Meet Ashley Hanger, Founder of Australia’s first diabetes subscription box
After seeing the challenges of type 1 diabetes in her partner, Ashley Hanger found her passion: providing support to people living with chronic illness. She founded Stripped Supply, Australia’s first diabetes subscription box, with a vision to give control back to the patient and make diabetes healthcare more accessible.
We chatted to Ashley on her experiences living with a partner who has T1D and what led her to create this service.
How did you come to know about type 1 diabetes?
I’m embarrassed to say that it wasn’t until I met my partner Tristan six years ago that I truly saw diabetes for how chronic, exhausting and overwhelming it is. Moving in together, there was nowhere to hide, and I saw the reality of ‘low’ hangovers, rollercoaster sugar levels and mental exhaustion, just to name a few.
What’s your experience been like having a partner with type 1 diabetes?
You feel helpless, absolutely helpless. They’re these superhuman beings, doing crazy calculations at every meal time, putting up with whatever their body throws at them, and you just can’t help with any of it. It would take years to learn how to carb count at a glance, let along get up to speed with the whole kit and kaboodle.
So instead I focus on emotional support in our relationship. There’s more understanding between us than ‘regular’ couples, I think. I have more empathy than I did in past relationships when Tristan has ‘bad days’, because I know that his ‘bad days’ runs rings around mine (most of the time). Sometimes it’s scary, particularly in the beginning when you’re still learning the difference between a low and a high and what to do for each, but it also makes you so grateful for every moment. Diabetes shows you how fragile health, and life, can be, and because of Type 1 Diabetes, I’m more grateful for the moments we have together – the little things in life that used to bother me don’t matter as much anymore.
What are some ways you support your partner living with a chronic disease?
Every couple is different, but what’s worked for us is having open communication about how we’re both feeling where diabetes is concerned. It’s really important for me to stay in my own lane, and not try to counter-manage Tristan’s diabetes – he’s an adult, he has his health under control! But what I can do is listen when he needs to rant, cook dinner when he needs a break and be willing to cancel plans if diabetes gets in the way. In my experience, the best way to support your partner living with a chronic illness is to listen without opinion and empathise through action.
Tell us a bit about your service and how you came up with the idea.
There’s so much Tristan needs to think about in a day – I don’t think he even knows where his life thoughts end and his diabetes thoughts begin! Inevitably, something’s going to slip through the cracks, and sometimes that ‘thing’ would be ordering his insulin pump infusion sets and reservoirs in advance of him running out. As someone who’s been getting my medication delivered to my door on subscription for years, I couldn’t believe a service didn’t exist exclusively for the thousands of people living with T1D! And that’s when Stripped Supply was born. We’re Australia’s first diabetes subscription box, and we automatically deliver NDSS supplies so you never have to order your supplies again.
What is the impact you hope your service brings to the T1D community?
I hope that Stripped Supply brings just a tiny bit of mental reprieve. The T1D community has so much on their plate – and remembering to order your medical supplies every other month is not something that needs to be there! I’m hoping Stripped Supply can minimise the mental overwhelm by taking this one small thing off a T1D’s mental to-do list.
JDRF welcomes decision to extend availability of Fiasp on the PBS
MEDIA RELEASE JDRF Australia welcomes Government’s decision to extend availability of Fiasp insulin on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme The move will keep the life-saving medication in the hands of the 15,000+ people who rely on it for a further six months Sydney, 17 March 2023: JDRF Australia is today welcoming an announcement by the Albanese […]
Your child’s return to school after a type 1 diabetes diagnosis
The days, weeks and months following your child’s type 1 diabetes (T1D) diagnosis are full of firsts. And one of the biggest milestones your family will work towards is your child’s first day back at preschool or school. You’ll no doubt be feeling uncertain and will have many questions in the lead up to their […]
Dr. Ki Wook Kim On Developing Vaccines To Prevent Type 1 Diabetes
“The ultimate goal is to help develop vaccines to prevent T1D, as well as antiviral therapeutics to potentially treat people already diagnosed with T1D” Dr Kim’s work aims to uncover the link between viruses and type 1 diabetes (T1D). As one of the lead investigators of ENDIA, Dr Kim is looking at whether early infection […]
Scheduled removal of Fiasp from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
JDRF Australia are aware that Fiasp insulin is currently scheduled for removal from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from 1 April 2023. If removed at this date, it will no longer be available at a subsidised cost however will reportedly be available privately for a period of time. This is a significant concern to us and for many […]