League of DiAthletes T1D Heroes 2017-11-26T17:12:42+00:00



THE LEAGUE OF DIATHLETES is a global type 1 diabetes focused networking programme which ‘Unites the World as 1 through living with Type 1’ –  assembling passionate and inspiring ‘T1D Hero’ Ambassadors together, whilst partnering with dedicated local type 1 diabetes support groups and patient organisations, internationally linked across 6 continents. Our ‘T1D Heroes’ produce grassroots outcomes of DiAthlete styled workshops and practical community activities to directly educate, encourage and empower people living with type 1 diabetes around the world.

Hello, my name is Nikki and I have been living with Type 1 diabetes for just over 7 years.

Despite the challenges and sometimes unpredictable nature of diabetes I have never let it get in the way of me living life to the fullest. I am a very active person and love to get outdoors, whether that is going for walks along the river, swims at the beach or picnics with my friends. I also love to travel and have been fortunate enough to travel to many parts of the world. Recently I was lucky enough to join the Diathlete Gavin on the Fiji leg of his Global Tour.

Working with Young Diabetics Fiji, we spent time in communities and schools, sharing our knowledge on diabetes and empowering those living with diabetes through personal stories. The experience was truly life changing. Seeing the strength and personal empowerment of all the T1’s I met in Fiji was heart-warming and being able to share information and stories is something I will always remember. In Perth I am a member of the Youth Advisory Committee. We come together on regular occasions to share our knowledge and insights on diabetes, discuss political agenda, trial new technology and design education seminars for Perth residents. The education seminars are designed by Type 1’s for Type 1’s and it is a great way to engage in ‘real talk’.

I am also a member of the JDRF Peer Support Program which links up newly diagnosed T1’s with a peer support person. A T1 diagnosis is life changing and having support from someone who understands is invaluable. Sharing the message of empowerment and engaging with the community on a grass roots level is so important. Diabetes presents us with a unique set of challenges but with the support of others we can achieve anything we set out mind too!!

The Piquenique Azul (“Blue Picnic”) was created by Nathália Noschese in 2016, with the aim of uniting friends who have Diabetes and to celebrate our Nacional Diabetes Day, 26th June. The meeting was so special that she decided to make others. From meeting to meeting, we are already in the 10th edition, with more than 550 people in the previous and more than 1000 registered since 2016.

Nathália, 21 years old, has type 1 Diabetes since 1997 and she struggles for awareness and education in Diabetes. Nothing in this world is done alone, we count on 20 people, our dear STAFF, are parents who have children with Diabetes, friends who are part of the conviviality of the condition or have the condition.

Piquenique Azul is always held in Villa Lobos Park in São Paulo with the purpose to unite the Brazilian diabetes community and empower them with raising awareness and educating to everyone about the condition. Our public is people who live directly or indirectly with the disease, who we offer a pleasant day, full of experiences, physical activities, educational activities, gymnastics, meditation, conversations, new friends, music, gifts, sweepstakes, a really different experience with Diabetes. Every edition has a different theme, always related to Diabetes.

It is publicized through: its fan page on Facebook: http://Facebook.com/PiqueniqueAzul and on Instagram: http://Instagram.com/piqueniqueazul, weekly with posts related to diabetes education and to the upcoming events and posts on other diabetes web-groups and by its participants. Join us on Facebook!

We count with the support of International Diabetes Federation (IDF), Medtronic, ROCHE, ADJ Diabetes Brasil, Momento Diabetes Magazine, SugarFree Box, Farmadia and others. The event is free and everyone who was interest about the condition can participate. Our STAFF are volunteers and every gif we won by our supporters.

We already did an especial edition in another state, Rio de Janeiro, our 6th edition, and was amazing, more than two hundred people! Our aim now is to bring editions to all Brazilian states and put all of us united, because “Together we are stronger!”

Daniela Rojas Jimenez, from Costa Rica, is a psychologist who works with people living with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes on a daily basis.

She has personally lived with type 1 for 25 years. Dani is a blogger for “Diabetics Solutions” being an activist for the diabetes community in Costa Rica and across Latin America. With EDPD (education in diabetes by people with diabetes), an initiative Dani co-founded in Costa Rica with Paula and Manfred, she reaches out to schools and workplaces in Costa Rica to help prevent discrimination towards people living with diabetes.

Dani is also a leader for ‘Asociacion Dia Vida’ and supports their camp for children and teenagers living with diabetes. Her main passions are in education with empowerment and therapeutic accompaniment for those with diabetes, their families and loved ones. Dani’s main purpose behind committing to this work is to prevent people from feeling alone, afraid of their own body, anxious or depressed – she wants to help people with diabetes to understand that although the process is not always easy, there is always a way to learn from their bodies and every experience they go through – together with education – will allow them to become stronger and comfortable in their own skin. Dani believes that you can not only live very healthy but also live very happy in life with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

I am Paula Chinchilla, 22 years old and I have diabetes 18 years ago. I was diagnosed when I was 4 but since then my life changed in a positive way. It has never stopped me from doing anything, any kind of sport I wanted or social activities and I let it to be my passion. I’ve working to help and educate people like me through our association in Costa Rica, in the organization of camps for children with diabetes and motivational talks. Also I am doing a project of education about diabetes in schools, high schools and workplaces.

Diabetes in Costa Rica

Costa rica has 4.808 million inhabitants. In 2015, there were 278 thousand cases of diabetes. 1 in 12 adults have diabetes. This represents 8.6% of the population. An alarming fact is that the growth of diabetes cases in Costa Rica is higher than the international average. The Atlas of IDF also shows that there are 111 thousand people between the ages of 20 and 79 who have not yet been diagnosed but who have this disease. This represents 40% of the population with diabetes in the country.

During 2015, 1600 deaths were associated with this disease. Type 1 diabetes is not a common disease in Costa Rica, with a reported annual incidence of 3.14 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants with less than 15 years of age, being classified as a country with a low incidence.

The key aims of our association (Asociación Dia Vida) are:

• Create awareness that it is time to focus on the improvement of integral health and the quality of life that all citizens with diabetes deserve.

• Continue to grow in number of people and quality of topics for the monthly meetings.

• Expand national groups and inform people living outside the San Jose area whom is difficult to attend meetings, who can share and obtain information via email, as the association makes a summary of the meeting of each Saturday.

• Motivate people who have diabetes to make a change in their life. From the year 2010 the Dia Vida Association began to integrate Type 2 diabetics, so the group is for all ages and all members of the family are welcome.

• Coordinate visits to schools to discuss the issue to children and young people in the fifth grade and beyond. Obesity, a problem that generates type 2 diabetes can’t be abandoned; it must be attacked from the earliest ages. This will in the end affect a population more educated in food issues and it is strongly believed that this will help to reduce the accelerated increase that is taking place worldwide in the emergence of new cases of type 2 diabetes.

• Carry out an educational plan on the symptoms of both types of diabetes so that people are diagnosed as soon as possible and avoid further complications of health in the medium and long term.

• Search for more sponsors, whether large, medium or small companies and media that wish to support and collaborate with the Asociación Dia Vida to make it known at a national level, to carry out important activities that help the Costa Rican population that has Any type of Diabetes and to provide these people with medications, equipment or materials that they need.

I am Yaa Bimpeh Amoah, affectionately called Yaa. I was first diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of 14. Prior to my diagnosis, I was in senior high school when I started exhibiting typical signs of diabetes. I urinated a lot especially at night, lost weight within a short period, fatigued almost all the time and I ultimately lost interest in school because I was ‘too tired all the time’. I became worried so I told my parents who took me to the hospital for medical check up where I was diagnosed of type one diabetes.

My life has never been same ever since then. There have been several ups and downs; it took me a while to finally accept the condition and now I can confidently say that I understand how my body functions and therefore look after myself well in order to better manage my diabetes. Now that I am a registered nurse, I have realise that the first step to the better management of a chronic disease like diabetes is acceptance and for you to fully accept you need a better understanding of the condition -this I got from reading widely and joining Diabetes Youth Care (DYC), an NGO in Ghana which aim is to provide education and assistance to young people in Ghana living with diabetes. I have taken a personal decision to help newly diagnosed diabetics especially the young ones by educating them using my personal experience living with the condition and the knowledge I have acquired from school and through my association with DYC.

Currently, I am supporting 9 young ones who are living with type 1 diabetes under the DYC peer support network. I am a strong advocate of diabetes. I am the Vice President of Diabetes Youth Care, an advocate for T1 International all of which are Diabetes support groups. I have a firm belief that diabetes shouldn’t stop anyone from achieving their goals.

Man Hay Lam

Mohammad Al Bahar

My name is Mohammad Al-Bahar, from Kuwait, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 2 years old, I have been living with t1d for more than 30 years.
When I was 6 years old my country was invaded by the Iraqi armies, I was running out of insulin and injections, but my parents managed to provide me with the insulin required by reducing the dosages and finding a way to store insulin in a cool storage area since there was electricity outages most of the time.
During my puberty I started to rebel on my condition, I didn’t go to the doctor, skipped my annual checkups and blood testing appointments, as well as not testing my BG levels, I was being my own doctor,I was exposed to frequent hypos and hypers due to my lack of diabetes management.
In 2011 I went into a hypoglycemia coma, when I woke up I took a decision to take a stand to manage my diabetes the right way, I took dafne course and through that course I have met others living with t1d, we were able to share our stories and daily routine with diabetes and life in general, then my circle of people living with diabetes expanded, I met people living with diabetes from all around the globe, that are living and striving with their diabetes, as well as diabetes awareness programs, in January 2014 I established the diabetes ambassadors program to raise awareness about diabetes in my community, which was a presentation delivered in schools, workplace and non-profit organizations to address the main topics related to diabetes diagnosis and management, as well as being advocate for the rights of people living with diabetes.
I have participated in global conferences to share my experience with diabetes, how to overcome discrimination and being an extreme sports activist to raise awareness about diabetes.
I always thought that diabetes was holding me back from living life to the fullest, but recently I have realized that diabetes was my motivation to show myself that I can do it, no matter how hard this is, I will be able to overcome my challenges and live a healthy and a productive life because I chose to live life to its fullest.

Sana Ajmal (Meethi Zindagi- Pakistan)

Sana has had type 1 diabetes since 1999. Diagnosed on her 15th birthday and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, she has successfully managed her studies, career in academia, a committed family life, and founding Meethi Zindagi – a social welfare organization that works for diabetes. Sana has also served as the Vice President and President Elect of International Diabetes Federations’ Young Leaders in Diabetes Programme. She is a passionate diabetes advocate who has committed herself to the cause.

At 33, Sana has a PhD in Computer Engineering, an academic career in a renowned engineering university of Pakistan, two sons, an amazingly supportive husband and an ever growing Meethi family – which is how she lovingly calls all the type 1’s associated with Meethi Zindagi.

Sana co-founded Meethi Zindagi in 2014, along with a group of experienced and passionate professionals. Meethi Zindagi now enjoys a fully legalized non-profit charity status in Pakistan. Meethi Zindagi’s main aim is to facilitate better lives for people living with diabetes in the developing economy of Pakistan and to advocate for the cause. Meethi Zindagi provides social support to people living with diabetes through retreats, camps, support groups and social and print media.

Meethi Zindagi is known to be the only organization in Pakistan that provides peer support to people with type 1 diabetes, giving them hope, love and togetherness!

Note: Meethi Zindagi is named coined in Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. It is pronounced as “Meet-hee-Zin-tha-gee” and literally means “Sweet Life”. Sweetness is what Meethi Zindagi aims to bring into the lives of people living with diabetes.

Talha Khan

The Sonia Nabeta Foundation


Chris Bright

I was diagnosed in 1999 with type 1 diabetes at the age of 8. I’d already become hooked on playing football by this time in my life so it was a case of making the condition fit around my lifestyle, rather than allowing it to consume my life. I don’t let it drive the car of my life; I let it sit on the backseat.

Following a lifetime of playing football and lots of hard work, I was lucky enough to become a semi-professional footballer and Wales Futsal International.
However I’d always wanted to give something back and support others in my sport. I wanted to share what i’d learnt from my life and encourage others to do the same for the benefit of us all. This is why I founded the Diabetes Football Community. A peer support network  to offer tips, guidance, advice and inspiration to our followers.
“We can’t change the cards we’re dealt in life but we can choose the way we play the hand” I’m hoping I can help other people with diabetes involved in football play their hand the best way they can.

Diabetes has been a part of my life since 1994. I was diagnosed after losing 20 lbs in a month and urinating over 17 times a day. The only thing I remember hearing was that I was going to die better and that I couldn’t eat candy for the rest of my life. Diabetes diebetes YOU SUCK was our family motto and sports was my secret weapon.

I learned pretty early on that in order to play well I needed to keep my BG’s in range. I learned how to manage my Bg’s through trial and error and error and error and error and eventually I became an expert in my journey with diabetes. I began to learn how to balance blood sugar management, sports and life. At 24 yrs old I came back to the states after playing professional American football and baseball in Belgium to start DASH (Diabetes and Sports Health).

The idea behind DASH is that yes diabetes is really hard and a 24 hr job without a paycheck, but because of diabetes I have learned how to overcome obstacles to survive. These survival skills are the essence of my being and the will to survive when the odds are against you is a common theme in those with diabetes and their families/support systems that back them up. DASH is a now place where kids, teens, parents, and health care providers learn from other each other and normalize the daily grind of diabetes management. Since our inception, we have worked with over 2,000 kids and families in the SF Bay Area and across the globe, with 75% of our programs being donation based. At 29, I have 1 yr left of medical training to become a PA (physician assistant).

I am looking forward to working in the niche space between pediatric and adult endocrinology to ensure that those kids with diabetes continue to thrive and flourish into and through adulthood.

Lucas Fogarty Founder of DASH Sports Education
[email protected]