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Diabetes in the Valley

Close to one in three people in the Rio Grande Valley are diabetic.

Close to one in three people in the Rio Grande Valley are diabetic.

According to Dr. David Sauceda, the Valley's rate is 20 percent higher than the rest of the country.

According to the American Diabetes Association, close to half of diabetics skip an injection.

Many skip for different reasons: Some can't afford the insulin due to spikes in pricing, while others will run out of medicine and can't get a refill.

Going without medicine can be deadly.

"You are looking at some lower income individuals that may not be insured. Do I pay for my family's food this month or do I pay for my insulin?" explained Sauceda.

And going without medicine can lead to many issues, including death.

"Loss portions of their limbs, fingers, toes, and even entire portions of their legs,” said Sauceda.

"Sometimes we have problems getting insurance to cover it," said Mayte Gutierrez.

Gutierrez is a part of the organization Hope 4 Kids out of Brownsville.

The organization started after her daughter, Marlen, was diagnosed at age 6 with type one diabetes.

At that time, Gutierrez there were not proper resources to provide assistance.

“And they used extra insulin, the insurance won't cover until it's the next month’s renewal in order for them to get the insulin," said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez receives calls and emails from families asking her for help.

She reaches out to families within the organization to see if they have excess.

"Usually, I'll have stock here where I get samples or they donate extra insulin. They'll come to me and we'll give them insulin that we have available," said Gutierrez.

Parents also have The Children's Health Insurance Program to assist with their child.

As for adults, go to (http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/health-insurance/options-for-individuals-and-families.html)

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