The ranting of a mother and advocate for Type one diabetes. The founder of www.diabetesadvocacy.com welcomes you to journey through life with a son with Type 1
Monday, January 13, 2014
A DTC Motivational Memory
Being Monday, I thought I would name the day “Memorable Monday” and I would take you back to a great memory that kept me motivated when fighting for changes to theDisability Tax Creditso many years ago…
The full story of how the changes to the Disability Tax Creditcame to becan be found onmy website. Suffice it to say, it was ahuge strugglethat was motivated and moved forward by many incredible and supportive individuals. Together we managed to create a change that continues to benefit Canadians with diabetes today.
There was one woman however whose story pushed me forward whenever I was frustrated. It was a few words from her and what the credit meant to her family that made me more determined than ever to see this credit become equitable to everyone.
In the early 2000s, insulin pump therapy in Canada was beginning to hit its stride. Insulin pumps were becoming smaller, smarter and available to more people. They were not yet covered by provincial health plans and only a select few private plans were paying for them. This made this family’s story that much more moving.
I was contacted by a woman who wanted to help change the way the Disability Tax Credit was applied to people living with diabetes. That in itself was not unusual. As word of the initiative grew, I was contacted by more and more people who wanted to get involved. This lady had two children living with the disease. Life had to be a struggle but she did not complain. She was writing to help me not to ask me for assistance. She was a hardworking parent. Her children were doing well. She was able to afford an insulin pump…but only for one child. Her finances did not at that time allow her to pay for a pump and supplies for two children. One would be able to pump but one would have to continue on injections. If we were able to make changes to this tax credit, then the money saved on her tax return at the end of each year would make two insulin pumps financially possible.
My heart broke. That was not her intention but it did. I could not begin to imagine the struggle of having more than one child with diabetes but worse, having to choose who gets a pump and who doesn’t? That was so terribly sad. I had to see change happen. I knew that sadly this woman’s plight was most likely not unique. The increased tax savings would help many other families and individuals living with diabetes.
As we wrote letters, contacted Members of Parliament, and spoke with the occasional member of the media, this family stayed in my head. I remained in contact with her. She did her part to send letters and garner outside support for our cause. We finally won the changes that we desired. She told me that she could now purchase two pumps with the money that she was now owed! I knew that the tears and frustrations getting to that point had been worth it.
I have sadly lost touch with the family. I honestly would not be able to even tell you where they lived but their story is still with me. It motivated me when fighting for the tax credit, I shared it when advocating for pump coverage. Some would say that I helped them but I know that this wonderful woman’s spirit helped me to help many others.