Sarah LeBaron is an exceptional 14-year-old.
She’s sharp as a tack and responsible, too. She arrived early to our chat at the Tile offices in San Mateo to have lunch with our Director of Engineering, Jossie Hanes, and before she left she even asked for a job. She’s the Secretary of her model U.N. club at school and loves a solid meme.
Sarah is also one of more than 1.5 million people in the U.S. who has type one diabetes, which means she’s constantly carrying around some very important things at all times: her life-saving medical supplies. In our interview, Sarah told us about a time when her misplaced bag became an emergency and how she used Tile to save the day.
Sarah’s bag is always by her side. It holds her everyday things, definitely, but it also contains her glucometer and insulin pen: two critical items for monitoring and managing her blood sugar. And then, one day, after running errands and a lunch out with her parents--poof!--it was gone.
Immediately, she started to panic like a diver without oxygen. Without her medical devices, she was at risk of entering unstable glucose levels with no way to track or treat it, which could lead to dangerous symptoms like organ damage or seizures. On top of that, her medical kit could not be found at a local pharmacy! Each round of supplies can cost nearly six hundred dollars, and orders always go through her medical insurance. Needless to say, replacing what was lost would be costly and laborious--and she needed it now.
“When you notice something’s gone, usually get that response of like, where is it? And then you search around and then you slowly get more panicked and more panicked as you can’t find it. And it was kind of that, but even multiplied because this was not just something like keys or something. This was my life.”
She scraped her memory for where she could have lost her bag. Truthfully, it could’ve been at any of the five places she visited that day.
But Sarah is an exceptional 14-year-old. Previously, she had placed a few Tile Pro’s on her bag and devices. With Tile, Sarah was able to review her location history and see that the Tile—and her stuff—was in the restaurant where she ate lunch with her parents.
Thrilled, Sarah and her parents made their way back to the restaurant, but when they arrived the employees claimed no missing bag had been turned in. Luckily, the Tile app begged to differ.
Sarah rang her Tile (read how to make your Tile ring) and lo and behold, there it was.
“[The Tile] gave us the confidence to demand that they actually get off their duffs and look for it.”
FOUND. Case closed. Panic over. Sarah was safe and so was her very important stuff. Tile helped her track down her things and gave her the proof she needed to get it back.
This Tile Tale is about Sarah, but it doesn’t end here. Do you love someone who relies on a medical device to keep them safe?