Rose describes her traumatic experience as a type 1 diabetic without health insurance:
As a Type 1 diabetic since age 2 (25 years now), life has been full of ups and downs. I am a very positive person, and I attribute that to my diabetes. It has given me strength and the ability to find joy in any situation.
A few months ago, my husband lost his job and with that we also lost our health insurance. I had never been without insurance before and although I had kept careful stock of diabetic supplies for just such an occasion, I was starting to get very worried about where I would turn for my insulin, test strips, and all of the supplies that keep me alive from day to day. The cost of these supplies minus health insurance is just not something most people can handle, and I was no exception.
After my husband’s job loss, I inquired about his ex-company’s COBRA option and was quickly disheartened by the price of such a plan, and, even if I were able to pay for this, the plan only gave me coverage for a few months. Although I applied for government appointed insurance I received a notice in the mail to say that I would be placed on a waiting list – unfortunately, diabetes does not wait. For 25 years I had kept myself alive with supplies I received through health insurance, and since nearby health clinics couldn’t help me out, I was at a dead end in looking for support.
I was faced with many questions on how to continue to stay healthy with a disease where proactive, continuous treatment is the only way to survive. Now, with an extremely limited income and no where to turn for the very thing that keeps me alive, I was lost.
On a whim I put up a post on a diabetic support forum page and got lots of great feedback about where to go, but no response was greater than from a leader of the organization ACT 1 Diabetes. She told me about a supply exchange program that ACT 1 was offering. Within a few days she had made the arrangements for me to receive several bottles of test strips, without a single dollar from me – just as my last bottle was running out. Without her and ACT1’s supply exchange, I’m not sure where I would have been and how I would have purchased the test strips I need. I’m so grateful for the work ACT1 is doing for fellow Type 1 diabetics like myself, especially since all of the government safety nets could not help me with my type 1 diabetes, and I will support them in any way that I can.
To support our supply exchange efforts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org