No Child Should Die of Diabetes

February marks the beginning of the 2018 Spare a Rose campaign.  And this campaign answers the question, “Can I make a difference for people with diabetes today?” with a resounding YES. 

The idea?  Instead of buying a dozen roses for your loved one, buy 11 and take the value of that spared rose – about $5 – and donate it to IDF’s Life for a Child program, which works to provide  life-saving insulin, blood glucose testing tools and diabetes education.   The campaign has been running since 2013 and has raised thousands of dollars for Life for a Child.

From the Life for a Child website:  “Initiated by a group of members from the Diabetes Online Community, the Spare a Rose campaign raises funds for the Life for a Child program. The first campaign took place in 2013 and every year since, the community has come together to make a difference in the lives of children living with diabetes in less-resourced countries.

Spare a Rose attracts many smaller donations which, together equal thousands of dollars, showing the impact even the smallest donation can have.  Spare a Rose shows that the diabetes online community takes care of one another, both online and off, around the world.”

Life for a Child partners with diabetes centers in countries like Rwanda, Mexico, and India to provide these critical supplies to young people who would otherwise have nowhere else to turn.  The program currently supports over 18,500 young people in 42 countries.     

And the difference made by your donation is real.  The Life for a Child website shares the story of Poovarasi, and her brother Ruhan, both living with type 1 diabetes in India.  Poovarasi was 18 years old when she was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes – her younger brother Ruhan was just 13.

The family lives in a village in India and would have barely been able to afford the insulin and supplies required for one child with type 1, let alone two. The financial burden would have been impossible for the family to bear. “They were provided with 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.’’

Think about your fridge at home.  Is there a bottle of insulin, or perhaps several, sitting comfortably in your butter compartment?  If so, you’re lucky. 

The news cycle these days can be downright distressing, and finding a way to make a positive difference can feel challenging.  But there is something you can do to make a difference, something you can do this minute, and it’ll cost you $5.  And your actions have the power to save the life of a child.   Together we can achieve our vision that no child should die of diabetes.  

This Valentine’s Day, take heart and donate to support a child with diabetes.  Spare a rose, and save a child

Kerri Sparling
Kerri Sparling

Kerri Sparling has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1986 and writes the diabetes blog She believes in diabetes advocacy, patient empowerment, and strong coffee. Kerri lives in Rhode Island with her husband, her daughter, and an unfortunate army of cats.

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6 years ago

No one should die from type1 diabetes. Find a cure researchers!!! Do something to justify your salary and research grants.

5 years ago
Reply to  Ivan

Hi Ivan, I totally agree with your comment. The problem is there are a lot more type 2 diabetics than type 1’s and the research goes where the money is. If you come up with a cure for type 1 you are only treating 10% or less of the total number of diabetics. Even some hospital workers, I have spoken with, don’t know the difference between type 1 and 2. I get tired of people telling me if I exercised more the diabetes would go away. I wish.

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