Gray Ribbon FAQ

What's It All About?


What does the gray ribbon actually mean?

It is essentially a symbol for increasing awareness by educating the public about the seriousness of diabetes; it represents an effort to create an effective and productive movement to find a cure for the disease.

How did the campaign get started?

The campaign idea evolved from a discussion on the CompuServe Diabetes and Hypoglycemia Forum whose members are always looking for ways of educating the public and pushing for cure research. Their motto is "Educate, Activate, Motivate." And this campaign is the motto in action.

Who are the members responsible for the actual ribbon campaign idea?

The idea started with Wilma Reiber (mother of a young diabetic son), Dave Groves (long-term diabetic and founder of the forum) and Jose Garcia (Type II diabetic dentist from Mexico). It wasn’t long before others joined the team.

Why was gray chosen? It is such a nondescript color? Why not a cheerful color?

Diabetes is not a cheerful disease. The ribbon can be either gray or silver. While gray depicts the despair and gloom so prevalent in those affected by this disease, silver (polished gray) represents the "lining" or the hope that there will soon be a cure.

Some of the ribbons have clear stones, while others have red stones. Why is that?

That’s a good question. The red stone symbolizes blood for tests that diabetics do each day; the clear stones symbolize tears. The color doesn’t really matter as long as it is on a gray or silver ribbon. What’s really important is that the ribbon is recognized as a symbol of the quest for a cure for this devastating disease.

Has this campaign been publicized in the media?

In the March issue of Diabetes Interview there is a campaign ribbon pictured on the front page; in the same issue you will find an article and a letter to the editor. Within the next month or two I expect that you will see much more about this campaign.

Is this ribbon campaign limited to the forum (and the Internet)? In other words, how about the diabetes organizations?

The first organization to support the campaign officially was the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, International. In fact, board member, Sandra Silvestri (the mother of a six year old diabetic son) attended a conference in Athens where ribbons were distributed to attendees.

I would like to help promote the gray ribbon campaign but I don’t know where to start. Any ideas?

Well you can start right here. We need ribbon makers, but if you cannot do that just let us know (E-Mail is the best way) and we will get some to you to pass out to: your local pharmacy, your physicians’ offices, hospitals etc. If you know of a group that we could enlist in ribbon making, we can get supplies to them if necessary.

Is the gray ribbon campaign a charity drive? If so, where does the money go?

The beauty of this campaign is that it is not a charity drive (but if you wish to donate money, JDFI (Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International) is a good place to start. Remember..... the purpose of the campaign is to increase public awareness.

Would you please sum up the major objectives of the campaign…something I can tell people when I am distributing ribbons.

To answer that question let me refer to Dave Groves' Manifesto: "We the 190,000,000 diabetics diagnosed so far MUST polish the gray and make it silver, lest another generation follow in our footsteps. Awareness is our ONLY ally and it is our responsibility to our fellow diabetics to increase awareness of our situation."


Please E-Mail further questions to Gray Ribbon Campaign: FAQ


-- -- --