Former Valley woman loses son after trying cheaper medicine

Photos courtesy: Erin Wilson-Weaver


LEESBURG, VA – A former Valley family is gaining national attention after the death of a family member 27-year-old Josh Wilkerson.  He lived in Virginia and died after his body didn’t react well to a cheaper form of insulin. Wilkerson’s mom, Erin Wilson-Weaver, who graduated from Shikellamy High School in 1983, tells us her son died June 15.


She says her son was a type-1 diabetic and had recently switched to a cheaper form of insulin, after no longer being able to afford the form he had been taking, “The stress was incredible. He felt very sad that he was not able to just be normal and support his family.”


Wilkerson, who was born in Danville, was first diagnosed with type-1 diabetes when he was eight years-old. His mom tells us when he turned 26, Wilkerson faced $1,200 copays for his insulin. Wilson-Weaver also says her son was engaged and lived with his fiancé, who is also a Type-1 diabetic. She says their monthly expenses were $2,400 for insulin for both of them. Wilson-Weaver says her son also worked two jobs, and Wilkerson and his fiancé were not even attempting to plan a wedding due to their expenses.


Wilkerson’s doctor then suggested trying Walmart’s insulin, which is an older type of insulin, but Wilkerson had many issues, leading to his death. Wilson-Weaver says she doesn’t blame the doctor, “This type of insulin has been around for many years. There are type-1 diabetics who are fine in their reactions to the insulin. Josh on the other hand, it took a lot longer for his body to benefit from the insulin.”


Wilson-Weaver says going forward, there must be more education about Type-1 diabetes and, “There also must be a reduction in cost for these life-saving medicines. These Type-1 diabetics need this type of medication to stay alive.”  Wilson-Weaver also lost her father to type-1 diabetes when he was 38-years-old.


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