T1International is proud and honoured to announce that Nicole Smith-Holt has accepted our invitation to serve as T1International Ambassador.
If you have not yet heard of Nicole or her advocacy on behalf of her son Alec, she’s someone you need to know. After Alec died in 2017 from rationing his insulin, Nicole began speaking out about the need for true solutions to the insulin affordability crisis. Since learning about us, she has been a strong supporter of T1International. Along with other #insulin4all advocates, we have worked closely with her to support her advocacy and provide resources, information, and a platform in our joint fight for affordable and accessible insulin and supplies for everyone.
In 2018 alone, Nicole has done over 50 media appearances, interviews, and news features to share Alec’s story and to highlight the need for affordable insulin and the patient advocacy movement that is leading the charge.
Below is a short interview with Nicole to highlight her top experiences, biggest challenges, and what she’s most looking forward to in the future. We cannot thank Nicole (and her family) enough for her tireless, poised and determined voice, and we are thrilled to have her as our Ambassador.
1. What are you most proud of doing in 2018 to advocate for affordable insulin?
My top experiences with my advocacy to date are:
2. What has been hardest/most frustrating about doing what you do?
The hardest part of my experience as an advocate is reading all the negative comments surrounding my son’s death. I so often see things like, ‘’Why didn't he do this?’’, ‘’Why didn't he do that?’’ I also find it extremely frustrating that there’s such a huge lack of knowledge about type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I find myself constantly trying to educate people on the difference and explaining that no diet, pill, or special herb could have kept him alive.
3. Why do you like about working with T1International?
I love working with T1International because the advocates that are involved with this cause are so knowledgeable, so passionate, and so driven. It is amazing to have them to fall back on. I like the fact that T1International accepts no funding from the pharmaceutical or device industry. They are simply a grassroots organization that has a #1 priority, which is the lives of people with diabetes, so they focus on advocating for affordable and accessible insulin and supplies for all. T1International feels like a family.
4. What are you most looking forward to for the future with this movement?
I look forward to the day that people with diabetes are able to purchase their insulin and supplies without worry of cost. I look forward to the day when no one with diabetes worries about compilations or death as a result of not being able to afford insulin. I look forward to a day when I no longer need to stand before a room of our elected officials and retell the story of my son’s death. I look forward to a day when insulin insecurity no longer exists anywhere.
We couldn’t agree more with Nicole, and T1International will continue to fight with her until that is a true reality.