(KLFY)- While traveling with ‘The Lion King” on Broadway, performer Kyle Banks started having vocal issues.
The cause of the problem was something he never expected.
“I was just totally shocked when he first told me that he suspected that I was diabetic, but shortly thereafter, he gave me a glucose test and his theory was correct that I was experiencing the onset of diabetes,” Banks said.
Insulin became his lifeline, but it came at a cost.
Insulin caused Banks’ glucose levels to come down to scary lows, especially while performing.
He knew if his glucose crashed, he could slip into a diabetic coma.
“I was really struggling and having issue. I just wanted to know how these kids who work were so active as a am as a performer how they were managing,” Banks told News Ten.
Heading back to his roots, he connected with the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.
“That’s when I discovered that a lot of the kids are really struggling as well simply because they don’t have access to some of the tools I was using,” he said.
Tools he needed like Insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors cost between $2,500 and $5,000 every year. On top of that, there is other supplies like Insulin, needles, and blood glucose strips.
“It’s very expensive,” Banks said. “Yes, I have a great job, and I still am shocked at the cost of it all. So I know a family that has this unexpected cost hit them all of a sudden, it can be an extreme financial burden.”
In 2018, Banks started Kyler Cares, a nonprofit organization, to help children and young adults living with Type 1 Diabetes.
Tuesday night is Kyler Cares’ biggest fundraiser. Banks and other Broadway stars from The Lion King, Hamilton, and Wicked, are hosting a virtual concert to raise money.
“The money goes towards diabetic technology for kids and young adults, just to help alleviate the financial burden that many people face when trying to access these devices. So all of the money that we receive actually goes to getting these devices that go to the people in need,” Banks said.
It is free, but all donations go toward helping children and young adults in Louisiana living with Type 1 Diabetes get the tools they need to survive.