Collier Edition

November is National Diabetes Month. Children and Families at Risk From Escalating Insulin Prices

Help a Diabetic Child (HADC) was founded by Tami and Joe Balavage soon after their son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Tami and Joe quickly learned there were children with diabetes and living in our community who were struggling to get the medical supplies and insulin necessary to remain alive and healthy. These items are expensive and these kids were in financial distress. Finding a solution to this crisis is one of the primary goals of HADC by purchasing diabetes medical supplies, insulin and services for children and college students in need.

More than 30 million Americans have diabetes and one quarter of them rely on life-sustaining insulin, yet a surprisingly large number are using less insulin than prescribed due to the rising cost of the drug. Insulin is a matter of life or death. There is no alternative medication that can be substituted for insulin. The issue isn’t a matter of shortage of insulin but rather the rising cost of insulin and diabetes supplies.

Individuals who have diabetes are cutting back on their insulin doses, withholding food or not using their insulin at all, which puts them at a much higher risk for health complications that can happen early in life. Without regular glucose testing and daily insulin injections, individuals with Type 1 diabetes are at risk for eye disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, stroke, heart disease, coma and even death.

According to the Endocrinology Society – Currently, 7.4 million Americans use insulin to treat their diabetes. At minimum, these patients use one vial of insulin each month. However, some patients require multiple vials of insulin or use multiple types of insulins (which necessitates multiple vials) each month. According to a survey conducted by the American Diabetes Association, 27 percent of respondents stated that insulin costs have affected their past year purchase or use of insulin. Thirty-four percent of families with children on insulin were impacted. Those affected by rising costs were more likely to experience adverse health effects than those for whom cost did not impact their purchase or use of insulin and twice as likely to experience negative emotions like stress and anxiety. Many of these patients were also forced to forgo other needs such as transportation (32%), utilities (30%), housing (27%), doctor’s visits (32%), or other medications (36%), and were more likely to ration their insulin.

To assist local children in need, HADC has purchased hundreds of thousands of glucose test strips, lancets, meters, syringes, pen needles and other diabetes medical supplies along with thousands of units of insulin.

Help a Diabetic Child Foundation (HADC) will host the 5th Annual von Arx Family Foundation Florida Diabetes & Wellness Conference on Sunday, November 3rd, 2019. Visit:

All proceeds from ticket sales to benefit HADC’s mission.

If you want to help children in our community visit

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