Over the most recent years, multiple reports have shown that diabetes is becoming increasingly more expensive, and unfortunately, not everyone is able to afford the medication they need to live. Heeling Diabetes, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide diabetics with a healthy and comfortable lifestyle, offering financial assistance for medication they cannot afford.
On November 3, 2018, Heeling Diabetes, Inc. will host its inaugural fundraiser, Secret Garden Gala. This will be an incredible night of charity to assist diabetics within the community. The Secret Garden Gala represents a dream where any and everything is possible, and on this night they aim to turn dreams into reality and award those making an impact in the community. The Atlanta City Hall Atrium is the meeting spot, and there will be food, drinks, a live band, and a DJ to curate the vibes of the event. The attendees are in for a treat with special guest appearances and a great night of fun!
Founder & CEO of Heeling Diabetes, Inc, Anjellica Sharpe shared with me about living with diabetes, how diabetes is the most expensive disease in America, how diabetics struggle daily to pay for their medication, her plan, and vision behind the Secret Garden Gala and much more!
“I’m really excited about the Gala! I’ve been working on it since April of this year,” said Anjellica Sharpe, founder, and CEO of Heeling Diabetes, Inc. “When I thought of the theme, Secret Garden, I thought of a beautiful, exotic place. So, just for one night, I want people to forget about the negatives of diabetes and enjoy a night of awareness and charity.”
Tell me about your Heeling Diabetes, Inc.’s Secret Garden Gala.
The Secret Garden Gala is an exotic place where anything and everything is possible, turning dreams into reality. We are presenting a few diabetics with checks to assist with their diabetic medications and awarding humanitarians in the community that are making an impact. This gala will take place at Atlanta City Hall on Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 at 8pm. There will be unlimited eats, an open bar, DJ, live band and great vibes. I’m excited because this is the first huge event that Heeling Diabetes, Inc. has put together. It’s been very stressful, but in the end, I know it will be rewarding.
What has your journey with diabetes been like?
My journey has been very rough, yet rewarding. I’ve had diabetes since I was 16, so you can only imagine what it’s like to take four shots of insulin every day. Once getting my own insurance, I had a deductible of $2500 before I was able to pay a reasonable copay for my medication. I gave myself lower doses and sometimes went without insulin just to survive. That experience gave me a platform to not only share my experience but to help other diabetics going through the same thing, which has made my journey rewarding thus far.
What is the difference between type I and type II diabetes?
“Type 1 diabetes, is said to be hereditary, your pancreas no longer produces insulin, so we have to inject ourselves with insulin to make up for what the pancreas is doing; I’m a Type 1 diabetic, as well. Injecting insulin, eating healthy and exercise makes the blood sugars stable and lower the risks of further complications in life. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes; the pancreas still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively. Most type 2 diabetics will take oral medication to keep their blood sugars stable. Exercise and healthy eating habits are important factors in type 2 diabetes and can sometimes minimize how much medication you take or if you’re even still considered a diabetic.”
What are the false perceptions believed about diabetes?
It has been said that people who eat a lot of sugar and sweets are responsible for getting diabetes, which is absolutely false. People joke all the time saying, “That tea is too sweet you’re going to get diabetes.
Why do you feel that diabetes is the most expensive disease in America?
I’ll say diabetes is the most expensive disease in America because the medication is something we need in order to live, and companies capitalize off of that; we [diabetics] are the ones being punished for it. In the United Kingdom, citizens do not have to pay for their diabetes medication or supplies. In Canada, citizens don’t have to pay for doctor visits. In the United States, we have to pay for both, and unfortunately, we [diabetics] pay an estimate of $16,752 per year on medical costs.
In what ways are you helping to bring more awareness to the seriousness of Diabetes?
Along with hosting diabetes awareness events, I’m a Certified PEER Diabetes Educator, where I offer free classes/workshops to empower people to take charge of their diabetes, avoid complications from the disease, and improve self-management skills. Both are open to not only diabetics but for everyone in the community.
For more information, and to register for the Gala, click here!
Images by: Sumatography, Seats Photographix