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Sweet Diary : made for love

Time: 2023-02-03 Hits: 148

Since no one has done this, let’s do it.”

       Speaking of the animation Sweet Diary, it was born out of the resolute words given by Li Xinyi, Chairman of Sinocare Diabetes Foundation, "Since no one has done this, let's do it", which is heartwarming and powerful.

In 2022, we learned by chance that a dental disease prevention and treatment institution in China produced a cartoon about dental disease prevention and treatment and won the second prize for the National Progress in Science. It reminds us of diabetics, especially those with type 1 diabetes targeted by the Sinocare Diabetes Foundation, many of whom are children. Will they be pleased if we produce a cartoon about diabetic knowledge for children?

For now, the market has seen countless knowledge about diabetes but communicated in formal and severe manners, which is quite boring for people with type 1 diabetes, especially children. For this reason, what we have to do is to deliver scientific knowledge through vivid and interesting communications to enable diabetics to take in knowledge more easily. Cartoons can not only enhance the relationship between parents and children, but also help deliver knowledge about diabetes to the public for better memory.

Not before long, we told Li Xinyi this idea, and the Chairman didn't take it as a difficult problem for us to think about, although there had been no such animation about diabetes science in China at that time. Instead, she encouraged: "It is very meaningful to do so. Since no one has done this in China, let's do it!"

If my child is not brought back to life, I will hold him and jump down from the 16th floor of the inpatient department.”

To create the animation, our ultimate goal is to bring some fun while communicating knowledge to children. It is those heart-wrenching stories that happened in our sweet summer camp that make us so determined. "I collapsed on the ground immediately after I put my unconscious child in the doctor's hand, who was quickly sent to the intensive care unit. At that time, I only had one idea in my mind: "If my child is not brought back to life, I will hold him and jump down from the 16th floor of the inpatient department." a mother from Hunan Province in a sweet summer camp said with peace, i.e., the calmness after experiencing strong winds and big waves.

Fortunately, her child was saved and diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The mother was quite relieved when she heard that her child's life was no longer in danger. However, after her child was discharged from the hospital, her family underwent significant changes as her husband believes that she did not take good care of their child, while her mother-in-law considers that the child has type 1 diabetes due to a genetic defect from her. They had quite a fight over a year, and the couple got divorced, their child to be raised by the mother. Likely, a mother from Sichuan province was also forced to separate from her family after her child was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. However, when she missed her son and mailed some insulin back, her ex-mother or father-in-law threw out all the stuff. We have seen many such stories happening....As the knowledge of type 1 diabetes has not yet been popularized, there's still a bias against it in many cases.

“Is type 1 diabetes hereditary?”

“Is it caused by the mother's improper care? Can it be cured?”

My family is honest and responsible. No one has ever had diabetes for several generations. How can my child suffer from this?”

These are real doubts from every family with type 1 diabetes. Since countless people have not had scientific knowledge about it or their families have been separated or traveling all over the country to find effective folk remedies, it is a waste of time and money and even costs the lives and health of their children. As an organizer of and participant in activities by Sinocare Diabetes Foundation, I can feel and understand their helplessness and heartache.

For these reasons, we decided to do something. Take the Sweet Diary as a carrier, family members of type 1diabetics can learn this knowledge, and people will have less prejudice through the popularization.  

It was a thrilling moment”

When we were calling for the production team, the team of Professor Zhou Zhiguang and Professor Li Xia from the Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University held out an olive branch and provided great support. At last, the Sinocare Diabetes Foundation worked with the National Clinical Research Center for Metabolic Diseases and the Endocrinology Department of the Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University to boost and complete the production. As it involves three different teams for creation, the animation is created in a rough process. The medical team of the Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University and we have never engaged in any animation production while the executive company has poor knowledge of diabetes; besides, the medical staff is always fully occupied, offering outpatient service, going the rounds of the wards, doing research subjects, attending meetings and studying, so we had to review scripts, storyboards, and professional knowledge on the screen after they got off work, who will return their suggestions for revisions at 1:00 or 2:00 a.m.

The peak-end rule discovered by Daniel Kahneman says that people seem to have two different selves: an experiencing self and a remembering self. The former endures the experience at every moment equally, while the latter places almost all the weight of judgment on two peaks after a thing happens: the worst and the last moment. When the last moment came, we experienced a "thrilling moment" like when Sir Frederick G Banting discovered insulin; in the meantime, we were more careful, as just a minor mistake may bring tremendous negative impacts on type 1 diabetes families.

To test the public’s experience with the cartoon, our three teams brought the dailies home for their children to watch and distributed them to type 1 diabetics of different ages. To our surprise, even a 3-year-old child can tell what is going on with type 1 diabetes after watching the animation, and what is even more gratifying is that all the children remember the cute elf in the cartoon—Tang Xiaochao (Sweet Superman).

On June 1, 2021, Sweet Diary, the first cartoon on type 1 diabetes science in China, was launched. It explains, "What is type 1 diabetes?" "How to take diet and exercise in scientific manners?" "How to use insulin?" "How to better control blood sugar at school?" and many other questions that people with type 1 diabetes often encounter in real life. The debut site was filled with guests and friends while political, medical, public welfare, and media staff came to the scene. Li Xinyi, Chairman of the Sinocare Diabetes Foundation, revealed the significance of the release of the cartoon, "To help more children with type 1 diabetes and their parents to understand the disease scientifically and master scientific management methods, our company made the cartoon and hoped they could have a better understanding of and take in sugar control methods. Besides, we want parents to watch it with their children for a better parent-child relationship."

What's more, the Sweet Diary, with a license issued by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, was launched on iQiyi, Sohu Video, Mango TV, Youku, WeChat Video, Bilibili, etc., and put in the application link for the public welfare project of Sinocare Diabetes Foundation ⸺ Sweet Life Package so that all newly diagnosed families who apply for the Sweet Life Package will see this cartoon. Later in 2021, Sweet Diary won the second prize for film and television animation works for the popularization of science of Hunan Science Popularization Writers Association and the Outstanding Work Award of the 4th Hunan Provincial Health Science Popularization Competition in 2021.

It's so great to talk about this with someone, thank you very much!”

Since the cartoon was launched, we have been better and better recognized among families with type 1 diabetes. Many parents can take their children to watch the animation and learn about diabetes knowledge together. It has helped them get rid of the misunderstanding of type 1 diabetes and panic, and some parents spontaneously created a Baidu entry for Sweet Diary to keep promoting it.

Of course, the warmth brought by the cartoon comes more from various families. In June 2022, a 16-year-old boy from Ningxia Province was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. His mother could not accept it and shed tears day and night. However, she had to force herself to smile in front of her poor child. Once turning back, she cried while searching for information. She ran across the Sweet Diary and contacted Sinocare Diabetes Foundation to receive the “Sweet Heart Consultation”. She stopped crying before hanging up the phone and said: “It's so great to talk about this with someone, thank you very much!”

A week later, we received a WeChat message from her: I have received the sweet life package I applied for, and my child's blood sugar has been controlled at a stable level. We are about to leave the hospital. With the help of several enthusiastic mothers, I have been adjusting my mindset and learning at a rapid pace. I believe things will get better and better, many thanks! "Many thanks", the two words are brief, powerful and affectionate. But you know what? We are also grateful to you and to all those who keep striving for a happy and healthy life. Tang Xiaochao believes that all our good wishes will come true as long as we keep moving forward with optimism.

The Sweet Diary is made for love, and Sinocare cares for love.