Public Issue

Inexpensive Sandal Provides Relief to Diabetic Patients

Frustrated by the lack of an “off-loading” medical device for patients suffering with open wounds from surgery or ulcerations as a result of diabetes, Elder Dean Clark (U.S. podiatrist serving a Mormon humanitarian mission with his wife, Sister Joyce Clark) set out to find a solution.

While traveling in Labasa, a small city on Vanua Levu, he found an inexpensive sandal that was priced at $6.50 (Fijian Dollars). The sandal was of the right thickness and pliability to create (by cutting and carving) an “off-loading” shoe that would take pressure off open wounds, allowing them to heal and helping to prevent amputation and aiding those who have had amputations heal.



LDS Charities (the welfare arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) purchased all 700 pairs available. Elder and Sister Clark distribute the sandals around the Pacific Islands as they train doctors and nurses in diabetes clinics.                 

Because of the ease of modification, each patient receives a custom pair specific to their injuries and wounds.

When asked what the Clarks and the sandal meant to him, a patient at the diabetic hub in Fiji could not speak – he simply wiped tears of gratitude from his eyes.

Diabetes is very prevalent in Pacific nations. Government, church and various charities have worked together to treat and educate people on the disease and the complications associated with it.


Converts to a new way of living come one by one as they accept the new reality of their disease. Family member and peer group support is key to identifying complications before it is too late and preventing the condition and complications from happening.

Latter-day Saint apostle, Elder David A. Bednar, said in 2011, "Ordinary people who consistently do small and simple things that are right before God will bring forth extraordinary results."

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