by Ayaana Williams
You can always find someone you know who struggles mentally, physically, or financially. But how damaging can it be when you have it all in one? I sat down with my boyfriend, Alonzo Crawford, who is a young, hopeful Delta college student. Unfortunately, unlike most college students, Alonzo struggles with a physical disability that holds him back mentally, physically, and
financially. When he was 13, Alonzo was diagnosed with type one diabetes; an autoimmune disease that makes his pancreas unable to produce insulin within his body.Type one diabetes is hereditary and completely incurable. He now has to pay for insulin pens to inject himself with daily to control his blood sugar levels. However, insulin is not cheap. In fact, the price of insulin has continued to rise in recent years. I asked Alonzo how these medical expenses has affected him as an adult, and this is what he had to say.
Alonzo: Well, financially it costs about 50 to 60 dollars for every 2 months. So, it can get expensive, it depends how much I need the medicine too. Yea, it’s about every 2 months every 1 month or so if I use it a lot but about every 2 months.
As if it aren’t enough to be a student making his way through his early years of college, Alonzo has been given an unwanted financial burden; an involuntary bill that will keep getting higher, that he will be paying the rest of his life. Alonzo thinks that $500 a month could help him exponentially, in fact, almost too much.
Ayaana: So, how do you think 500 dollars a month can benefit you personally?
Alonzo: I think it would benefit me but it’s kind of a little overkill, I don't know if I would need that much cause my medicine wouldn't be that expensive but I could see how that would be with someone without health insurance.
Thankfully, Alonzo is fortunate enough to have health insurance, and though it doesn’t make his insulin free, it helps him quite a bit in the long run. But Alonzo fears for those who aren’t as fortunate as he is to have insurance, and/or a job to pay for his insulin. I told Alonzo about SEED, and asked him if he thinks it can be beneficial for people in this situation, and this is what he had to say.
Alonzo: Yea, definitely I mean if you have section 8 and you’re poor and you have diabetes that's a lot of stuff you have to pay for and anything will help for sure especially if like you’re in worse circumstances than me. I mean like I can even barely afford it and I just have a regular job. People who are unemployed and have diabetes I’m sure struggle
even worse because it is very expensive and it shouldn't be that expensive for a medicine you need to live your life you know? It's kind of unfair that we have to pay this much money for it.
According to a report curated by the American Diabetes Association, the average cost of insulin in the United States without insurance ranges from $400-$900 per month; an almost impossible burden for someone with no job or low-income. This price increases annually, and it is a shame that people with such an unfortunate disability, have to pay so much just to stay alive. The cost of living surely goes up when it is literally costing you to live. The rising prices of medication for diseases and disabilities is an issue on a much larger scale, however we can begin small by helping those who need it most.