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T1International Year in Review: 2014

T1International Year in Review: 2014

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Wow. What a year it’s been for T1International and friends. We are so grateful for everyone who supported us in 2014. YOU have helped us making a difference in so many ways. Whether you’ve volunteered, shared our educational/advocacy tools, or spread the word about access to life-saving medicine and supplies for people with diabetes, you’ve made the world a little bit better.

To review a few awesome milestones from 2014 I’ll start back in January, when I was accepted as an AYUDA volunteer and started my volunteer training and fundraising. So many people donated to my efforts and to the programme, which I am so grateful for. The money will continue to help Dominicans live a happy and healthy life with diabetes by offering them education and medical supplies.

I worked hard to fundraise and prepare for my trip, and I even made it into some local press (see it here in The Piatt County Journal and and theHaringey Independent)! The wonderful Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me also allowed me to do a guest post on her blog about my efforts, which was very exciting and a great way to get coverage of T1International’s efforts.

March brought my 22nd Diaversary, where I reflected on living with diabetes for the majority of my life.

In May I took part in Diabetes Blog Week for the first time. Dblog Week is an awesome initiative started by Karen from Bitter Sweet Diabetes. Each year there are set topics throughout the week that diabetes bloggers can post about and share with others in the diabetes online community. “…readers can jump around the DBlog Community and get a plethora of different perspectives on a single topic. The hope is that new DOC connections are made, and that our voices are raised to spread a little more diabetes awareness,” says the DBlog Week page.

In July, I finally set off to spend several weeks in the Dominican Republic for my AYUDA experience, working with the local diabetes foundation to put on a series of day camps for children with type 1 diabetes. I’m continually grateful for the opportunity I had to support such an organisation and connect with the people who are part of the local foundation, Aprendiendo a Vivir. I keep in touch with some of the young people who we worked with while organising the camps so that we can continue to support each other in our diabetes work.

In August I had my own experience of struggling to access insulin. The experience gave me even more determination to work towards a day when no one with diabetes struggles to access to their insulin and diabetes supplies.

October brought Blog Action Day, with the theme of “Inequality”. T1International was happy to take part, and we chose to write about Inequality for People with Diabetes.

November was Diabetes Month, and was especially thrilling for T1International and our partner, The Pendsey Trust. After connecting with Pendsey Trust Founder, Lucy Laycock, last year we knew that our organisations have very similar aims and hoped to collaborate in various ways. We decided to “Put the World Back in World Diabetes Day” with our #insulin4all campaign, which culminated on World Diabetes Day (14 November). With the support of our friends and contacts all over the world, we managed to spread much-needed awareness about the need for everyone with diabetes to have access to insulin, test strips, diabetes education, and support – no matter where they live.

We were beyond thrilled to receive well-over 300 photo submissions from more than 42 countries in support of the campaign.

To give you a further idea of the campaign impact:

  • 14 bloggers (that we know of) wrote posts about the #insulin4all campaign on their personal blogs
  • the #insulin4all hashtag had a reach of 304,706 (with 10k impressions) on World Diabetes Day alone
  • we received many comments in support of the campaign, like this one: “I knew very little about lack of basic insulin for people in the world until World Diabetes Day and all the Tweets.”
  • the campaign promotional video below has had more than 500 views

The success of this campaign let us know that people are interested and passionate about access for people with diabetes worldwide. Because of this, T1International and The Pendsey Trust have made The Access Alliance official and we are moving into 2015 ready to capitalise on the interest from this campaign. Together we will continue advocating for #insulin4all and access to other diabetes supplies, education and care. We will soon be looking to add partners to The Access Alliance, so email elizabeth@t1international.com if you or your organisation are interested in joining our efforts.

Finally, the first official Universal Health Coverage (UCH) Day was launched on 12 December, the two-year anniversary of a unanimous UN resolution endorsing universal health coverage. T1International joined 500+ organisations worldwide to stand in solidarity stating that heath for all saves lives, strengthens nations, and is achievable in every country. Universal Health Coverage means that every person, everywhere, has access to health care without financial hardship. This idea is so important and vital for people with diabetes worldwide, so we were extremely happy to be an official supporter of the UHC efforts.

With so much momentum to build from, we have a lot to be excited about in 2015. We have a new logo design in the works, more from #insulin4all and The Access Alliance, a partnership with the wonderful Ghanaian organisation Diabetes Youth Care, and much more to come. So stay tuned – you won’t want to miss anything!