Leaving her family behind was like having her heart torn from her chest. Their whole village was bombed, leaving no food, no work and no life. Amal and her daughter, Abir, knew they had to leave their village in Deirzour, Syria to survive.

Running for their lives, they soon found refuge in a settlement camp in Lebanon. Now homeless, they desperately missed the supportive, loving family they left behind. At least now there were no more bombs. Finally, Amal thought she and her daughter were safe.

Getting sick after fleeing danger

Just weeks after arriving at the settlement, her daughter became very sick. She had a constant fever and was always tired and withdrawn. She needed care. When the symptoms didn’t go away, Abir saw a doctor and received antibiotics. But she didn’t get any better.

After more tests, the doctor finally found the cause: type 1 diabetes, brought on by stress. Without receiving diabetic care in Lebanon, her symptoms would persist. If they worsened, her diabetes could become deadly.

Treating Abir’s diabetes was too expensive

Diabetic care in Lebanon is limited for those who, like Amal and Abir, struggle to pay for insulin. Amal used every bit of savings she had to buy Abir’s insulin. But soon, it became too expensive—insulin is only available locally, and can cost $100 per month—a price too high for this refugee family forced into poverty.

Amal and Abir, a mother and daughter, holding hands inside their tent in the Syrian refugee settlement
Abir receives diabetic care in Lebanon.

Instead of playing outside, Abir stayed inside by herself. Everything made her feel so exhausted. “I wish that I could bear all of this for her,” Amal said. “She is always mentally exhausted.”

Depressed, alone and feeling hopeless, the diabetic diagnosis seemed too much to bear. Surviving was already difficult enough—Amal hated that it now seemed impossible to meet their basic needs. She hated how much this disease could hurt her precious child.

A different diabetes treatment option

Then, they learned about a second option. Thanks to your support, we were able to run a clinic in their settlement to give Abir diabetic care. When Abir and Amal visited Medical Teams in Lebanon, our doctors provided them with alternatives to insulin — lifestyle and diet changes that could help control Abir’s insulin levels, keeping her symptoms in check — giving her the energy and tools to survive.

“She is in good condition now,” Amal said as she smiled.

Although they both still struggle with the pain of leaving their family and the challenges of refugee life, at least now our team could help lift the burden of diabetes from Abir’s shoulders. Although it won’t fix everything, it’s one step in the right direction.

Your support is urgently needed. Save a life, donate now.