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DiaCare Foundation

Posted on May 22, 2018 | 8 Comments on DiaCare Foundation

Type 1 diabetes, which mostly affects children and teens, necessitates lifetime treatment and management. Patients regularly need insulin, glucose meters, and laboratory examinations, among other things. All these, of course, require money. But if patients don’t have any, where would it leave them?

Like any other lifetime illness, type 1 diabetes could prove to be a financial burden among the not-so-well-off. When financial resources are nearly drained, they would sometimes choose not to medicate and instead let complications or death eventually take its course.

Dr. Joey Miranda, DiaCare Foundation‘s immediate past president and currently its medical consultant, remembers a 15-year old diabetic patient who, out of sheer poverty, deliberately decided not to seek any more medical attention. “She told her mother to just let her go. It was already the decision of the child, when she had complications, to tell her mother not to bring her to the hospital,” shares Dr. Miranda. The child lost the fight and died.

For DiaCare, however, living without even trying to put up a fight should not be an option. Seeing the patients’ inability to pull financial resources together and fight for life, DiaCare, which was formed by parents of children with diabetes in 1989, has pledged to journey with indigent diabetic children by providing them their most basic treatment needs.

“Our basic goal is to provide the basic needs of a diabetic individual—insulin, injection and glucose meters,” says Dr. Miranda. “Other needs include good education for diabetes treatment—a venue where they can learn—and a group support or family support, so that if they have psychological problems, there’s someone to help them. To make their lives easier, that’s the basic goal.”

The Start
In its early years, DiaCare relied mainly on dole-outs from other countries like Japan and Australia. Insulin would come from these countries and were distributed to DiaCare members. But Dr. Miranda says the foundation has grown to be independent over the years. “We made it a point, when I became president of the foundation, not to always rely on dole-outs. We have to be self-sufficient,” he says.

Now, depending only on their fund¬raising projects—and occasionally on support from other groups—DiaCare continues to live out its thrust since its early days.

Reaching Out
DiaCare has now amassed more members—now officially hitting 200—from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Composed of parents and the patients themselves, DiaCare has remained faithful to its original advocacy to run or adapt projects that would give assistance to the patients and consequently lessen the burden of diabetes.

For one, DiaCare is one of the three local beneficiary groups of “Adopt a Child with Diabetes Program,” a project initiated and supported by the International Diabetes Foundation. “With ‘Adopt a Child,’ about 10 to 12 indigent type 1 diabetes patients are given insulin, glucose meters, strips, and everything that a patient needs for treatment, including laboratory exams for free for one year,” explains Dr. Miranda. Now, DiaCare already has its fourth batch of beneficiaries.

Because it has stopped receiving dole-outs from other countries, the foundation had to find means to provide their patients affordable, if not free, treatments. “Since we cannot get insulin for free, we buy them at a discounted rate and we sell them to the patients at a discounted price,” shares Dr. Miranda. According to him, these discounted treatments are a big help to poor patients.

DiaCare also aims to bring positive and holistic changes to the young diabetes patients. To do this, the foundation has been sending members to Camp COPE (Children Overcoming Diabetes Problems Everywhere) every year. Initiated by Dr. Augusto D. Litonjua, president of the Philippine Center for Diabetes Education Foundation or Diabetes Center Philippines, Camp COPE is a four-day camp designed to provide children with type 1 diabetes with a venue to “learn about diabetes and practice what they learn.”

According to Dr. Miranda, the four pillars of diabetes treatment—medical nutrition, exercise, pharmacologic treatment and education—are integrated into the camp activities. At the end of the camp, the children are expected to know how to inject insulin, monitor their blood sugar by themselves, exercise properly, choose the right food, share experiences with fellow diabetic patients and deal with their condition effectively.

Keeping the Fire
As it is, DiaCare has done a lot to help the poor, young diabetic patients. But Dr. Miranda shares they want to achieve more. “We want the kids to be young ambassadors of diabetes because a lot of people are afraid of what diabetes is,” he says. “We are planning for them to visit companies and different indigent areas. These kids will teach the lay people the life of being a diabetic and how to deal with it. It’s also one way of creating awareness.”

However, because of financial limitations, DiaCare couldn’t do as much as they want to. “We actually want to tour around the country to be ambassadors. But how can we do that if we don’t have any money? So we really need first to increase our funds,” he shares. But financial limitations couldn’t stop DiaCare to remain loyal to its noble cause of helping poor diabetic children. “We’re trying to hold on because we know that these kids and their parents need a foundation,” says Dr. Miranda.

Thankfully, there are groups and individuals who provide assistance to the foundation. According to Dr. Miranda, excess insulin from patients or diabetes activities are given to DiaCare to be distributed to members. And just recently, through the efforts of Mrs. Zenaida Mascaririas, current DiaCare president, the foundation received some funds from the Lion’s Club.

“We are proud to say that we are still able to provide our indigent members the basic needs for diabetes management,” shares Dr. Miranda. “It’s one way of extending their lives.” In the near future, Dr. Miranda still dreams to fully provide all their members’ needs. And though he thinks their financial capacity couldn’t support this dream at the moment, he rests on the fact that through their “own small ways,” DiaCare is efficiently and consistently helping their members. “We are proud to say that we are here for them to run to anytime, anywhere, whether they are rich or poor,” he says. “We are open to anyone who needs our help.”

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Comments:8

  1. JOSE SISON MALONG Reply
    11/01/05

    I was a former OFW for 25 years in Saudi Arabia, where my youngest of 3 children, an only girl, was born there. She was diagnosed of having afflicted with Type-1 diabetes (insulin dependent) at the early age of 2 years and has been taking insulin injections twice daily eversince. She will be 12 years old this coming Feb. 21. It is such a big financial burden on the family because our meager income is really not enough for her diabetes maintenance (just for the insulin). I really need some help. Could you kindly advise me where I can buy insulin (Novolet Mixtard 70/30 premixed insulin) at a DISCOUNT? I live here in Mexico, Pampanga. I would greatly appreciate your time and trouble. Many thanks and God bless.

  2. maria fe c.geta Reply
    12/01/28

    my son had type 1 diabetese since march 12,2006 at the age of 3 i want him to be a memeber of diacare foundation…..

  3. olie arambulo Reply
    12/01/31

    i’m a diabetic for almost 8yrs…just want to join in diacare foundation especially for your events…how….thnx en more power godbless….

  4. Cj Lopez Reply
    12/03/08

    My mom has been diabetic for 5 yrs. I bought her a diabetic supplement and she’s been taking it for 2 mos. She feels much better and surprisingly, her blood sugar is normal.

  5. Edgardo M. Reyes Reply
    12/03/08

    My daughter diagnose with type 1 diabetes since 2009.i want her to be a member of the foundation.how and where the location of the foundation?

  6. Pinky Aragones Reply
    12/07/28

    Hello, my father is diabetic and i would like to be a member of a diabetic foundation. i believe that through this, members can enlighten us how to cope with diabetes. thanks

  7. kristel Reply
    12/12/04

    good day, my uncle is diabetic and is having dialysis twice a week.. i want him to be a member of diabetic foundation. how can we join?thanks

  8. Xyza Reply
    16/09/01

    My mother was recently diagnosed with DM. We want to sign her up as a member. How do we join? Thanks and more power

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