Dear Valentine, I love you…but… #SpareARose

sparearose160x600tagDear Valentine,

I love you.
I love you because you care about people.
I love you because you want to help people.
I love you because you recognise the fortunate position we are in.
I love you because you know we don’t go without the things we need, like insulin for our youngest daughter.
I love you because you have compassion for people who need the things we get easily or for free, like insulin for our youngest daughter.
I love you because seeing or hearing about a family who can’t afford the insulin their child needs would bring a tear to your eye.
I love you because I know you’ll understand that I’m donating any money I would have spent on some roses for you to the Spare A Rose campaign.
But mostly I love you because this act has made you happier than receiving any flowers.

But don’t worry I’ll still get you some chocolate.

Your loving Valentine,

The #SpareARose Campaign
Lack of access to insulin is the most common cause of death for children with diabetes in many countries around the world. In fact, in some parts of the world, the estimated life expectancy of a child who has just developed diabetes could be less than a year.
This Valentine’s Day our community can continue to help change that.
Through the Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign, we raise awareness and donations for Life for a Child, an International Diabetes Federation program which provides life-saving diabetes supplies, medication, and education that children in developing countries need to stay alive.
Spare a Rose, Save a Child is simple: buy one less rose this Valentine’s Day and donate the value of that flower to children with diabetes. Your loved one at home still gets flowers and you both show some love to children around the world who need it.
One rose, one month of life. A dozen roses, a year of life for a child with diabetes.

You can donate here:

Diabetes UK are Making the Grade

Hands up for Good Diabetes Care tweetI saw Diabetes UK’s ‘Hands Up for Good Diabetes Care in Schools’ a while ago, after seeing a tweet from a rather proud Andy, proud of the video 10 year old Lewis starred in.

If you’ve not seen it take a look by playing the video below.

A great campaign

Make the Grade is yet another great campaign from Diabetes UK and I’m really grateful for all that they and all the other diabetes charities do to make my daughter’s journey from school and life that little bit easier. Although she’s one of the lucky ones, backed by a school who are willing to make the adjustments necessary for people who need them.


Sticking up for our kids’ rights

Others of course are not so lucky, such as Andy & Zoe’s Lewis who was excluded from a residential trip because of his condition, with the school expecting Zoe and Andy to bring Lewis home every evening during the trip. The school was clearly discriminating which is why a tribunal found in favour of Zoe & Andy but isn’t it a shame any parent needs to ever battle with a school over their child’s care. I’d do exactly the same, in fact, I almost did.

Sticking up for my kid’s rights

It was way before I ever got to know Zoe or Andy – in fact we still haven’t met – that I printed out a cutting about their court case and headed off to my daughter’s school only a few weeks before she went on a school trip to Germany.
I gave the article to one of the school management team and said “please read this and tell me if we have a problem”.
“No Mr Winchcombe, everything will be fine.”.
And that’s how it should be, for every child and parent.
For those parents who aren’t so lucky that have the backing of Diabetes UK and their Make the Grade campaign”.

What can other parents do?

First, watch the video embedded above if you haven’t already.
Visit the Make the Grade section of Diabetes UK’s web site.
Order up the parents pack and maybe order up a school pack too.
Be aware of what schools should be doing.
Make sure your school is giving your child good care and if they’re not approach them, talk to them, educate them (ah the irony).