The morning after I returned from my first trip to Haiti in 2010, I turned the TV on for background noise as I unpacked my suitcase. As a group, we had spent several hours the night before processing the trip, and the next morning I just wanted some static for distraction.
I can still remember the line from an episode of House Hunters that made me turn off the TV and throw my remote across the room in anger. As in most episodes, a married couple was searching for a house for their expanding family. While they toured the second floor, the wife looked over at her husband and whined, “I don’t want this house; the bedrooms are too close together.”
I had just come back from a country where people were living in shacks held up with sticks and tarps. A country where you could tell if a child was malnourished by the red tinge of their naturally brown hair. A country where the diabetes supplies in the local clinic amounted to a vial of insulin and a bottle of test strips sitting out on a folding table.
Yesterday I received my new Animas Vibe insulin pump. I have medical insurance that enables me to afford a medical device that costs thousands of dollars and a job that enables me to cover the balance of the costs. I have a butter compartment in my fridge that contains enough insulin that I am not worried about how I will survive the next few weeks or months. I have the luxury of making decisions about my diabetes care, choosing treatment options that aren’t necessarily the cheapest on the market.
I understand my privilege. At the same time, I am not content. I never want to be the type of person who complains about bedrooms being too close together while forgetting that others have no bedrooms at all.
Nine days ago I offered to match up to 24 donations of $10 to Spare a Rose, Save a Child between my diaversary that day and my birthday today. So far, the best I can tell (between comments and Facebook notifications), I am only at $120 – half of the total match. That amount is the difference between saving the lives of four children for one year and the lives of eight children for one year.
Please consider making a donation today and leaving a comment on this post so I will know how much to match. Tomorrow I will celebrate Valentine’s Day by saving the lives of children around the world. I hope you will join me.