Mother Wants to Educate on Diabetes
State Representative Jeff Guice came under scrutiny after an email he sent to a mother, asking help to obtain medication for her diabetic daughter, goes viral.
The diabetic community was angered by his advice for diabetics to think about buying the supplies with their own money.
Today, News 25 spoke with a mother who understands the struggles of paying for a child’s medication.
One glance at Claudia Jo McBeth and she looks like your typical two-year-old, but take a bit of a closer look and you’ll notice a purple patch on her right arm.
Claudia suffers from type 1 diabetes. She was diagnosed when she was 18-months-old. “To say I was overwhelmed was probably an understatement,” said Claudia’s mother, Jodi Stafford.
Stafford says when she heard about the email that went viral of state Representative Jeffrey Guice bluntly telling Nicole Nichols to consider using money she has earned to cover medical costs for her diabetic child, she was deeply saddened. “It was a real big blow to the diabetic community. We work so hard just to keep our child alive and then for him to say such a selfish and rude remark about a disease that he obviously knows nothing about. I mean, this mother is trying to take care of her child and no parent should be faulted by that.”
Besides keeping a close eye on Claudia’s insulin levels at all times and fighting with her insurance company to cover costs for essential diabetic supplies, Stafford’s husband works two extra 24 hour shifts a month. This is to help pay the $700 a month out of pocket for the remaining medications that insurance doesn’t cover, placing a strain on family time. “She says ‘where’s my daddy? Is he at work? Why does he have to work?’”
Stafford says she hopes Representative Guice’s controversial words can now serve as a lesson to others to educate themselves on diabetes. “I would love for people to be more compassionate.”
And like the words placed inside the McBeth’s living room, Stafford says they get by with a little insulin and a whole lot of Jesus.