Keith Schwanz


This article was written on 28 Aug 2017, and is filed under Family.

1.25 Million

In the half-bath on the main floor of our house we have a bright red, plastic case in the overjohn. It’s a little smaller than a pencil box. The prescription label reads, “Glucagon Emergency Kit” and says it is to be used “one time only for severe low blood glucose.” In other words, if Oliver spent the night at our house and became unconscious because of low glucose levels, we’re ready.

Someone like Oliver with type 1 diabetes will have supplies stashed like squirrels preparing for winter. Protein bars, fruit snacks, and juice boxes are in each car. Purses bulge with extras just-in-case. Oliver always has his “kit” at hand: alcohol wipes, meter, test strips, lancet, glucose tabs. Oliver was diagnoses with T1D seven years ago this week. He has fine tuned an awareness of his body and often knows when he needs to zip open the kit for a finger prick to check the glucose level.

As you might imagine, the expenses are huge. The cost for Oliver’s care has been over $27,000 in the past two years. He’s covered with a high-deductable health insurance policy that comes with a … well, high deductable, so out-of-pocket costs are in the thousands of dollars a year. The costs of keeping Oliver healthy are such that the family soars to the lofty deductable heights in four or five or six weeks each year. Kansas is still locked in winter’s grip when thousands of dollars have already been paid.

On September 23rd, Team Jolly Ollie will once again join the JDRF One Walk: For a World Without T1D. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) raises money to support those seeking a cure for T1D. Please help us. Click on the link and make a contribution to support T1D research. Your gift will benefit the 1.25 million children and adults in the United States with T1D. Thanks.

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