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Make a Difference; Spare a Rose

Published: 2/9/16
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The Spare a Rose campaign is in full swing, running from February 1-14, with the goals of raising money and awareness for the International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child program. Life for a Child aims to provide insulin to children with type 1 diabetes in developing countries, and over the last three years, Spare a Rose has provided more than $55,000 to the cause.

The premise is simple, but powerful: instead of sending a dozen roses to show your love this Valentine’s Day, opt for only eleven and donate the value of that one saved rose (about $5) to Life for a Child. One rose can provide insulin to a child in a developing country for a month; a dozen roses can save a child for a year. 

The diabetes community, both online and off, has rallied behind this campaign and is making a difference for kids that we may never meet but who continue to thrive thanks to global participation in their care. 

Manny Hernandez, diagnosed with LADA in 2002, said, “Spare a Rose is a beautiful way to make an impact in the lives of those who are not as fortunate as we are. It’s such a no-brainer: plus, you can set up a recurring monthly donation, so your ability to make an impact can also adjust to your budget.” 

No one person “owns” this campaign, which makes it all the more powerful. The entire diabetes community plays a role and stakes a claim in its success, making every voice matter and every donation more poignant. This campaign is not about Big Companies making Big Donations (though Big Companies are more than welcome to make Big Donations – they can even do a campaign in their office that benefits Spare a Rose), but about the community coming together in small ways to make a big difference. 

The power of one person and one donation cannot be denied. 

“Spare a Rose matters because it puts things in perspective,” said Karen Graffeo of the Bittersweet Diabetes blog. “My diabetes struggles aren’t very significant when I think of the children dying each day because they don’t have access to insulin. Better yet, Spare a Rose gives us an opportunity to do something about this.”

“I love seeing how the Diabetes Online Community has come together and slowly over a few short years and has built this meaningful campaign to serves many less fortunate with diabetes. The Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign warms the cockles of my heart. Please donate. Your heart will feel good too,” said Hope Warshaw, MMSc, RD, CDE.

Diabetes touches many lives, and Spare a Rose is just one opportunity for people with diabetes to reach out and help our global community. 

John Sjolund, the CEO of Timesulin who also has type 1, said, “If you are reading this, you are probably one of the lucky ones. We have access to the lifesaving supplies we need to manage our diabetes, and the only thing we have to worry about is keeping up with the big D, not wondering about day-to-day survival. For way too many, access to insulin is a life threatening and daily struggle that we need to change.”

Diabetes is personal. It’s always going to be personal, and when I asked my mom why this campaign mattered to her, she summed it up well: “I can't imagine not being able to provide my child with the one thing that can save their life.” 

Spread the word. Spare a rose. Make a difference in the life of a child. 

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