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.”
Lauren Figg (she/her/hers) is the Sustainability working group leader for MAD and uses her background in social work to help people find longer term resources to meet their unique needs. She is committed to health equity, and enjoys helping others in the diabetes community. She has lived with diabetes since 1998. Lauren lives with her partner and pets in Central California, and enjoys exploring the local beauty of the area.
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 worked for the State of Washington for 5 years: including time in the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division. After leaving office work in 2018 for mental health reasons she worked in fine dining restaurants, while writing and doing creative work on the side. 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, and is the producer and editor of MAD Online. You can see some of Zoe’s work here.
Vivian Nye (she/her) has been an intake volunteer with MAD since July 2021. She enjoys making friends, making art, and making positive change within the diabetes community.
Thapi Semenya (she/her) is a passionate diabetes advocate who has been a living with diabetes for 16 years. Based in South Africa, she uses her social media accounts to educate about her multiple chronic conditions namely Diabetes, Vitiligo and Bipolar Disorder. Thapi is currently studying law and looking to specialize in health. She is passionate about advocating for access to basic diabetes management needs and affordability for diabetes technologies. Thapi’s been advocating since 2018 when she realized she actually wanted to form a community, and allow for a space where people living with diabetes can come together and share their hopes and struggles. She is a Professional Advisor with The Luna Project UK, a Glasgow based charity committed to raising awareness for and supporting disabled young people, a dedoc° voice, and currently a volunteer with Media & Communications for MAD.
Ash Kole (they/she) has been a diabetic for over 20 years (dx. Jan 2002). She works in publishing support and social media communication roles, after studying communication and journalism in college. Their volunteer work has ranged from packing books at Books Through Bars, assisting with camp facilitation and arranging social media posts for Girls Rock Philly, and driving food boxes throughout the city for the food sharing mutual aid org West Philly Bunny Hop. They currently support our MAD Media Team. Ash lives in Philadelphia, unceded Lenni-Lenape land.
Kate Birkbeck (she/her) is a new onset diabetic and currently supports the MAD Media & Community Education 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.
Together, the community has the means to provide for one another. We are building a place to facilitate this and strive to include those in the diabetes community that other organizations have not. Mutual Aid Diabetes recognizes the inequity and injustices created and perpetuated by the systems we rely on to survive. We seek to create a platform for those in our community who have been systemically erased from the conversation around insulin and medication access, especially members of the diabetes community who are (but not limited to) Black, Indigenous, Latinx, type 2, LADA, MODY, type 3C, CFRD, fat, incarcerated, immigrants, un/under-documented, trans, and who have co-occurring disabilities.