Being a type 1 diabetic myself, and you will understand my feelings if you are type 1 as well, threw my entire life up in the air when I was just a 16 year old girl getting ready to sit her final GCSE exams. It came out of the blue ... BAM! For a while I suffered so many ways but most crucial actually was the mental aspects of it. I had so much going on in my life and this was now going to take up even more of my time. While to adjust to this new lifestyle and if I’m completely honestly I’m still not completely satisfied and as many of you too well know there are days when I feel like just giving up. Luckily for me I have had 2 crucial things in my life that have supported me: Firstly my family; with so much to learn and so much to handle, for me it was my saving grace that my family and most importantly my mother took on the hefty burden of learning the in’s and out’s of type 1 diabetes and how to get by. Secondly I have the NHS on my side; it may have its downfalls and no its not perfect but for me and my family, it without a doubt saved my life by providing me with the tools and equipment and doctors and nurses that have helped me through.
This then leads to a significant problem for other children and young adults being newly diagnosed with type 1: who is there to help them learn? And who is giving them the resources to adapt? The answer being in many countries around the world: no one. Having done our research and speaking to people who run diabetic clinics all over South America it is clear South America is suffering vastly with diabetes care and a lack of research, funds and education has contributed to this. The number of deaths among people with diabetes was estimated at 339 035 in 2000 throughout South America. However, we have come to the conclusion that Bolivia is one of the countries most suffering in these areas. Most importantly it is actually education. Education is something we in the UK may sometimes take for granted but in places like Bolivia it is extremely difficult to come by, and young people are left clueless on how to manage their illness.
“To survive with diabetes in Bolivia you have to be lucky. More than 60% of the population in Bolivia is poor. Out of every 10 people with diabetes, six are low-income and only four have the economic availability to support treatment. With so much poverty in the country, many people living with diabetes can only use NPH and R insulin. They can´t use analogue insulin, pens, nor can they measure their blood sugar more than two or three times a day. They wouldn’t dream of having an insulin pump due to the high cost. People’s care varies a lot depending on their economic power, many people do not have money to buy test strips and spend weeks without measuring their glucose.” Quote taken from T1 international. You can find out more about Diabetes in Bolivia here: https://www.t1international.com/Bolivia/
So what is the solution to all of this? Put the systems in place in Bolivia that allow type 1 diabetics to find the support and information they need in order to better manage their new lifestyles and live a healthier and longer life. Sounds simple, but not quite! We are currently talking to 3 clinics based in Bolivia that do exactly this and who are working to improve the systems and support they can offer. Once we know the level of funding we can offer then we will know exactly what we will be providing them with and what the money will go towards but it will be spent on education, as in our eyes this is what will lead to the best long term sustainable impact.
So the reason we have written this post and the reason we are so happy that you are reading this is because we need your help. Our desire is to make a significant contribution to the work that these charities in Bolivia are doing, and with dwindling funds this work cannot continue let alone expand and help more people. In my experience the type 1 community is a strong one because we share a unique situation that only those with type 1 diabetes truly understand. Hopefully you can see the need that these young adults have in Bolivia and just a small donation from those reading this would have a tremendous impact. We have set up a Go fund me page and you can find the link below. Any donation is greatly appreciated.
As well as this, 25% of the funds raised will be going to a charity called Type1International, who I believe many of you will have already heard of. They work in developing countries all over the world and aim to provide adequate access to insulin, diabetes supplies, medical care and education for all people with type 1 diabetes. We will be doing a post on them very soon so you can check out a bit about them.
Finally, and something we find incredibly important is we will be meeting with these groups in Bolivia so you can see first-hand the problems they face and how your money will be put to use. We will be sharing that with you guys through all of our social media channels. We expect to be in Bolivia around the end of November so that is not long to raise the money that we need to make the world of difference so please if you believe in our cause then donate and if you could share this article or let others know about what we are doing then we will be forever grateful. If you have any queries then contact us or post below in the comments section and we will get back to you.
Lots of Love xx