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Dr. Wentworth and Kids from Russia
Dr. Wentworth and some of the children who will benefit from your kindness.

Help Us -- August 5, 1999 Deliveries to Russian Kids in Need

Thirteen Russian teens with diabetes - 11 girls and 2 boys - are spending the summer in the US. They will be attending camp, staying with host families, and participating in the "Tour of Friendship", a 2 week, 700 mile bicycle trip through Michigan and Wisconsin. This program has brought over 60 Russian children to the US since 1993.

In addition, Dr. Sam Wentworth, co-founder of the group, hosted a 5 day diabetes conference for teens near Moscow in March of this year. Seventy Russian youth attended, learning new information about diabetes management and, just as importantly, gaining feelings of hope about living with the condition. Russians with diabetes are automatically classified as invalids, and excluded from many opportunities for education and employment. As a result, most try to keep the condition hidden. Our program helps these children realize that they can lead successful lives with diabetes. (See his letter about the conference.)

We are also trying to provide them with the supplies needed to manage their diabetes. The economic situation in Russia is very bad. The middle class has been reduced to poverty. One third of families are now at or below the official poverty level--defined as a monthly income of $32 or less! Several of our older kids have had part-time jobs with US companies, but have not been paid in several months and are being laid off. Foreign companies are pulling out of Russia because business is so bad. In many cases, these kids have been the sole support of the family, since many adults lost jobs months ago.

Some insulin is still offered in the major cities, but the cost is very high. What little there is goes to children under 16. It's usually of animal origin, domestically produced and of inferior quality. It may be of any kind - R, N, etc - no matter what type they are supposed to be taking. Some kids have received only 130 units for an entire month. Strips are not available, or priced out of reach of all but the wealthiest. We fear for the health and lives of all people with diabetes in Russia.

We are currently collecting insulin - NPH, Regular, and Humalog (vials or cartridges) and strips (One Touch, Elite or Precision), to send home with the campers in August. Dr. Wentworth has also made arrangements with an importer to purchase insulin and strips in Russia, at wholesale cost.

Thanks to the generosity of visitors to this site and other donors, we were able to send several months' worth of insulin and strips to these and other Russian children in December 1998, and Dr. Wentworth took over $25,000 worth in March, 1999.

Donations of insulin and strips, or money to purchase them, are fully tax-deductible. Whether or not you can make a personal contribution, please consider printing this flyer and posting it at local pharmacies, doctors' offices and churches, sharing it at diabetes support group meetings--any place potential donors might be found within the diabetes community.

We hope to send the campers home with enough insulin and strips to last them throughout the coming year. If you would like to help in this effort, please send your donations to:

Collection for Russian Kids
No Limits Diabetes
c/o Samuel Wentworth, MD
1300 East Main Street
Danville, Indiana 46122

For more information, e-mail

Thank you for your generosity.

Dear Jeff:

I would like to extend a thank you to all of your "readers" who supported our efforts to supply a number of Russian teens with needed diabetes supplies. Your appeal through the internet yielded nearly $10,000 plus a huge amount of donated supplies. In addition, Bayer, Lifescan, Novo and Roche provided supplies, a local pharmacy obtained the goods we bought at cost and our church heavily supported our efforts.

We were able to invite 6 American teens to join the 4 adults who went to Russia through a very generous grant from Medisense. It is particularly remarkable to obtain this support for they are one American, diabetes related company that is not trying to establish a market in Russia at the moment. We are very grateful for their support.

The ten in our group departed for Russia on March 25th--each carrying 1/10th of the large amount of supplies which we had received through the above support. The date is of significance in that Russia enacted a new law limiting importation humanitarian medical goods on March 15th. Knowing this, we decided to try to get the supplies to our friends in Russian anyway. We were able to pass through customs easily through the help of a warm hearted customs agent and a lot of talking by one of the parents of a Russian teen with diabetes.

Some of my patients had provided support for a retreat for Russian teens with diabetes. We were able to rent a "Sanitorium" (rest house) outside of Moscow where 70 Russian teens from all over western Russia came for 5 days of recreation, sharing and education. The group was very compatible and bonded quickly. It was an extremely rewarding 5 days with open discussions of everything from availability of insulin to insulin pumps. During this time, a survey was made to determine each teens supply needs and that of other children in their community. Based on this information, the supplies were divided providing each child with needed supplies. This experience was fantastic and could not have gone more soothly.

The second week was spent in Moscow. Each American teen stayed with a Russian host family who have a child with diabetes. The American teens experienced daily Russian life as well as visiting museums, a clinic, cultural events and shopping. Every American teen felt that they gained a great deal from this time as well.

Each time we go to Russia we make a point to place flowers on the grave of the Russian unknown soldiers. This is significant in that Moscow brides do this as a part of their marriage ceremony. We do it to signify the marriage of our programs inspite of distance and international events.

We owe a great debt of thanks to all of the people and companies who so generously supported this effort. It is not done, for we hope to find another way to get goods to children with diabetes inspite of this new law. A particular thanks to Medisense for their support allowing American teens to experience this event.

Sam Wentworth

Russian Campers

Imagine watching a child open her last bottle of the insulin she needs every day to stay alive. Imagine knowing that even if more can be found on the black market, the cost will equal half a month's salary--if the paycheck comes.

That is the bleak reality facing the parents of thousands of Russian children with diabetes. The current economic problems in the former Soviet Union are creating a desperate situation. When Russian doctors are asked what will happen to these children, they answer simply: "Many will die."

Dr. Sam Wentworth and friends have been helping Russian children since 1993. Each year, about a dozen teens are brought to the US to attend diabetes camp, stay with host families, and participate in a 600 mile bicycle trip--the "Russian-American Tour of Friendship." At the end of the summer, they are sent home with supplies of insulin, meters and strips to test blood sugar levels, and other needed materials. The small grass-roots program, started by pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Samuel Wentworth, has previously existed by means of support from him, gifts from his patients, and samples from pharmaceutical companies. There are currently nearly 60 children--former campers and some younger children who have heard of the program by word of mouth--who are depending on the group. Their needs now far exceed those means of supply.

Olga The families are very thankful for any help. The mother of nine-year-old Olga wrote that she was in tears when she received a package sent by Dr. Wentworth. Parents are amazed that strangers half a world away would care about their children.

Arrangements have been made through the US State Department and Project Hope to send as much as can be collected. Desperately needed are unopened, in-date bottles or cartridges of Regular, NPH, or Humalog (lispro) insulin, and One Touch or Elite test strips. Cash donations to buy these things are also gratefully accepted. Please make checks payable to Russia Collection. Gifts, which are tax-deductible, may be sent to the following address:

Collection for Russian Kids
No Limits Diabetes
c/o Samuel Wentworth, MD
1300 East Main Street
Danville, Indiana 46122

For more information, e-mail

Thank you for your generosity.

If you are having trouble printing the brochure, you can download a Microsoft Word copy of the brochure..

Originally posted 12 October 1997
Updated 21 December 2005

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