There are times in life - when my cannula rips out on a kitchen counter, or my Dexcom itches at my skin from lack of air under the over-used tape - that I find myself feeling less than grateful for the medical technology which keeps me alive. When the clumpy pump won't hide under a slinky top, or my Dexcom sensor protrudes from my leg under my skinny jeans like some kind of bodily 'yuck', I find myself frustrated with diabetes and the cyborg 'kit' that comes with it. But the truth is, that 'kit' - that expensive, wicked clever kit - does more than just keep me alive, it helps me live the life that I want; the life I deserve.
It's hard to imagine, given my fortunate life in a developed country where it is considered wholly unacceptable for any person to have to die from lack of basic necessities like insulin, that there are children and young people in this very world - the one we share with them - who live on a constant perilous precipice. Why? Because they don't know whether or not they will have enough insulin to keep them alive today.
This situation, which millions of children around the world face on a daily basis, is not only unacceptable, it should be impossible. No child should die because of lack of access to insulin. Every child deserves to live, and not in constant anguish or fear that today may be their last. Every...single...child.
A group called Partnering for Diabetes Change, came together a while back to see how we, the diabetes community and the wider population of the world, can help. That's when the 'Spare a Rose: Save a Life' campaign was born.
The Spare a Rose campaign invites people around the world to donate the cost of just one rose on Valentine's Day, just £3, to the International Diabetes Federation's Life for a Child programme which provides insulin to those living in developing countries. That £3 will keep a child alive for a month. That romantic bunch of roses, will keep a child alive for a year.
Last year $25,579 was raised, from donors in 684 countries, which kept 426 children alive for a year.
On Valentine's Day, why symbolise your love for someone by buying them something which will whither and die within days, when you could declare your love with a gift which will grow and thrive for a year. Give life.