful blog post with you. Diabetes has been a major fact of life for my family since my older sister was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 13. I remember so clearly watching her practice injecting a grapefruit, and trying to process the fact that she would have to do this 3 or 4 times a day for the rest of her life. My sister is brave and strong, she just gets on with it, and I’m incredibly proud of her. So here’s to you, Dawn Hamilton.

    1. Thank you, Laura! I chose that particular song because I thought everyone would know the words to the original version. Can’t be many who have never heard it – probably a lot more people know the song than have heard of Frederick Banting, sadly.

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