Cayman’s fight against the growing health problem of diabetes was strengthened this month by the establishment of the Cayman Islands Diabetes Charitable Trust.
The trust aims to help finance the healthcare, social and educational needs of people with diabetes and related conditions.
Christina Rowlandson, at a meeting to finalise the structure of the trust on 6 January, was voted chairman, Baron Jacob was voted treasurer and Bradley Johnson was voted secretary. Other officers of the Trust Advisory Committee are Seeta Paltoo and Doss Solomon.
“Law firm Conyers Dill & Pearman have been advising on the establishment of the Trust and will act as legal counsel to the Advisory Committee as part of the firm’s pro bono programme”, said David Pytches, the firm’s representative at the meeting.
Debra Humphreys, head of Cayman National Trust Co. Ltd, which is trustee of the Trust, said she was pleased Cayman National was supporting such a worthy cause by volunteering its services. “Diabetes and related conditions is of national interest because so many are affected due to family history and lifestyles,” she said.
Ms Rowlandson emphasised that the work of the trust would be a continuation of the ongoing work of the Cayman Diabetic Support Group.
“Through my experience of living and working with diabetes, I have come to understand and appreciate the unique challenges of Type 1 diabetes and related conditions, particularly in our dependent children and youth,” she said. “Our goal is to develop resources, an advice centre of education and learning, and much greater access to expertise including sub-specialists to enhance the lives of persons affected by this dreadful disease.”
Professor Simon Howell, former chair of the Board of Trustees of Diabetes UK and Guy’s Campus Dean at King’s College London, and Dr. Luigi Meneghini, professor of Clinical Medicine and Director of Clinics at the Diabetes Research Institute Eleanor and Joseph Kosow Diabetes Treatment Centre at the University of Miami have accepted honorary positions to the Trust and will serve as diabetes experts.
Carole Appleyard, general manager of CINICO, has been asked to be in the honorary position of insurance expert, while honorary roles were also offered to Rita Johnson, Mrs. Humphreys, Mr. Pytches, and Olga Yakovlev, who has been asked to be international vice-chair.
The charity’s honorary patron, Mary Lawrence, who is Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, said: “We are indeed fortunate as a community to have such a highly-qualified and experienced group of persons to move this cause forward. I anticipate with pleasure, the honour of working towards the goals set which I know will raise the standard of healthcare in our Islands and assist many in learning about, and coping with the problems of this disease, both personally and within their families.”
According to a press release, the Trust was established to respond to the need for better access to expert opinions via Tele-health and to build an endowment to finance the needs for people with diabetes in the Cayman Islands. It aims to promote health and assist in the treatment, care and support of persons suffering from diabetes and related conditions by providing or assisting in the provision of medical facilities, equipment and services; financial assistance; advice and support in the Cayman Islands and overseas.
The Trust also seeks to promote awareness of and advance the education of the general public of Cayman in relation to the incidence and causes of diabetes and related conditions; the treatment, care and support of persons suffering from diabetes and related conditions; and generally to promote the relief of sickness and the preservation of health amongst people residing permanently or temporarily in the Cayman Islands.