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Mutual Aid Diabetes (MAD) was formed in response to the insulin crisis in the United States. We are a group of diabetics who saw a need, especially during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, to more formally organize mutual aid efforts in the diabetes community. Here are just some of the people behind MAD:

Allie Marotta (she/her) is a patient advocate and organizer based in NYC. She is a theatre maker, educator, and scholar specializing in immersive theatre, disability representation, and cognitive science based theatrical practices. Allie has been living with type one diabetes since 2006 and with celiac disease since 2009. Allie was one of the original founders of MAD, after participating in supply sharing for many years. She helped develop MAD’s intake process, and previously worked with NY #insulin4all and the Campaign for NY Health. See more about her organizing and advocacy work here.

Emily Miller (they/them/theirs) is an organizer, advocate, and therapist based in unceded Lenape land (Philadelphia, PA). Emily was diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes at age 8 and has had to ration insulin and supplies multiple times in their life. They led the development of MAD’s trauma-informed peer support process. Emily uses their own intersectional experience as a disabled, fat, queer person of color to inform their clinical work, having worked extensively with survivors of trauma, survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and those struggling with addiction and serious mental illness. Emily holds a Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Villanova University. They seek to create accessible mental health care to help diabetics and other disabled/chronically ill folks heal from the trauma forced on them by the hands of the medical industrial complex. 

Rachael Marotta (she/her) has been diabetic since she was five years old. She has rationed insulin, taken weird gigs to buy insulin on the black market, and is very, very tired of explaining “Walmart insulin” to well meaning friends.  She enjoys camping in national parks for half price, since her broken pancreas entitles her to an Accessibility Pass. She is honored to be the MAD Intake leader, and especially enjoys assisting senior citizens find ways to escape the “Medicare donut hole.”  She hopes that “the CEOs of insulin manufacturers die and are forced to listen to ‘My Heart Will Go On’ on loop for all of eternity.”

Mila Clarke (she/her)

Mila is an author, speaker, digital creator, diabetes advocate, and the designer of MAD's (beautiful!) website. (Thank you Mila!) She frequently writes about and discusses diabetes stigma, medical racism, insulin prices, and what it's like to have LADA. She created The Hangry Woman and has been posting recipes since 2016 when she was first (mis)diagnosed.

Zoe Witt (she/they) is an activist, freelance writer, artist, and mutual aid organizer based in Occupied Duwamish Territory (colonially known as Seattle, WA.) Zoe became disabled at the age of 7 when she was diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Geography from the University of Washington in 2016. Zoe’s had to ration insulin, supplies, and health care numerous times, including while uninsured for 9 months in 2018. She currently handles Media & Communications for MAD. You can see some of Zoe’s work here

Zoe “ZuZu” Sugg (they/she) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when they were 10. Her special focus in the field of Instructional Design is scenario-based training and information retention, and they’re excited to help make the lives of diabetics a little easier through MAD. She’s helped MAD redevelop their training and onboarding process. Their work can be found here.

Chance (they/them) is passionate about technology, helping others, and ways to combine the two; their involvement with Mutual Aid Diabetes is an expression of that passion. Contrary to the picture above, Chance is not a cat, but they are eager to maintain a veil of privacy nonetheless.

Kate Birkbeck (she/her) is a recent onset diabetic and currently supports the MAD Intake & Diabetes in America Report Teams. She also has Hashimoto’s and had multi-year treatment for leukemia. Kate is excited to be involved in MAD to support our community. She is also a History PhD candidate at Yale University, is based in Connecticut, and tries to get outside as much as possible.

Thapi Semenya (she/her)is a Diabetes and NCDs advocate who is passionate about advocacy. She has been a person living with diabetes for 17 years. She has been using her social media accounts to educate about her multiple chronic conditions namely Diabetes, Vitiligo and Bipolar Disorder. She is currently studying Law and she is looking to specialize in health law. She is passionate about advocating for access for the basic diabetes management needs and affordability to diabetes technologies. She started advocating in 2018, wanting to form a community and allow for a space where people living with diabetes can come together and share their hopes and struggles. As time went, she started growing an interest in global health and her biggest wish is to see Africa reach accessibility to technologies and improved healthcare. 

Learn more

about MAD




MAD manifesto