Annalisa van den Bergh

Visual journalist, writer, and #insulin4all advocate


To End the Insulin Crisis, We Need to Divest From Diabetes Nonprofits

After sending 20 pitches into a black hole, I called my dad happy sobbing. Our pitch, arguing that the major American diabetes nonprofits are enabling the insulin crisis, had been picked up by The Washington Post. Through the holidays, my friend Robin and I spent hours on calls with advocates, former JDRF staff, and Beyond Type 1 cyclists. We turned 30 pages of notes into 1200 words.

Our piece was set to publish in March – until our editor received an unprecedented barrage of comments from JDRF & the American Diabetes Association which would have required an extensive rework with no guarantee of publication: An incident that itself proves the power and censorship these organizations wield.

Back to the drawing board. Tears, arguments, and high blood sugars. (No wonder so few advocate.) 34 more pitches later, an editor at Jacobin expressed interest.

I messaged diabetes advocate and artist Janina Gaudin across the world in New Zealand to see if she wanted to work together on the illustration for the article. I got a yes within seconds. She may live in a country with universal healthcare, but her advocacy is fueled by knowing the precarity of diabetes.

The thing is, we don’t need these nonprofits to form community because we’ve got it all around us.

Read the Jacobin article here.

Writers: Robin Cressman and Annalisa van den Bergh
Editors: Sophia Nguyen, Meagan Day, and Micah Uetricht
Illustrator: Janina Gaudin
Art Director: Annalisa van den Bergh
Spring 2022