A couple of weeks ago, Sarah MacCann sent me a facebook message. She had been prompted by a facebook post to enquire about what people with diabetes could do with unused insulin. This came about because a member of the DOC changed their prescription and now had a fridgeful on long acting insulin that they weren’t going to use. We are so fortunate in Ireland to have access to all the things we need to stay alive for free. “Many people living with type 1 diabetes struggle to survive because they cannot afford or access their life-saving insulin, blood glucose strips, or basic healthcare. Others are caught in conflict where there is little humanitarian assistance for people with diabetes. Many suffer complications and premature death without one or more of the pieces of the diabetes puzzle.”
So thanks to Sarah for putting together this operation so that you can bring unwanted insulin, test strips, old meters, etc. to Thriveabetes where they will be collected and sent to the InDependent Diabetes Trust.
Here is Sarah’s words about why she decided to do it.
Bring your unwanted insulin and diabetes supplies to Thriveabetes and help save lives
When my 5-year-old was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, one of the few positives in those difficult early weeks was the discovery that all his diabetes needs would be provided for under the Long Term Illness scheme. Four years on, I am still so appreciative that we can pop into our local chemist whenever we need to, without worry. We have everything we need, with lots of spares and backups, so we can keep him safe no matter what happens. In many parts of the world things are not quite like that. Many families just cannot afford or cannot access the insulin they need to keep their loved ones safe. And for many in the developing world, through poverty or war, the brutal truth is that a diabetes diagnosis is a death sentence.
While I am so thankful for the insulin, test strips, lancets, monitors, pump and many, many other bits and pieces that keep my son healthy, there is no denying the huge amount of waste that comes along with it. Every time, I throw out a vial of perfectly good insulin or get a new type of lancet or test strip that I know we’ll never use, it makes me sad, guilty and cross. I recently decided I needed to do something about it, not just give out! A quick google led me to Insulin for Life [link: www.insulinforlife.org] - an international charity that collects spare insulin and diabetes management supplies and sends them on to local charities in developing countries.
We are asking you to bring your unwanted, unopened insulin and supplies along to Thriveabetes on October 1st where we'll be collecting:
- No longer needed, unopened and in-date insulin, with at least 3 months to the expiry date - Syringes, lancets, needles - Glucose test strips
Please make sure that everything is unused, unopened and in-date. We will have cool storage available for donated insulin. After the conference, your donated supplies will be sent to the IDDT (Insulin for Life’s local partner in the UK) who will send them on to a project supporting children and young people with type 1 diabetes in Tanzania.
Hopefully this is just a first small step towards getting the Irish diabetes community active in reducing our diabetes waste and sending practical help to those who need it most. I think we can take it on. I’d love to know what you think: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading, Sarah
More information on worldwide organisations helping people with diabetes access basic supplies; You can find out more about IFL and the IDDT here: www.insulinforlife.org
Another organisation campaigning for access to insulin for all who need it is T1 International. This UK based charity raises funds for projects across the developing world, as well as raising awareness of the challenges faced by those living with type 1 diabetes around the world.
A US based campaign; Spare-a-Rose, Save-a-Child also raises money every year on Valentine's Day for the International Diabetes Federation's Life for a Child programme.
“Thriveabetes” is a one-day conference for people living with type 1 diabetes, or for people who care about someone with type 1 diabetes. It takes place, less than 8 weeks away, on Saturday, October 1st 2016 in The Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare. Register or find out more about our amazing speakers here.