Get To Know Us

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 organizers behind MAD.

Alex Bactat (he/him) is a policy/data analyst based in New York. He has Masters Degrees in Applied Analytics and Applied Economics from Boston College, and is applying these skills in the public sector as a policy research analyst. He has written papers on the effect of a UBI on income inequality, the effect of the ACA on out of pocket expenses, and has analyzed the effects of FOMC minutes language on further policy action using LLM-sentiment analysis. He enjoys movies, the New York Rangers, and music.

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.

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.

Derrick Quevedo (siyá) was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic nearly a decade ago. A Racialized, Queer, Disabled, Mad, and Neurodivergent visual artist and writer, Derrick’s work centers lived experience, especially the intersections of being Multiply Marginalized and challenging dominant social and cultural narratives to amplify the nuance and complexities of Marginalized experiences and collective liberation. Derrick has joined MAD to be in a supportive community role for fellow Diabetics. You can find Derrick’s work linked here

Kate Birkbeck (she/her) is a recent onset diabetic and currently supports the Media & Communication team. 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.

Louie (he/him) is an organizer.

Nechi (she/her) Hailing from Mid-City, Los Angeles, Nechi is a Type 1 Diabetic who fiercely advocates for her community. Though diagnosed at the age of 18, Nechi’s work around diabetes support and community involvement skyrocketed when her younger sister, Miah, was diagnosed with T1D at the young age of six. Determined to support her sister, Nechi immersed herself in learning about diabetes management and the challenges of navigating public school with a chronic illness. Nechi later moved to New York to pursue her master’s degree at New York University, where she focused her research thesis on the experiences of Type 1 Diabetic students in the public school system in the United States. Her goals are to spread diabetes awareness and actively participate in community advocacy. In her free time, Nechi loves to stay active, spend time with friends and family, and enjoys reading and writing.

Rachael Sullivan (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 Access Pass. She is honored to be a MAD Intake coordinator, 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.”

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. 

Zoe Witt (she/they) is a freelance writer, astrologer, 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. They’re currently a Media & Communications coordinator for MAD. 

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.

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about MAD




MAD manifesto