Help A Diabetic Child (HADC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting local children and their families who are dealing with diabetes, today announced that it has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the United Way of Collier and the Keys.

These funds will be used to support underserved children and young adults in Southwest Florida who have Type 1 diabetes and cannot afford life-saving insulin, diabetes medical supplies and medical services. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to naturally regulate the body’s blood sugar, leaving diagnosed individuals with a life-long dependency on costly medical insulin.

Tami Balavage

“We are extremely grateful to the United Way for their continued support of children and families in our community,” said Tami Balavage, Founder/President for Help A Diabetic Child. “Even for those who have sufficient insurance, access to health care, and stable employment, the costs of managing Type 1 Diabetes can put a huge dent in a family’s monthly budget, often choosing between life-sustaining insulin or food for their family.”

The United Way of Collier and the Keys is committed to investing in and working to create a community where all individuals and families in Collier and Monroe Counties have an opportunity to thrive and achieve their full potential. UWCK will accomplish this through improving education, economic stability and health, as well as by providing access to food and safety-net services. United Way plays a unique role in convening businesses, nonprofits and government to work together to address community needs.

Help A Diabetic Child was founded in Naples in 2010 by Balavage after her 16-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It quickly became evident that there was a significant number of children who were unable to get adequate medical supplies for blood glucose testing and insulin injections, which must be done multiple times daily.

Statistics show that the number of Americans being diagnosed with diabetes continues to rise at alarming rates. The American Diabetes Association reports that almost 10 percent of the population has diabetes, while another 8 million are undiagnosed. In addition, the ADA reports that 86 million Americans over the age of 20 years have pre-diabetes.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows a nearly 30 percent increase in Type 1 diabetes diagnoses in the United States, with youth cases growing most sharply among diverse populations.

Diagnosed cases of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are surging among youth in the United States. From 2001 to 2017, the number of people under age 20 living with Type 1 diabetes increased by 45 percent, and the number living with type 2 diabetes grew by 95 percent.

To learn more about the Help A Diabetic Child Foundation or to support its mission of providing life-saving supplies and services, visit online at

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