T1International’s virtual #insulin4all Summit, Health is Wealth, was held on September 24th. For those who were unable to attend, you can watch all the recordings of the event here on our YouTube channel. We particularly encourage you to view two brand new T1International videos all about the values of T1International and our Ethical Fundraising Promise to never accept funding from the pharmaceutical industry or funds that would compromise our independence.
To share a few highlights, we heard from incredible advocates from Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ghana, India, Mexico, Palestine, Panama, Russia, Zimbabwe, and the United States. They updated us about diabetes challenges in their countries and how T1International is supporting them to advocate for positive change.
Founder & Executive Director Elizabeth Pfiester sat down with physician, educator, author, speaker, and podcast host Dr. Abdul El-Sayed for a keynote conversation examining broken healthcare systems and what we can do about it. He is an excellent advocate and ended his session noting that seeing T1International’s pharma free, patient-led advocacy gives him home in these dark times. The lovely activist Dan Glass also inspired us with his wisdom, power, and joy for health advocacy work.
We dove into the history and incredible value of grassroots organizing in Latin America during our Spanish language panel, and focused on caregivers of color in the diabetes community for our final panel. We learned about how identities of race, disability, sexuality, and more intersect with caring for ourselves and others.
We closed out the day with a very special message from our friend - TV personality, author, hairstylist and more - Jonathan Van Ness! You’ll definitely want to watch it.
One advocate shared about their experience of the day: “I learnt a lot and I am now motivated more than ever. Thank you for taking your time to organize it… the commitment is amazing and without doubt a source of inspiration. T1International is a force.”
While the Summit may be over, our work as a movement is not! Our global network of advocates, changemakers, and digital leaders are continuing on the theme of Health is Wealth. Activist Mahatma Gandhi famously said: It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold or silver. Big Pharma claims that the health of people is their top priority while they continue to bring in billions in profit and insulin prices remain high. For too many, health is unattainable because of broken systems driven by greed.
To fight that greed we are continuing our efforts this October and will carry out a Direct Action outside of Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, demanding that the insulin manufacturer lower the list price of insulin NOW. In the leadup to this event, we are holding a digital demonstration to show that despite the pain caused to us by pharma’s greed. We want the world to see what Health is Wealth means to us, and to make it clear that moments of joy cannot be stolen from us.
While it is our mission this October to spread joy among the diabetes community, we also want to acknowledge and reflect on our losses. Despite hearing powerful, heart-breaking, and enraging stories from patients and people impacted by diabetes year after year, Eli Lilly has not met our demand to lower the list price of insulin. We want to show Big Pharma and each other that our community will not stand down in the fight for lower insulin prices. We are powerful, resilient, and joyful, even in the face of corporate greed.
We hope you’ll join us - digitally or in person.