JACKSON, Miss. – It was a quick and seemingly dismissive response that had an elected official making headlines earlier this week.
The reaction to his response has turned from outrage to an outpouring of support.
It’s a fundraising campaign on the heels of what some are calling callous remarks by republican representative Jeffrey Guice.
In just days the diabetes foundation of Mississippi say they have taken lemons and made lemonade all while challenging state leaders.
“Taking lemons, and making lemonade is kind of what we coined this campaign,” Samantha Manning explained.
It was a quick email from state representative Guice boldly suggesting a mother use money she earned to cover medical supplies for her child with type 1 diabetes.
“I thought that had to be fabricated, because I could not believe an elected official in this state would have such callous remarks,” Manning said.
Samantha Manning is a mother of three, and a patron of the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi. Her daughter is diabetic and the Mississippi lawmaker’s response hit close to home.
“It became very personal for me even though it wasn’t directed at me, I felt like he had attacked me and my child,” Manning said.
Representative Guice has since issued an apology saying in part he “replied in a knee-jerk fashion,” but it was too late, the challenge was on.
“We basically are challenging all the legislative persons to donate $10 of their special session money that they get on a daily basis to the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi.”
House Speaker Philip Gunn has made a pledge to the foundation and he is asking his colleagues to also support the challenge for kids like Megan Jones living with diabetes.
“With the pump supplies I get to take only one shot every three days, which is a lot better and plus I don’t have to wait till a snack or time to eat,” Jones explained.
The foundation provides support, medication, and supplies to people living with diabetes especially those uninsured or under-insured in the state.
“Now I’m not mad, I’m glad he made that comment because he has given diabetes and the children of Mississippi and the Diabetes Foundation this platform.”
Now the challenge is on for state leaders, but it is very much open to the public.
Organizers are asking that $10 be sent to the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, for more on how to donate visit https://www.msdiabetes.org/