In 2017, the national cost of diabetes in the U.S. was more than 327 billion dollars, according to

Because of such high costs, Minot Insulin Services started nearly a year ago.

Founder Shauna McDowell has diabetes and wants to help people have better access to the supplies they need.

“When I first found out, I was completely just in the dark,” she said. “I had no idea what to do, anything. And then, I found out I was getting ready to lose my insurance and I found out that insulin is like $700 a vial.”

McDowell got her start by helping out a close friend.

“He’s an elderly gentleman so he didn’t know how to use the internet very well,” said McDowell. “So I was thinking, ‘oh well if I could take and put people that need this service in with the technology and the programs that they need to find insulin and their other diabetic supplies at a more affordable rate, that was something that I could get behind.'”

The gentleman McDowell helped was Alma Smith’s husband.

“When they diagnosed my husband being diabetic, she was the one who showed him how to administer it,” said Smith. “She’s the one who showed him how to draw his blood.”

Smith says that McDowell was a guardian angel and that she helped them for free.

“I would call her anytime, day or the night when I would notice something was going on with him, and she was over here with 10 minutes,” said Smith.

McDowell works at 4R Home Thrift store in Minot and if people need supplies, they can pick them up there.

“We have diabetic supplies that we leave out for people that if they need them if we have them, they’re there for free,” said McDowell.

She says it’s gratifying to help others who are in the same position she was.

“I know how lost I was and to even one person even if it’s just one person, to help someone not have to feel what I felt, it feels good.”

Smith is thankful for McDowell’s help and support of her nonprofit. She said, “she’s just doing amazing work and I wish Shauna all the best on this venture she’s going on.”

McDowell has been self-funding her nonprofit but she says all donations, both money and supplies, are welcome.

The supplies needed include insulin, meters, lancets, pen tips, alcohol pads, and test strips.

To donate, you can go to First International Bank & Trust and request to send money to Minot Insulin Services or you can send money on Cash App to $MinotInsulinServices.

You can also call McDowell at 678-956-3418.