When it comes to getting the insulin we need, we're aware that we have it very good. But so many people whose lives depend on this life-sustaining drug are not so lucky. They're struggling to afford and get access to insulin, in some cases even dying as a result.
That's why every year at this time, our community gets pretty vocal about the Spare a Rose, Save a Child initiative.
And for the third year in a row, a grassroots initiative called Diabetes Podcast Week is supporting this fundraiser with great coordinated programming.
But first, about the #SpareARose campaign...
As a refresher, it's the brainchild of a group of passionate D-advocates who came together in 2013 looking for a way to use social media and our ever-growing online D-community to do social good.
What they came up with was: 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 (roughly $3-5) to help a child with diabetes. You still get to be romantic and give roses, while also showing some love to someone who really needs it.
Seriously, it really is that simple.
Now in its 6th year, Spare a Rose has raised nearly $95,000 in total. All of that money has gone to support the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) Life for a Child (LFAC) program, which was founded in 2000 to help children with diabetes in developing countries, who might otherwise die immediately or have a short life without this assistance. Last year, the grassroots initiative came under the auspices of the US-based LFAC org formed in August 2016 (while the IDF's main LFAC program is based overseas).
"Spare a Rose attracts many smaller donations which together equal thousands of dollars, showing the impact even the smallest donation can have," says LFAC's marketing coordinator Rachel Clayton in Australia. "Spare a Rose shows that the Diabetes Online Community takes care of one another, both online and off, around the world."
We're told the 2017 campaign raised $22,128 from 364 donors (from the USA, Canada, Australia, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Macedonia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Columbia and Korea). That provided insulin and education to 369 children.
For 2018, the hope is to surpass last year's total by raising at least $25,000.
Donations were up to nearly $5,000 as of mid-Thursday and UK contributions in particular are much higher so far this year, LFAC tells us.
This year's campaign is featuring the story of a T1D brother and sister from a village in India who were both diagnosed at roughly the same time last year: Poovarasi, diagnosed at age 18, and her younger brother Ruhan, diagnosed at age 13. Without support, they would not be able to afford insulin and supplies to manage their diabetes. Their doctor is quoted saying, ‘’They were provided with (a) glucometer and strips from the Life for a Child program and soon excelled in self-monitoring and their HbA1c dropped to near-normal levels. The boy soon returned to school and the girl has started to learn tailoring to complement the parents’ income. Now nearly a year following the diagnosis, the family has regained some of the original happiness that they had.’’
As always, we're excited support this annual initiative. 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!
Diabetes Podcast Week 2018
On Sunday (Feb. 11), the third annual Diabetes Podcast Week kicks off. It was created and is 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 launched her diabetes podcast in mid-2015 and has been recording regularly since.
Inspired by the 'Mine after we reported on a resurgence in diabetes podcasts a couple of years ago, Stacey decided to bring together the multiple D-Community podcasters in support of Spare a Rose, Save a Child, for a week of promotion and coordinated programming.
Acknowledging that many people still aren’t familiar with diabetes podcasts, Stacey says she hopes the campaign will also expand the audience.
“There are many different types of themes and hosts. There’s really something for everyone with diabetes and I hope this gives us one more way to connect and help,” she says.
This year's 13 participating diabetes podcasts:
For the Love of...
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 the "Hallmark Holiday" of Valentine's Day that encourages a celebration of love is a really great moment to step up.