Everywhere we turn these days, it seems there is the issue of Insulin Affordability and Access -- not just the sky-high prices here in the US, but across the globe in developing countries. We have it good, and we're very aware of that. But so many people whose lives depend on insulin are not so lucky, struggling to afford the basics, and even dying as a result of not having the life-preserving insulin they need.
That's why every year at this time, we get pretty vocal about the Spare a Rose, Spare a Child initiative.
And for the second year in a row, a community effort called Diabetes Podcast Week is supporting this fundraiser with great coordinated programming.
But first about the campaign (hashtag #SpareARose): As a refresher, it's the brainchild of a group of passionate D-advocates including Bennet Dunlap, Jeff Hitchcock and Kerri Sparling, Manny Hernandez, and Kelly Close (among others). The simple idea was to use the power of social media and our ever-growing online D-community to do good.
Instead of buying the typical "dozen roses" that are so popular on Valentine's Day, you buy just 11 and donate the value of that last flower to help a child with diabetes. You still get to be romantic and give your loved one roses, while you both show some love to someone who really needs it.
Seriously, it really is that simple.
Now in its 5th year, Spare a Rose has raised nearly $75,000 from a total of 1,960 donors since its inception in February 2013. All of that money has gone to support the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) Life for a Child program, which was founded in 2000 to help children with diabetes in developing countries, those who might otherwise die immediately or have a short life without this assistance.
In fact, IDF's LFAC marketing coordinator tells us that just the 2016 campaign alone made it possible to support 422 children with full care (insulin, test strips, glucose meter and education).
Way to go, Diabetes Community!
"The campaign is such a success, in my eyes, because it is the product of small donations from the big heart that is the diabetes online community," Kerri says. "I’m always amazed at how people, no matter how thinly-stretched they might be, are still willing to throw in a small donation in order to make a big difference."
What's New in 2017?
Born as grassroots initiative, Spare a Rose is now officially under the umbrella of the Life for a Child (LFAC) -- specifically the non-profit formed in August 2016 based here in the US (while the IDF's main LFAC program is based overseas).
This year's theme: "Insulin is necessary, no matter how you say it."
LFAC has created a nice little video featuring our DOC's own Manny Hernandez and the IDF's Dr. Graham Ogle, sharing different pronunciations of "insulin" from in the world and making the point that it no matter how you say it, it's necessary to sustain life and access is what matters.
Notably we're also told that for 2017, the Helmsley Charitable Trust has generously offered to match donations from new donors!
About the new campaign structure, our friend Manny says: "Spare a Rose, Save a Child has always been a campaign in direct support of LFAC, with the sole nuance that it has been driven by the DOC... Personally, I'm excited about the prospects of the campaign growing and becoming even more global in the years to come."
With all this great collaboration and support, there's no doubt our D-Community can spread the word and make a huge difference in the world once again with this year's campaign!
Podcasters Unite, Once Again
Today kicks off the second annual Diabetes Podcast Week, created and coordinated by D-Mom extraordinaire Stacey Simms in North Carolina who runs the Diabetes Connections podcast. With many years of professional TV news broadcasting under her belt, Stacey created her diabetes podcast in mid-2015 and has been recording regularly ever since. Last year (inspired by the 'Mine, she says!), she decided to bring together the multiple D-Community podcasters in support of Spare a Rose, Save a Child initiative, for a week of promotion and coordinated programming.
"I can tell you that my show has grown in a big way since this time last year, and I assume many of the others have as well as more people find podcasts," Stacey tells us. "I'm hoping that larger audience will mean more awareness and donations to the charity."
Stacey tells us there are 11 participants this week -- or nine actual podcasts and 2 vloggers (video-bloggers), as follows:
For 2017, Stacey says she to date she has just one show sponsor -- yummy spice-creator Wildtree, that's already donated $1,000 to Spare a Rose. Hopefully, more businesses will follow in Wildtree's footsteps. We're happy to report that our corporate parent Healthline Media is on board, donating $600 in the name of DiabetesMine to the Spare a Rose campaign. Thanks, HL!
As we near the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin in 1921-22, raising the level of conversation globally about making insulin accessible to every single person who needs it becomes a Must-Do.
And at least during this time of year, we can combat this serious issue by offering some direct support of both Love and Life.
What two better elements to give on Valentine's Day?