Published on 15 September 2020

Comic from India tells story of the journey of characters recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and how their lives change.

A new digital comic book has been launched based on the experiences of a group of people recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

The comic follows the recently produced Type One Origins series and has been created for an audience of people living with type 1 diabetes in India.

Although mostly written in English, some translation may be required. However, the experiences of the characters will likely resonate with anyone diagnosed with the condition – and the story has been published online by the D1abesties Foundation.

The comic was written by Pooja Bhave and Jazz Sethi and illustrated by Jitesh Ambekar.

The Bluelight comic front cover by the D1abesties Foundation

The story follows the reaction of young people being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes

It tells the story of how the lives of Akhil, Alisha, Shoubik and Narayani, from different parts of India, are turned upside-down as each of them is told the same thing by their respective doctors – and they are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Each character reacts to the news differently, as do their family and doctors take it differently. However, despite their differences, their fates are linked. When the four of them meet, their lives change as they embark on a journey of adventure, acceptance, and friendship as they learn about living with type 1 diabetes and are guided by the ‘Bluelight’.

The characters had a lot of questions after being diagnosed with diabetes

Jazz Sethi, Founder and Director of The D1abesties Foundation, said: “This comic is a reflection of our stories, peppered with anecdotes of what every person diagnosed with diabetes goes through – but told with humour and humility by our characters - Akhil, Alisha, Shoubhik and Narayani.

“We hope that within this story, you will find your story; that you will find comfort and find that you are not alone.  

“The Bluelight is a driving force, that each of us have within us and we hope that you join our four characters in their quest to learn more, bust myths and form lifelong friendships. We are very grateful to Dr Mayank Patel and Professor Partha Kar for welcoming us with open arms into the MulT1verse of type 1 diabetes adventures and opening up a global gateway of ideas and inspiration.”

A segment from the Bluelight Comic.
A segment from the Bluelight Comic.

Newly diagnosed young people learn about the different types of diabetes

Pooja Bhave, Head of Creative Strategy, The D1abesties Foundation, said: “In this book, four newly-diagnosed children become new friends. Together, they learn about the new lifestyle they ought to adopt. By overcoming challenges together, they realise that if they stick by one another, they can be invincible while facing their invisible condition.

“In keeping with the ‘friend’ theme, we have chosen a cordial approach while writing the book and thereby, educating the readers about type 1 diabetes. ‘Bluelight Volume I: We Are One’ is an intriguing story written by type 1 warriors for type 1 warriors, using a visual medium. It is an assurance that together, all of us are one.”

The Bluelight comic is set in India

Dr Mayank Patel, Consultant in Diabetes, University Hospital Southampton and member of the DRWF Editorial Advisory Board, said: “Type 1 diabetes is not selective in whom it chooses to live with, reaching those from all backgrounds and all nations in equal measure. To see how others worldwide are living with the condition, enter the MulT1verse to catch up on their adventures.

“People of a BAME (black and minority ethnic) background are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Whilst many people of Indian descent currently live with type 2 diabetes, there are also a significant number living with type 1 diabetes.

“Whilst both types of diabetes can result in unstable blood sugar levels, there are some key differences that are not often fully appreciated by all. This has meant that people with type 1 diabetes are often judged and stigmatised, due to others not understanding that the way type 1 diabetes develops, or the need for lifelong insulin is not fully understood.

“To help in this area, D1abesties, a type 1 diabetes group based in India, founded by Jazz Sethi, who lives with type 1 diabetes herself, was created. Inspired by a free to access online comic book series produced in collaboration with Revolve, the Type 1 Origins series, co-created in the UK by diabetes consultants and individuals living with type 1 diabetes (myself and Professor Partha Kar, National Specialty Advisor for Diabetes with NHS England and Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust), Jazz and her team created a type 1 diabetes comic, for an Indian audience that is freely available.”

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