My dear sisters and brothers, Mexico’s marginalized populations are at higher risk of developing diseases like diabetes – a sickness costly to manage for low-income individuals. Mexico has a diabetic rate of 1 in 6 adults. With the poor, it is higher resulting in heartbreaking disability, amputations, kidney failure, blindness, heart disease and inability to work throwing them into deeper poverty. We witness this daily amongst our brothers and sisters that we serve at the Casa Franciscana Mission.
I AM a diabetic but blessed enough to have access to the proper tools to cope with this difficult disease. Now Our Lord is, again, answering prayers with the opportunity to bring relief to many of the Mission’s suffering diabetics! We are excited that Advance, formerly Esperança, is training our lead nurse in a program designed by the University of Illinois to educate diabetic Hispanics on management of the disease. Much of the program’s success is attributed to providing to each attendee a glucometer and a year’s worth of the expensive test strips with lancets – approximately $700 per person . These supplies are financially out of their reach and do not include insulin and syringes if needed. Modifying diets and follow up by our staff are some of the other aspects of this multifaceted program. As the transitus (passing) of St. Francis approaches, we recall that he was known for his attention to the sick. One of his teachings was to “serve him (the sick) as you would like to be served yourself.” You can honor St. Francis and help to follow his teachings. While contributing $700 provides a year’s worth of supplies for a suffering human being, any amount, large or small, helps toward delivering hope and aid. Please open your hearts! As a Franciscan and a diabetic, I am begging you!
The peace and good of God and St. Francis,
Fr. Martin Ibarra, OFM