Last night, I ventured down to City Beach after work to meet a guy called Simon. I’ve only ever known of Simon through Facebook. Some of my friends with diabetes have been encouraging me to connect with him for quite some time. A friend linked me into the Facebook community that he operates earlier this year, and I’ve been lurking for months and months, well aware of the life changing difference he’s been making to people with diabetes. In September, I finally bit the bullet and realised that life changing difference for myself.
Simon rebatteries used Dexcom transmitters. In fact, he’s rebatteried over 700 of them, which have been kindly donated from around the diabetes community here in Australia. The transmitter is a vital part of a Continuous Glucose Monitoring system. Sitting on top of the sensor, it sends blood glucose readings to smartphones every five minutes via a Bluetooth connection.
Of course, none of this comes cheap. A brand new transmitter retails for $550, and only lasts around three months before it automatically shuts off. Through a Facebook community called ‘Diabatteries Down Under,’ Simon actively helps people looking to lower the cost of their CGM by supplying them with rebatteried transmitters (that, might I add, last much, much longer than brand new ones do).
Now, Simon doesn’t actually have diabetes, but you wouldn’t know it from talking to him. He’s a massive advocate for CGM, likening finger pricks to flying blind. He was full of unconventional tips and tricks to prolong the life of my Dexcom sensors, and the way he whipped things out could give Bionic Wookiee a run for his money. He also has a day job, on grounds for which he was visiting Perth this week. And he’s a pretty big fan of DIY looping, too.
When the partner of Simon’s daughter moved into the family home, Simon began learning about this young man’s diabetes and the $7,000 price tag attached to the Continuous Glucose Monitoring system that he used. The rest is history.
I thanked Simon for his generosity, maybe more than once, and I was only met with even more. Simon is motivated purely by being able to help others to better manage their diabetes, and even encouraged the small group of us to put anyone who was in real need of CGM in touch with him. You wouldn’t do that if you didn’t have such a personal connection to diabetes.
Personally, I think this sends a pretty big message to the powers that are behind the manufacture and sale of CGM. Sadly, I don’t think we’re going to see any (positive) change on that front.
Thank you so much for doing what you do, Simon. You’re an absolute legend.
N.B. Simon provided me with a rebatteried Dexcom transmitter for a nominal cost. Like everyone else choosing to use a rebatteried CGM transmitter, I am doing so at my own risk and void all warranty and support on the product.