People Living with T1D Share Financial Burdens of Maintaining Good Health

Families in our area have no choice but to include their T1D expenses in their budgets

FARGO, N.D. – It costs Samuel Erdmann’s parents anywhere between $1200 and $2200 in medical supplies every three months to keep him alive.

Samuel is six–years–old and was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes just over 10 months ago.

“For us, it’s been a learning journey about what diabetes is and what that entails,” Samuel’s dad Jon Erdmann said. “You know, from day one it was an education on how to keep our son alive and healthy.”

Those purchases go towards Samuel’s glucose monitors and insulin pumps.

Although the cost of insulin isn’t too much yet because of Samuel’s small size and the family’s insurance, it could be one day.

“It’s not a choice,” Samuel’s mom Lindsay Erdmann said. “You can’t just choose what amount [insulin] you’re going to use. It’s lifesaving. It’s necessary. All day long. Every day.”

April Stastny knows the impacts of type 1 all too well.

She was diagnosed a decade ago and deals with factors that constantly draw attention to her condition.

“In math, one plus one equals two,” Stastny said. “Not in diabetes. It depends on if you’re stressed, if you’re tired, if you’re sick…”

Now, as a mother, she has to set aside funds for her diabetes expenses.

“The cost has risen astronomically,” Stastny said. “Why? It’s the same exact product and that’s why we need help. The cost needs to come down.”

Fortunately, her insurance plan significantly reduces the amount she pays for insulin, but she knows many people who aren’t so lucky.

“I want the senators and the big pharmaceutical companies to walk a day in my shoes so that they know the price that they’re charging for things that I need to live every day is crazy wrong and something needs to change,” Stastny said.

Her passion for bringing awareness to this condition led her to get involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Danelle Johnson, a JDRF organizer, has a daughter with type 1.

Danelle is pushing for a cap on the price of insulin and other products.

“When we put all of this money into pharmacy costs, we aren’t supporting our nonprofits and our community,” Johnson said. “We aren’t supporting our schools. We aren’t supporting our church. We aren’t supporting things like that because everything is trumped by keeping your child alive or your loved one alive.”

Click on the link to learn more about how you can bring awareness to Type 1 Diabetes through JDRF.

Categories: Health, Minnesota News, North Dakota News