Welcome to Arianna's Fundraising Page!
My name is Arianna Tuomey and this summer, I will return to the Dominican Republic to help change the lives of children with Type 1 Diabetes. With my fellow volunteers from AYUDA (American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad) and Dominican volunteers from AAV (Aprendiendo a Vivir), I will attempt to alleviate the struggle of young people living with diabetes and their families by helping them manage their diabetes through easier access to medication and proper diabetes education.
During my time with AYUDA over the summer of 2016, I was able to see first-hand the hardships the children and parents who attend our camps have to overcome at home. Some of our campers are forced to skip insulin injections at home because they can’t afford new vials. Some have to bury their insulin in the ground to keep it cool if they don’t have access to a refrigerator. Many don’t know how to count the carbohydrates they eat, and thus, don’t know how much insulin to take. A few cannot afford test strips to check their blood glucose, so they will have high levels and may fall into life-threatening diabetic ketoacidosis or a diabetic coma.
I am returning to the Dominican Republic again this year to help provide diabetes resources and education for these children and their families, but I can only do this with your help. Only with your donations are we able to purchase blood glucose testing supplies to check the blood glucose levels of our campers and help prevent life-threatening circumstances. With your donations, we are able to provide regular insulin injections to these children while they are at camp, which many of them are not able to have at home.
In the Dominican Republic, a vial of insulin can cost up to 2000 Dominican pesos ($43), and the average wage for a common worker is 3000-6000 pesos a month ($65-$130). Not to mention the additional cost of test strips and a glucometer to check blood glucose levels, or syringes to inject insulin. Caring for a child's diabetes in the Dominican Republic can cost more than half of a parent's monthly income. Diabetes is a very expensive disease and many parents who come to our camp simply cannot afford to properly manage their children’s disease.
My goal this year is to raise $6,500 for AYUDA. Please help me reach my goal so that we may relieve some of these families’ burdens, and help them reach the completely attainable goal of having a child with well-managed type 1 diabetes. To donate, simply click on the orange button that says “Support Me!” For more information about Type 1 Diabetes, AYUDA, and why I decided to volunteer, please keep reading.
What is AYUDA?
AYUDA is a non-profit volunteer organization that empowers youth to serve as agents of change in diabetes communities around the world. AYUDA is dedicated to supporting local diabetes communities in their development and implementation of sustainable and global diabetes programs. AYUDA’s innovative peer learning model uses international volunteers as catalysts for empowering local youth living with diabetes to live happy and healthy lives.
For more information about AYUDA and its important work, please visit their website. (www.ayudainc.net)
What is Type 1 Diabetes?
Type 1 diabetes is a genetic disease characterized by a loss of insulin production in the body. Unlike type 2 diabetes, there is no correlation between type 1 diabetes and obesity. Currently, there is no cure for type 1 diabetes, but it can be well-managed with the proper medication (insulin) and tools (glucometer, continuous glucose monitor, etc.). Many people in the Dominican Republic don't have access to these resources, and their diabetes can be life-threatening as a result. This is why our program is so essential to these communities.
Why Did I Join AYUDA?
I decided to volunteer with AYUDA because I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes nearly two years ago during finals week in my second year of college. Since then, I have searched for ways to connect with the diabetes community. I have thus far connected with this community by starting a chapter College Diabetes Network at my school, the University of California San Diego. This chapter allowed me to relate to people my age who have diabetes for the first time, and inspired me to get even more involved. With my chapter of the College Diabetes Network, I hosted an AYUDA information session at UCSD where an AYUDA representative and former volunteer came and told us everything about the organization and their mission.
After traveling to Cusco, Peru summer of 2015 as part of a medical outreach volunteer program, I saw just how different medical care is in other parts of the world from what I grew up with. Though that trip wasn't diabetes oriented, coupling this experience with my recent diagnosis led me to imagine what my life would be like if I had been born in Peru or any of the many other countries that don't have a solid understanding of what diabetes is and how to manage it. Would I have the same easy access to insulin, test strips, and a continuous glucose monitor as I do now?
The AYUDA presentation at UCSD inspired me to ask myself these questions again, and I realized that applying to AYUDA would allow me to help children and their parents see that you can a live long, healthy life with Type 1 diabetes if you are given the knowledge and tools necessary to manage it. I applied to the Campo Amigo program because I identified with AYUDA's mission, and its guiding principles: a lack of education is just as dangerous as a lack of insulin, youth can serve as powerful agents of change, and understanding is just as important as doing.
You can learn more about my story here: http://diabetesstopshere.org/2016/01/14/diabetes-in-college-arianna/ .
How YOU can help!
AYUDA endeavors to remain a grassroots volunteer organization in a unique way: by asking its volunteers to participate in fundraising for their programs. In fact, without fundraising by volunteers like me, AYUDA’s in-country work would not be possible.
I will be traveling to the Dominican Republic in July, but my journey begins today! I need to reach my fundraising goal by July 1st. Please support me in this important goal by making a contribution. A tax-deductible donation online makes supporting AYUDA quick and easy. You can also send your contribution to the address listed below.
To mail in a donation, please, make all checks payable to: AYUDA Inc. and please put "Arianna Tuomey" in the Memo field.
1700 N Moore St, Suite 2000
Arlington VA 22209
Your tax-deductible gift makes a difference. Your support will ensure that local diabetes programs will continue to thrive and that young people in these communities will have access to education and tools that will help them live happier, healthier lives with diabetes. Whatever you can give will help - it all adds up!
I greatly appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress. To follow my progress, please visit my blog: www.ariannaayuda.tumblr.com.
Thank you for your time and generosity,
¡Juntos Somos Más Fuertes!
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