Our hearts go out to all of you affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. When members of our type 1 diabetes (T1D) community face adversity, we rally around one another. Perhaps because we know that no one is in this alone. Two weeks ago, it quickly became evident that the destruction to the Gulf Coast area of Texas posed a serious risk to access to life-saving diabetes supplies for thousands of people—we knew we needed to do something. So we partnered with the American Diabetes Association, Insulin for Life USA and other diabetes organizations to deliver over seven thousand pounds of diabetes supplies to the region.
In Wharton, Texas, southwest of Houston, many of the residents living with diabetes had been without their medications for several days after Harvey hit, and the signs of hyperglycemia were alarming. They needed insulin and medical attention to survive, and they needed it immediately. Thanks to dedicated staff and volunteers—and the generosity of so many—a package of supplies from Insulin for Life arrived in time to avert any serious complications.
Of course, none of this would be possible without you. The outpouring of support—supplies, gifts or kind words—has been inspiring. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity that allows us to help those in our community at a time of great duress while we work toward our all-time goal of ending T1D for everyone. And we have made a tremendous impact in places like Wharton across the Texas Gulf Coast. Approximately 1.8 million syringes, 450,000 pen needles, 180,000 alcohol pads, 225,000 units of insulin and hundreds of blood-glucose meters and thousands of glucose test strips and lancets have been routed to the Houston area.
Unfortunately, the need now continues in Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irma. We are remaining an integral member of this coalition as the need following Irma is assessed and met.
JDRF, as always, is steadfast in our vision of a world without T1D. We are laser focused on funding the most promising research so that one day concerns during large-scale natural disasters like these will not include consideration of diabetes supplies at all.
For those of you who need assistance, there are resources to help.
To find the most up-to-date information on upcoming events, visit your chapter’s homepage.