Saleh Aldasouqi, MD, FACE, ECNU, takes a lighthearted look at issues at the intersection of the humanities and medicine.

BLOG: November, diabetes awareness and Yanni

November is a special month for me in many ways — personal, professional and general. For readers who have followed my blog, they may recall that this Healio MedBlog, “From the Doctor’s Bag,” was launched in November 2016. The inaugural post, “World Diabetes Day, the Super Moon and Yanni: What do they have in Common?” discussed three important things taking place that month, including a rare phenomenon, the so-called “super moon,” which occurs once every 70 years or so.

The most important November occasion for me professionally is that November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. As stated on the website of the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Diabetes Month marks a time for communities across the country to team up to bring attention to diabetes.

Also occurring annually this month is World Diabetes Day, taking place Nov. 14. World Diabetes Day, created by the International Diabetes Federation in 1991, takes place on the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922. It is the largest diabetes awareness campaign in the world, reaching a global audience of more than 1 billion people. The campaign draws attention to issues of paramount importance to the diabetes world and keeps diabetes firmly in the public and political spotlight. The World Diabetes Day campaign aims to be the platform to promote IDF advocacy efforts throughout the year and a global driver to promote the importance of taking coordinated and concerted actions to confront diabetes as a critical global health issue.

November is a busy month full of changes: Daylight-saving time change; deer hunting season begins; and elections take place this week.

November is also a month of personal and professional reflections. At the professional level, November is also the month of board exams. I told the story of my Endocrinology Recertification Board Exam in a post last November. At the personal level, November marks a sad memory in my family. Our late daughter, Jinan, was born on Nov. 15, 1996. Jinan lived only for a little over 4 months and passed away in the spring of 1997. Jinan was born with a very rare congenital anomaly of the brain, called “Schizencephaly”. I told Jinan’s story in a prior post, titled “Code Status DNR (Jinan’s Story).”

Additionally, World Diabetes Day also happens to be the birthday of one of my favorite musicians — Yanni.

In the inaugural post referenced above, I talked about Yanni and how I got hooked on his music in early 2000, when I incidentally stumbled on a Yanni album. As I got more emotionally attached to Yanni’s music, I wanted to know more about his story. I came to learn that he is a respected celebrity who tried to stay away from the glares of stardom and media appearances. So, despite Yanni’s global fame, he is not a highly visible media presence. However, once I came to know that his birthday coincided with World Diabetes Day. I appealed to Yanni in the inaugural post to consider donating to the national and global campaign of fighting against diabetes.

This November, during National Diabetes Awareness Month, the middle of which is the World Diabetes Day which coincides with Yanni’s birthday, I repeat my appeal to Yanni to consider donating to the important cause of diabetes.

I have never had the chance to attend a Yanni concert; however, I hope he can accept my invitation to Michigan State’s University’s campus, on Nov. 14, 2020 for a concert and fundraising!