Stop for a moment and imagine that the cost of buying insulin for a month was financially crippling to you and your family.

IMG_0121.JPG Think about having to make the choice between buying insulin or buying food.

Think about rationing insulin and taking the smallest quantity possible – just so you are taking something, but not what you need.

Think about how terrible you would feel. Think about the thirst and the exhaustion and the fuzziness.


I don’t do emotive and I don’t do scare campaigns, but this is the reality for many children – and adults – living with insulin-requiring diabetes.

It’s unfair and it’s terrible.

And now think about doing something about it that is actually quite simple.

Many of you will be aware of the ‘Spare a Rose, Save a Child’ campaign that has been run over the last two years around St Valentine’s Day. The basics are – instead of sending a dozen roses to your loved one, send eleven. And with the five bucks you’ve saved, make a donation to the International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child Program. That fiver has just provided insulin for a month to a child whose family could otherwise not afford it.

There are many, many reasons to love this campaign; but for me, I adore it because it is simple and tangible. One rose = one month of insulin. Two roses = two months of insulin. I’m a simpleton – this sort of maths works for me!

I know that it’s not Valentine’s Day right now, but it will be in a mere 137 days. Which means that you have 137 days to plan to see how you could possibly contribute to this great initiative.

Contributing doesn’t necessarily mean making a donation – although it is wonderful if you can. You can blog about it, spread the word on Facebook and Twitter, ask your workplace or school to get behind it. You can just TALK to people about it.

Oh – by the way, this was set up by a few do-gooders in the DOC. Yep, that’s right, with nothing but the internet, their contacts and 140 characters or less (and some blogs, Facebook pages and other social media things) they managed to get this up and running. The first year, they raised about $3,000. The second year, they made close to $30,000. (You can use this the next time someone tells you that social media is the work of the devil and nothing good will ever come of it!)

The ‘Spare a Rose, Save a Child’ campaign was discussed at the 2014 Euro Bloggers Summit (disclaimer-y bits on this page). Kerri Sparling spoke about how the campaign came about and how people could get involved. One of the aims of the Summit is to share great work being done by people in the diabetes community. If you have something you would like others to know about, pease feel free to comment below.