Hannah Crabtree got active on Twitter in 2016 to find more people like herself: those with Type 1 diabetes who’d hacked their insulin pumps to automatically adjust the amount of insulin delivered.
Crabtree discovered a more serious diabetes-related conversation on Twitter soon: rising insulin prices.
Crabtree’s mother, who also had diabetes, died in 2006 of complications from rationing expensive insulin. The hormone is naturally produced by most people. It helps convert carbohydrates into energy. People with Type 1 diabetes don’t produce enough, so they need injectable insulin to stay alive.
The medication has also become more costly. One version rose in price from $21 to $255 per vial between 1996 and 2016, for example, and Crabtree had often wondered in the years after her mother died why more people weren’t talking about the issue. She found people on Twitter who were doing exactly that.
Crabtree, 32-year-old accountant from Virginia, joined a small group that used Twitter to transform the U.S. insulin price issue into a topic on the kitchen table.
The spontaneous protest/vigil