This post is one of a series of seven blog posts that go behind the scenes on our recent short film Insulin for Life. Watch the film below and check back on our blog for more stories about the people in the documentary.
Lamin Bojang supports his family in the village of Sukuta in the West African nation of The Gambia with his salary as a local policeman. In The Gambia, however, municipal salaries can be quite small and day-to-day finances are difficult for the family. Their situation became even more difficult when one of their young sons, Djembe, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
They first took him to a local healer, who tried traditional herbal remedies to rid him of his – at the time – unknown ailment. When his condition didn’t improve they brought him to a local private hospital where he was diagnosed with diabetes. Shortly thereafter, two of their younger sons Kalifa and Karamo were also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Three kids in one family with diabetes is a rare occurrence and posed significant hardship for the family. They struggle just to pay bus fare to the clinic to receive treatment, never mind the price of diabetes supplies themselves.
The family has endured unspeakable tragedies in their diabetes journey and we focus on their story in our film, which you can watch below.
Though the disease has not been kind to them, the love the family shares keeps them all strong. They share in the hope that many around the world have that someday there will be a cure.
“That’s the source of my happiness,” their mother Isaton Sanneh told our film crew. “If your child is sick, you as the mother can’t be in good health. When mine were sick, I also became sick. Nothing could make me happy. Therefore, if they are cured, I will be happy.”
In the meantime, they receive all the diabetes supplies they need from Dr. Alieu Gaye at Pakala Clinic in Banjul. Dr. Gaye is able to provide the family with supplies partially because of shipments he receives from Insulin for Life USA. It takes the boys most of a day and sometimes up to three bush taxis to make it from their rural village to Dr. Gaye’s offices. In between visits, they receive educational home visits from Pakala’s diabetes educator, Lamin Dibba to help them manage their day-t- day care.
“Dr. Gaye is a very kind person, very humble, and has mercy for other people,” Kalifa Bojang told our film crew. “Without him I don’t think we would be here today.”
Watch the film below to learn more about the Bojang family and their diabetes journey.
To donate supplies or funds to Insulin for Life USA click here.