With Diabetes Art Day just behind us and now in the middle of the Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign, the concept of art and awareness for the greater diabetes good is on the forefront.  Which is why I’m excited to host a guest post from Elizabeth Rowley, founder of T1International, who is aiming to raise funds for the AYUDA organization through artwork.  Take it away, Elizabeth!

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I’m Elizabeth Rowley and I am the founder of T1International. I have lived with type 1 diabetes for almost 22 years and my passion is diabetes around the world, particularly access to insulin and diabetes education. It is hard for me to accept the fact that people are still dying due to lack of insulin, despite it being made available for use by people with diabetes almost 100 years ago. My background in international development and hunger to learn more about these problems and their potential solutions let me to create a web site about global diabetes organizations and topics.

Through T1Internatioanl, I discovered the organization AYUDA (American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad) and I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of. Having recently completed the IDF Young Leaders in Diabetes training in Melbourne, where I connected with young people living with diabetes from all corners of the globe, I was inspired to do more to create the change I want to see in the diabetes community.

I am fundraising to volunteer and to make AYUDA programs possible. In June, I will go to the Dominican Republic to plan and put on a summer camp for kids with diabetes (and their families). Diabetes camp meant the world to me when I was growing up, so this is the perfect opportunity for me to give something back and ensure that kids who are lacking in supplies and education get the knowledge to help them survive and thrive with diabetes. For many, it will be their first chance to interact with others living with diabetes. You can read more about my motivation for the program, and the program itself, at my fundraising page here or at www.t1international.com/ayuda.

I am not taking this fundraising lightly. My husband (who also has type 1 diabetes) and I recently opened an online marketplace through T1International, which has been something we have wanted to do for a long time to use our combined interest in art, and all things creative, to support international diabetes causes. The T1I Marketplace is an online shop where you can purchase artwork made by people with diabetes (and supporters of people with diabetes) in exchange for donations to the AYUDA program. Every item you ‘buy’ will support kids in the Dominican Republic to live happier, healthier lives – so it’s a win-win! In the future, we hope that the T1I Market can be used to fundraise for other causes as well, so we won’t stop after we reach the AYUDA target.

Be sure to have a look, and please note that we can customize almost anything to make sure your art is special to you. Here is a selection of some of the diabetes-related art up for grabs at the marketplace:

To see more art and donate/place your order, visit the marketplace, and you can visit the AYUDA website for more information about the registered charity.  Thank you!

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Thanks, Elizabeth, for making a difference in our global community!