Diabetics in need of insulin, donation efforts underway

posted by KRIS 6 News -

Being prepared for a hurricane like Harvey means having a plan to leave, packing essentials like food, water, and batteries. However, there is a large segment of the community that needs other lifesaving supplies.

"There's a lot of elderly, there's a lot of fixed income, and there's a lot of people who need medication, seizure medications, insulins," said Refugio resident, Larry Polansky.

Larry's young daughter Heather is a Type 1 diabetic, and had it not been for friends in Corpus, she would have ultimately run out of medication.

"Knowing that I don't have insulin is scary because it can make me really sick and yesterday without insulin without an hour or 2, it made my blood sugar go really high," Heather told us.

There are so many local people just like Heather. South Texas is considered ground zero for diabetes and a lot of pharmacies on the outskirts have run out of insulin.

Luckily, a few local business people are being proactive about the situation, personal injury attorney, Jose Barrera donated 500 dollars to purchase more insulin.

"We really want to help the people in the communities around Corpus Christi because it's very important that they get their insulin and get their home care," Barrera said.

Barrera's money will go to CEO of Corpus Christi Rehabilitation Hospital, Nicholas Nilest, who can get the insulin at cost. Dr. Nilest, had to evacuate his hospital the before Harvey hit but anticipated the need to the smaller communities today as the hospital began normal operation.

"We came to the realization that the small towns may not be served like the bigger ones are. So, we are collecting insulin and insulin-related products that are unopened so we can donate to these smaller towns," Nilest stated.

The donations collected by CC Rehab Hospital will then make their way to the Food Bank of Corpus Christi where Executive Director, Bea Henson has set up a diabetes program.

"You know, we are aware that there is a group of people that depend on insulin and that they need it in order to keep their diabetes under control," Henson told KRIS.

There is a number set up so that people can call to express exactly what they need, the program is overseen by a nurse so that insulin can be distributed properly. That number is 361-887-7979, leave a message and they will get your medication to you.

In the grand scheme, these are small steps toward providing a solution, the collection of insulin and other medication must continue in order to serve all Texans properly.

"If we can save one family, or one life, it was worth it," Dr. Nilest added.

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