Insulin for Life Canada is a not-for-profit organization that collects and distributes donated in-date and no longer needed insulin, test strips and syringes which would otherwise be wasted. These are sent to recognized organizations with agreed distribution protocols to be donated to those in need.
Who are we?
In Australia, Ron Raab, who had been witness to the dreadful effects of untreated diabetes, founded a non-profit organization in 1986, as a means to make use of otherwise unneeded insulin to send to areas of need. ( www.insulinforlife.org )
In the summer of 2009 Marcia Kostelyk, RN, BScN, CDE at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, went to a Diabetes conference in Montreal, Canada. There she listened to a speaker from Insulin For Life Australia, Neil Donelan, and was inspired to setup an Insulin For Life Canada in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In November 2009 Marcia and her husband John Kostelyk began the process of setting up a center.
In January 2010 we sent our first test shipment to Ecuador. Since then we have shipped to the Dominican Republic and Ghana in Africa as well.
What do we do?
Insulin for Life Canada is a not-for-profit organization that collects and distributes donated in-date and no longer needed insulin, test strips and other diabetes supplies which would otherwise be wasted. These are sent to recognized organizations with agreed distribution protocols to be donated to those in need. In the developed economies of the world Insulin is often subsidized by governments or handled by insurance companies. As result we are able to control diabetes very accurately and can change the type of insulin we use when our lifestyle, age, etc. changes. This often leads to extra insulin of the previous prescription that is eventually disposed of. In the less developed economies, a diagnosis of diabetes is often a death sentence because of the inability for families to pay for the insulin.
Its objectives are to:
- Collect and donate insulin and test strips.
- Donate supplies to countries with less developed economies on a continuous basis, based on doing for others what we would want to be done for us.
What we can currently:
- Insulin sealed (minimum 4 months to expiry date).
- Sealed Glucose test strips (minimum 4 months to expiry date).
(Other supplies are not cost effective to send overseas)
How are we funded and supported?
How are we supported? Private donations from our board members and friends of IFLC help keep us going. We all volunteer our time. Our expenses are travel, shipping, accounting, legal, office overhead, etc. If you would like to donate, click the PayPal button. It will give you options on how to donate. We are a non-profit organization and we are a registered Charity effective August 2012 and can issue Canadian tax receipts. The companies listed below have helped us by donating time and services. Thank you again.
(CanadaHelps.org charges a very reasonable fee to handle the accounting of charitable receipts. This greatly reduces our work load here at IFL Canada Association.)
Marcia Kostelyk, co-founder of Insulin For Life Canada (IFLC), is a registered nurse. As a certified diabetes educator, she has worked with children living with Type 1 diabetes and their families since 1999, encouraging and empowering those living with diabetes so they can live life to the fullest. Marcia’s interest in creating IFLC began while she was attending the International Diabetes conference in Montreal and heard what ‘Insulin for Life Australia’ was doing with unwanted insulin. Her passion is to advance the positive impact of ‘Insulin For Life Canada’ by communicating its mission and networking with diabetes leaders across the country.
John Kostelyk, co-founder of IFLC, entered the world of diabetes when he married Marcia, a diabetes educator. He operated a successful mushroom farm, but after a fire destroyed the farm he and his brother owned, he decided to focus his energy in a different direction. The work Insulin for Life Australia was doing to help poorer nations inspired John, and he and Marcia set up the not-for-profit organization called Insulin for Life Canada. John’s experience in business gives him the knowledge and skills to operate the organization.
Doris Ryan has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Western Washington University and an M.Ed in Counselling Psychology from the University of Alberta. She presently has a busy private practice in Edmonton, Alberta. With her business experience and the fact that she was born and raised in Liberia, Africa gives her a unique insight into developing nation issues and a passion for the philosophy of equity of access.
Rob Kerr began his career as a chemist after earning a BSc in Chemistry and is currently a Senior Analytical Manager at Dow Chemical. He is also co-owner of clothing, promotional products, and laundry businesses. He served as a member and Secretary of the Cornerstone Counselling Centre Board, a not-for-profit faith-based counselling agency, for 5 years. Rob has travelled extensively and has a desire to help poor and marginalized people in developing countries. Rob’s 5 years of experience serving as a board member in a not-for-profit faith-based counselling agency, makes him a great asset to Insulin for Life Canada.
Karen Johnston graduated with a degree in nursing and completed her masters as a nurse practitioner. She works with children and young adults diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Karen currently runs a transition clinic to prepare adolescents for the transition to adult diabetes programs. Karen has also taught pediatric nursing for the University of Alberta and the University of Alberta School of Nursing. These experiences give her a unique insight into diabetes issues.