Help our Friend Jerry!

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If you follow diabetes news through social media, then you’ve probably seen at least some mention of Jerry the Bear’s Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign, either because of their charmingly audacious goal of delivering the largest reward in crowd-funding history, or because they hit their first fundraising goal in under 5 days. In either case, you probably got the sense that these people dream big and know how execute. And you’re right.

I first met Jerry, and his founders Aaron and Hannah, at Children with Diabetes’ Friends for Life conference in Orlando in 2012. This scruffy kid in a bear suit was walking around the exhibit hall meeting exhibitors and talking to kids. So we chatted off and on during lulls in foot traffic, and I learned more about the stuffed bear who was going to teach kids about diabetes. I assumed Aaron was their summer intern, or maybe even a local Orlando teen hired to wear the suit and man their table for a couple days. Then I met Hannah, who seemed just as young, but equally energetic and excited about Jerry. I remember thinking “wow, I wish I could find booth workers this good!”

On the last day of the product fair, I got to film Aaron-as-Jerry in a dance-off with Dr. RiCureDi, the Diabetes Research Institute’s bear mascot. For anyone lucky enough to bear witness [sorry!] it was a highlight of the day.

It was only as the show was ending that we exchanged cards, and I saw that Aaron’s title was CEO. I’m pretty sure he was 22 at the time. Then I learned that not only had Hannah co-founded Sproutel (the company that makes Jerry), she had also co-founded Design for America, and was named one of the 15 women to watch in technology by Inc. Magazine.

So what were these overachieving entrepreneurs doing having dance-offs in bear suits? Well, when they first started going to shows, Aaron tried dressing more like a manager, but Hannah insisted on the suit. What they found was that kids, who were going to be their customers, were shy and distant around Aaron, but totally comfortable opening up to a giant stuffed animal. That’s how they’ve been so successful creating a product that’s such a hit with kids: by talking to them, making something, showing it to them, and then talking some more, until they got to where they are now. But I know they won’t stop here. In fact, I’m pretty sure they’re just getting started. So by supporting their campaign, you’re not just helping get a valuable learning tool into the hands of a kid whose life will be so much better as a result, you’re investing in two people who are going to bring their creativity and determination to a lot more problems before they’re done, and share a whole lot of fun along the way.

Fund Jerry the Bear’s Indiegogo campaign here.

If you’d like to participate in their referral program, follow these three steps:

1. Create an Indiegogo account.
2. Use the share buttons below the video to share your referral link with your social network!
3. If 10 people contribute to our campaign using your referral link, you’ll be among the first to receive Jerry the Bear!

 

 

Interview on TuDiabetes

 

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Tomorrow I’ll be taking questions during a video interview on TuDiabetes at 1PM PDT. Feel free to come by and ask anything you’ve ever wanted to know about GlucoLift, the product or the company. The interview will be archived a few days after it happens, so I’ll come back and post the link here in case you miss it.

 

***UPDATE 5/22/14***

Here’s the link to the archived show: http://www.tudiabetes.org/video/live-interview-with-chris-angell-founder-of-glucolift

New Glucolift Availability in Omaha and Honolulu

While GlucoLift is still mostly available online and at certain diabetes events, there are two new places now carrying our tablets, one in Omaha and the other in Honolulu.

In Omaha, you can now buy all three favors of our delicious glucose tablets at Diabetes Supply of the Midlands, located at 2910 S 84th St, Omaha, NE 68124.

In Honolulu, our tablets are available at InControl Diabetes Learning and Resource Center, located at 1449-A S. Beretania St. Honolulu, HI 96814

So if you’re in either of those areas and need some tabs in a hurry, stop on by!

When Glucose Tabs are a Luxury

 

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Glucose tablets definitely don’t seem like a luxury. They feel more like an unpleasant reminder of one of the scarier sides of life with diabetes: hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.

But the truth is, in much of the world, children with diabetes don’t live long enough to ever know what low blood sugar is, because they don’t have access to something that we (and by “we” I mean almost anyone reading this on a glowing screen connected to the internet) pretty much take for granted: insulin. Lack of insulin is the leading cause of death for children with diabetes in the developing world.

I’m writing to encourage you to consider a donation as part of the Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign, built around the idea that the cost of a single rose is enough to provide a child in need with enough insulin to keep him or her alive for a month. So if you normally give roses on Valentine’s Day (or even if you don’t) consider making this a part of your gift this year.

You can learn more, and make a donation at www.sparearose.org

Non-GMO Status

I’m sorry to have to report that as of our last manufacturing run, GlucoLift® tablets are no longer certified as non-GMO (any tablet with a rocket on its surface from this run, tablets without rockets are from our non-GMO runs). This is not by choice. As many of you probably know, GlucoLift® had been GMO free since we started, and we are proud of that. We believe that people should know what is in their food, and want to help people make informed decisions about what they eat and what they feed their loved ones.

We have consistently advocated for more regulation/transparency regarding GMO labeling, and in a funny way, we now find ourselves victims of that advocacy work. Greater publicity has led to public pressure for states to adopt laws concerning GMOs, and recently Whole Foods Market announced that they will begin to require GMO labeling for all products sold in their stores beginning in 2016. This has prompted many larger companies who previously did not show interest in the GMO issue to look at converting some of their products into non-GMO. On the whole, this is a good thing, but in the short term it means that certain non-GMO ingredients are in very short supply. You can read about this in more detail in this article from the New York Times.

Unfortunately, small companies like ours are often at the back of the line when it comes to getting access to a limited supply of in-demand ingredients. As a result, despite the fact that we began sourcing ingredients in the fourth quarter of 2012 for a recent manufacturing run, we were informed in March 2013 that our order would no longer be fulfilled. Searching other vendors proved equally fruitless- we were told the wait could be at least a year.

So we were faced with a choice: run out of tablets, and, essentially go out of business, or substitute another ingredient and continue to produce our tablets with the best ingredients available to us. We chose the latter option. While we still use no artificial colors or flavors (and our colors and flavors remain non-GMO) we are using a dextrose whose GMO status is not certified. Sad to say, but when a status isn’t listed, chances are it comes from at least some GMO crops.

To be clear, if I thought that there was conclusive evidence that any of our ingredients were dangerous, we wouldn’t use them. From a health-risk standpoint, I’m far more concerned about artificial food dyes/colors than I am with GMO dextrose. Still, I’m actively searching for new sources of non-GMO dextrose, and of ways of ensuring a consistent supply once I do. As always, I’ll be completely open and transparent about what’s in our product, and welcome any questions or comments. You can write me directly at chris@glucolift.com.

We’ll continue to support greater regulation and labeling of GMOs in the hopes that ultimately it will lead to increased supply and lower prices of non-GMO ingredients.

I hope you still find GlucoLift® to be the best glucose product on the market, and feel confident that we’ll keep working to make it better.

-Chris

Christopher Angell
Type 1 since 2007
Founder + Chief PWD
GlucoLift All-Natural Glucose Tablets

 

2013 Gluc-or-Treat Giveaway

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Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit’s Back!

 

Since it was so much fun last year, we’re bringing back our Gluc-or-Treat giveaway for 2013. Here’s how it works:

All you need is

•A Halloween picture (could be a picture of you in a costume, your child(ren) in a costume, your meter in a costume, your insulin in a costume, your insulin in a pumpkin, your GlucoLift in a costume…are you sensing a theme here?)

•A twitter account, Facebook account, OR an email account.

Here’s what you do: Any time between now and October 31st, post your photo. Like this:

For tweeters, follow @glucolift (so we can DM you instructions on how to claim your prize) and post it with the hashtag #glucortreat (no hyphens!).

For Facebook users, post your picture on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/glucolift)

For good ole fashioned email, send your picture to caring@glucolift.com with the subject “gluc-or-treat”

Every who “knocks on our door” will get:

•a sample of the NEW AND IMPROVED GlucoLift
•an empty GlucoLift travel tube w/ EZ-Flip lid
•a selection of GlucoLift stickers and temporary tattoos
•a coupon for 20% off your next order of GlucoLift tablets.

So, get gluc-or-treating!

Where is my GlucoLift?

A lot of you have probably noticed that supplies of GlucoLift have been low recently- no 3/6 packs, and no cherry until this week. Don’t worry, we are very (very very very very very) aware of the problem and have been losing sleep for weeks trying to get it fixed.

Here’s the story: we made a few changes to the tablets to make them dissolve even easier and faster, because that’s something that really matters to the bulk of our users. And it worked! Unfortunately, it added a few manufacturing challenges that took longer to work out than anyone anticipated.

The goos news is that they’re finally starting to come off the production line, and they’re great. It’s going to take a couple more weeks to finish them and get them all bottled and ready to ship out, but the wheels are turning and they’ll be here soon. We’ll announce it on FB/Twitter/our blog, and of course inventory will be updated on Amazon and our online store.

Thanks for your patience.

Falling Test Strips (better than failing test strips)

Several years of test strips, falling from the sky. Each one represents a decision I made in my diabetes care: take insulin/eat food/wait to eat/take GlucoLift/keep on trucking.

Made for Diabetes Art Day’s “Strip Safely” edition. From the Diabetes Art Day website: “Diabetes Art Day is collaborating with the Strip Safely initiative to raise awareness about the important issue of test strip accuracy. Blood glucose test strips are at the center of diabetes life, and BG results inform all of our diabetes care decisions. The Strip Safely initiative calls on everyone affected by diabetes to send letters supporting policy change to their government representatives. Printed letters do not capture and convey emotion the way visual art can though, so everyone affected by diabetes is invited to join this special edition of Diabetes Art Day.”