Glucose test strips and cake decorating gel. The items Type 1 diabetics need after Harvey


Alabama's snowmageddeon of 2014 stranded hundreds of people on the roads and caused chaos. During all of that is when Leigh Putnam learned her daughter has type one diabetes. "When they saw her at Children's of Alabama they said she is 36 hours away from death." So Putnam very quickly learned a lot about type one diabetes and how to handle it during trying times. "When I saw these images flashing on the screen about Harvey I was just like oh my goodness. There's a constant worry when you have a child with type one anyway but with those extra stresses it has to be unbearable."

So she put a plan in place to help, organizing a donation drive for specific items that a type one diabetic needs every day. "Ror children with type one and adults, when they're under stress their blood sugar numbers fluctuate drastically, they can be very life threatening, very scary," said Putnam.

The Mountain Brook Police Department is now serving as a drop off point for items like small juice boxes, crackers, glucose test strips and meters and cake decorating gel. That last item can be used if a diabetic's blood sugar has gotten so low they can't do anything for themselves. "You put it in their mouths right there inside their cheeks and that's a sudden burst of sugar that brings their blood sugar back up," said Putnam.

Putnam said someone with diabetes would have had these items stockpiled at home, but in flood waters they'd be damaged or lost, requiring the purchase of more. "That's just an extra burden to add to them at this time when they're just trying to figure out how they're going to find shelter or get their house repaired."

Putnam said the response so far to her donation drive has been amazing. There's only a few items they still need. Those items are small tubes of cake decorating gel (not icing), Keto sticks, and glucose test strips and meters. She hopes to have everything by the end of the day Tuesday so these supplies can then be sent to Texas.

Putnam said she is lucky to have the Mountain Brook Police department helping because of their experience coordinating this kind of effort.

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