Everywhere we turn these days, the issue of Insulin Affordability and Access comes up -- from the outrageously high prices here in the U.S. to across the globe in developing countries, where access is a truly life-or-death crisis.
That's why every year at this time, our D-community gets pretty vocal about the Spare a Rose, Save a Child initiative. And for the fourth 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, this effort was kicked off seven years ago as the brainchild of a group of passionate D-advocates including Bennet Dunlap, Jeff Hitchcock, Kerri Sparling, Manny Hernandez, and Kelly Close (among others in the Diabetes Online Community). The simple idea was to use the power of social media and our ever-growing community to do good -- even before "Pay It Forward" was as big a thing as it has become in recent years.
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.
Spare a Rose has raised more than $131,000 from thousands of 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, who might otherwise die immediately or have a short life without this assistance. In 2017, the grassroots initiative came under the auspices of the Life for a Child (USA) Inc. non-profit formed in August 2016 (while the IDF's main LFAC program is based overseas).
The American LFAC marketing team tells us that through the Spare a Rose campaign last year alone, our D-Community raised $34,339 from 450+ donors in 17 countries across the world -- which went to support 572 children.
Way to go, Diabetes Community!
Podcasters Unite, Once Again
This week, we're also marking the fourth 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 since. Back in 2016 (inspired by the 'Mine, she says!), Stacey decided to bring together the multiple D-Community podcasters in support of the Spare a Rose initiative, for a week of promotion and coordinated programming.
Here are the participating D-podcasts this week:
Behind the Betes
Dads and Diabetes
Diabetes by the Numbers
Diabetes Juvenil (Spanish language)
Diabetics Doing Things
Game Plan T1D
Real Life Diabetes
Sound Bites Podcasts
With that, we just have to echo how hugely important insulin affordability is here in the U.S. and across the world; withholding access is an outrage. 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?