Recently, I bought my husband a book called Three Wishes – An Intimate Look at Jazz Greats. I was in a local book and music shop looking for a copy of a documentary about the Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter who was a fascinating woman. She was a jazz patron and writer who moved to New York in the 1950s. Unfortunately, the DVD wasn’t in stock, but the bookseller suggested this book instead. I’m so glad he did.

The book is gorgeous – beautiful, archival photographs of jazz musicians. And each of them was asked the following question by the Baroness (who also took the photos): ‘If you were given three wishes, to be instantly granted, what would they be?’

How delicious! You can only imagine the responses she received from these great men and women of jazz.

I inscribed the book for Aaron with my three wishes and I’m afraid they weren’t anything ground breaking – health, happiness and something about New York. Quite generic, really. A lot of the responses in the book were about the musicians’ musical hopes, wishes and dreams.

So I decided to reframe the question and ask it in a diabetes context: ‘If you were given three wishes regarding diabetes, to be instantly granted, what would they be?’

Would we need three wishes? Surely for just about all of us, the first wish would be ‘cure diabetes’ and then we could be done with it! No more diabetes, and I’d be writing about cupcakes and coffee. And maybe doughnuts to keep things interesting.

But I think there is more. Because surely, if our first wish is a cure, we need to qualify that – it must be for everyone. It must be achievable, available and affordable. And surely, but surely, we should also be asking for a vaccine so that never again does anyone have to live with this condition. `

Today, there is no cure and, even more, there is no cure just around the corner. So maybe, with this in mind, my wishes would be a little more realistic. Perhaps those three wishes would like this:

  • I wish the technology we have today was available to everyone. I wish every single person who wants access to the latest insulins, devices, treatment options can have it at their fingertips;
  • I wish every person with diabetes could have access to a team of health professionals who are smart, sensitive, non-judgemental and understand what life with a chronic health condition like diabetes is all about. And that mental health screening was available to everyone – with proper follow-up treatment.
  • I wish everyone knew about and had access to the DOC and peer support networks.

Again, maybe not ground breaking. But equality of care? I think that is certainly something worth wishing, hoping, praying, dreaming about.

I put the first question to Thelonious Monk….

“If you were given three wishes, to be instantly granted, what would they be?”

He was pacing back and forth, and he paused for a moment to gaze out across the river at the New York skyline. Then he gave his answer.

  1. To be successful musically
  2. To have a happy family
  3. To have a crazy friend like you

And I said, ‘But Thelonious! You have those already!”

He just smiled and began pacing again.

Three Wishes: An Intimate Look at Jazz Greats


What are your three wishes when it comes to diabetes?