The middle school senior came to the idea of reducing his insulin by about a third.
Dillon, who has Type 1 diabetes, should keep the blood sugar level between 130 and 150. After starting with rationalization of insulin, his level jumped to 300.
He knew it was dangerous and he was in fear of going into a diabetic coma. "I did not think so, but my parents are doing so hard to give me what I need, and I do not want to put them any more financial stress," said Dillon, now 18.
The price of Dillon's insulin was much higher. She was secured last year through her father's job in Steelworks in Utah. When Dillon started rationalizing his insulin, the mill had just gone over to a high-yield insurance plan, which meant his parents would have to pay $ 5,000 from their pocket before insurance began.
According to the new insurance, Hooleys had to pay $ 800 per month for Dillon's insulin instead of $ 60 per month who paid for the old plan.
Dillon's father, Jason Hooley, was busy at work and did not notice that the 400-pound steel beam would fall on his middle finger. He lost half a finger and could only do a light job in the mill. By reducing the number of hours, he earned $ 300 less per week.
Then Dillon secretly began to cut off his insulin. His parents learned when he went to a regular medical examination, and the doctor was shocked by his high blood sugar level.
Dillon's father changed his job twice to get a better health insurance. Now the family pays $ 160 a month for their insulin, which is better than $ 800 a month but is still a financial struggle for five families. Dillon returned to full dose of insulin under the watchful eye of his mother.
Mindie Hooley weeps when she thinks about what her son did to help her parents.
"He's such a selfless person," she said. "My heart simply broke, because you want to do everything to protect it, but instead it protects us."
Promises of Prophets
Some people with diabetes did not survive the rising insulin price.
In 2017, 22-year-old Antavia Worsham from Cincinnati died when she could not afford her insulin.
Her mother, Antroinette Worsham, testified on Tuesday at Capitol Hill to the House's Supervisory and Reform Committee. The Senate Committee also held a hearing Tuesday on rising drug prices.
"This is unacceptable and I specifically intend to reach the bottom of insulin price increases," said Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
The pharmaceutical industry says insurance patients, like Hooleys, should not pay full cost because insulin producers give big discounts to insurance companies. "These savings are often not shared with patients whose cost from the pocket continues to grow," said Holly Campell, a spokeswoman for pharmaceutical research and manufacturing in America.
The insurance industry spokesman, however, says it is not true. "Salary savings go directly to customers," said Cathryn Donaldson, a spokeswoman for US health insurance plans.
In October, the State Attorney's Office in Minnesota filed a lawsuit against the insulin producer, citing illegal pricing practices. The lawsuit filed by patients with diabetes in Massachusetts is accusing insulin manufacturers of pending pricing on the federal court.
While drugs and insurance companies point to each other, Hooleysi is still struggling to pay $ 160 per month for Dillon's insulin, along with other necessities such as test strips.
Paying for his insulin prevented Dillon's parents from saving enough to buy a glucose monitor that triggers an alarm if his blood sugar becomes too low while he sleeps.
They know they need it. Last month, his mother checked him as he slept and saw that he did not look good. She woke him up and gave him some honey, but he was so confused by the low blood sugar that instead of eating it, he smelled honey all over his body.
Emergency help brought emergency assistance, where he stabilized and released.
After completing high school last May, Dillon wanted to go to school to become a nurse or a respiratory therapist. Instead, he got a job at a factory where his father worked to pay his insulin and save for school.
He is referring to his two and a half months of rationing of insulin, and he knows that he made the wrong choice – but that was the choice of love.
"My parents worked a lot for me and it was so hard to watch them fight financially," he said. "I felt helpless that I could not contribute."