I have this box of Lantus that’s just sitting in my fridge at home. It hasn’t been opened. I’m unlikely to open it anytime soon, now that I use an insulin pump. I don’t really have a need for it anymore, considering that I have five fresher boxes of Lantus sitting underneath it. It expired in October last year.
There’s probably nothing particularly wrong with that box of slightly-out-of-date Lantus. The five pens in that box would likely last me a good two months if I were doing multiple daily injections full time.
That one box in a script of five only cost me around $7, thanks to subsidies through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme here in Australia.
Yet I still can’t bring myself to throw it away.
As someone with type 1 diabetes, insulin keeps me alive. Insulin keeps me alive today, and every day for the rest of my life.
I am so lucky to live in a country where I have never had to worry about how I will be able to afford the cost of lifesaving, and very expensive products to manage my diabetes. Yet there are people in less fortunate areas of the world who are unable to access life saving insulin, diabetes supplies and basic healthcare.
While I am sitting in my cosy bedroom reading with lust about the newest advancements in diabetes technology, there are people who don’t even know how they will get their hands on their next vial of insulin.
This February, we in the Diabetes Community are encouraged to Spare a Rose. The premise is simple: buy one less rose this Valentine’s Day, and donate the value of that rose (approximately $6 Australian dollars) to the International Diabetes Federation’s Life For a Child program. The cost of that one rose provides life-saving diabetes supplies, medication, and education that children in developing countries need to stay alive. One rose, one month of life to a child with diabetes. A dozen roses, a year of life for a child with diabetes.
Giving the cost of that box of Lantus to Spare a Rose this February is a no brainer.
Will I finally bring myself to throw that box of Lantus away? That’s a much, much more difficult decision for me to make…