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Letter: Type 1 Diabetes–There Has to Be a Way to Prepare

Mr. Rawles,
I’m writing this because there has to be a better way to prepare for everyone that feels the responsibility to do so without leaving type 1 diabetics behind.  I’m hoping you or someone reading this may have answers or can help in the search.  I had been prepping for a year or so in small but steady ways.  We had covered a lot of ground, everything from food storage to medicine, woodstove, small solar, guns, gardens, you name it and we continued to punch away at our personal list.  Then it happened, my son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  It’s hard to image a diagnoses requiring more dependency on medicine, especially for a family working to be as self-sufficient as possible.  My son is 16 and until this diagnoses he had been healthy, even athletic.  A total shock, and to make it even more stunning, one of his best friends, also an athletic child, had been diagnosed only six months earlier.  These kids have grown up together and now lighting had struck twice in the same place, simply unbelievable.  After a couple of months adjusting to our new life I went to work on prep. for the most important thing in our lives, the entire reason to prep. in the first place, my son and family.  I’m doing those things that seem to be the low hanging fruit (not to be confused with being easy).  We approached his doctor about having extra supplies on hand and were given a three month prescription versus monthly.  I’m working on the alternative refrigeration, but have a plan to use a forgotten family spring house in a pinch.  I’ll likely pull the trigger on a propane refrigeration system in the next few months (right after paying property taxes).  I think it’s also likely we can obtain some prescriptions for additional out of pocket supplies from our son’s doctor and I’ll be proceeding with that once I’m certain we can store it properly.  All this would help us in a short crisis, but I’m looking for a long term solution. 
Have you or any of your subscribers read the very inspiring story of Victor and Eva Saxl [1]?  To make a long story short, during WWII Eva and Victor found themselves as refugees in China, and Eva a type 1 diabetic, was cut off from her supply of insulin.  Victor refused to give in to the inevitable and using the book “Beckman’s Internal Medicine” and access to a friends “lab” was able to produce a insulin which kept Eva alive as well as several hundred other diabetics in the same situation.  I’m not certain what would constitute a Chinese WWII era lab…  The full story of Eva can be found on the Internet.  I’ve tried in vain to find a copy of Beckman’s Internal Medicine or the exact formula and process used to make insulin the old way.  Either the insulin made by Victor or the formula invented in the 1920s by Banting and Best.  I’m sure this is something the drug manufactures and public safety officials do not want to be public knowledge.  After all a person could likely do considerable harm to themselves attempting to use a homemade insulin, but in an extended emergency, knowledge for anything that a person is dependent on for life shouldn’t be a secret.  If nothing else I would like to have this information available to provide to local health officials or those with resources, if it is ever needed.  To find the book and formula/process I’ve scoured the Internet without success.  I’ve also gone as far as contacting the Banting and Best Institute at the University of Toronto.  Banting and Besting being the scientist that discovered and refined the process for animal insulin in the 1920s.  Initially the professor I corresponded with seemed extremely excited about the Eva Saxl story and the Beckman’s Internal Medicine book.  He had instructed his staff to see if a copy could be found in the Universities archives.  However, after further inquires from him as to my interest in the book, his interest in sharing information chilled considerably.  Again, I can’t blame him as the dangers and liability might be considerable, but I also can’t give up.  I’ve also spoken to state health officials regarding the availability of insulin in a national or regional emergencies and while many hidden stockpiled emergency medicines would be available to some degree, those stockpiles to not including insulin. 
A few weeks ago I heard my son and his friend talking on the phone.  My concerns about a possible economic collapse aren’t any secret to my family.  They are also smart kids and can watch the news same as anyone that pays attention.  They were talking about what would happen to them and how they would get insulin.  My heart nearly broke when my son told his friend not to worry, my Dad will find a way.