Meet the University of Worcester employee helping diabetic Ukrainian refugees get the medication they need - The Malvern Observer

Meet the University of Worcester employee helping diabetic Ukrainian refugees get the medication they need

Malvern Editorial 11th Mar, 2022   0

DIABETIC refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine are being helped by a University of Worcester staff member who raised their plight to help get them the vital medication they need.

Sophie Sheppard, an executive assistant in the senior leadership department, has the condition herself and was moved to help as news of the conflict in Ukraine unfolded.

Her gesture comes ahead of a candlelit vigil in the city tomorrow night (Thursday) amid a show of support across the political parties at Worcester City Council.

Sophie has used her Instagram page to try to highlight the issue to a wider audience and help get any surplus or donated supplies sent out.

“As a type one diabetic, reading about the invasion on Ukraine, my first thought fell to those that were having to evacuate and may not have access to the medication that keeps them alive,” she said.

“Without insulin, a diabetic is days away from diabetic ketoacidosis, a build-up of acids in the blood which develops when blood glucose levels are consistently too high, which is a life-threatening medical emergency that is often fatal.

“As well as this, disruption to the food availability is putting thousands at risk of hypoglycaemia – low blood sugar.”

Sophie has an Instagram page called @thefaultypancreas and keen to do something to help, made contact with UK based company, Type One Style, after it said it was going to collect surplus supplies and get them to networks of helpers in Ukraine and near the border.

“Within hours we had received hundreds of offers of donations and support, but also requests from Ukrainian diabetics asking for help,” she added.

Sophie set up a wish list through Amazon which in less than 72 hours had more than £12,000 worth of purchases going directly to Type One Style HQ for distribution.

Although insulin is not available on Amazon, blood testing kits, power banks and hypo treatments are.

Tomorrow’s candlelit vigil to show Worcester’s support for the people of Ukraine will be held for 30 minutes from 7pm.

The Ukrainian flag will be flown in Cathedral Square and the Guildhall will be lit in blue and yellow in solidarity with Ukraine which continues to defend itself against the war ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a joint statement, council leader Coun Marc Bayliss (Conservative), opposition group leader Coun Adrian Gregson (Labour), Green Party group leader Coun Louis Stephen and Liberal Democrat group leader Coun Mel Allcott all stood in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

“There can be no one in Worcester who is unmoved by the plight of Ukraine at this terrible time,” the statement read.

“Our city and county are home to a strong and proud Eastern European population and we know that they will stand with us when we say that our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine.”

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