League of DiAthletes (LOD)yogi2019-11-09T19:15:17+00:00
CONNECTING THE WORLD AS 1 THROUGH LIVING WITH TYPE 1!
The LEAGUE OF DIATHLETES is a type 1 diabetes focused global networking programme which strives to makediabetes educationaccessible, practical & relatable through the heart of patient empowerment, diversely around the world. LOD connects a team of passionate type 1 advocates, the “DiAdvocates” and a network of diabetes patient organisations across the continents, operating Global DiAdvocates Training Delegations, T1D Global Conferences, LOD Global Challenges and a continuation of practical education workshops and camps.
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.
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.”
Casa de la Diabetes is a space of attention, where we meet patients and family members, who suffer or are at risk of diabetes. Our goal is to improve the quality of life, through timely care, prevention and education in diabetes, was born 15 years ago, for the need of education and supplements for diabetes care in the city of Cuenca-Ecuador, was born first as The Los Fresnos Foundation, which operated in the house of Fernanda Sánchez, current president of the Casa de la Diabetes, was a group of children with type diabetes who jointly organized the necessary supplements for the care of diabetes. When increasing the demand and more than anything knowing that families needed support in this stage and after several courses carried out by Ana Fernanda, they began to see the need to have a complete team which can help patients and their families in their treatment. This is how the Casa de la Diabetes, Fundacion Los Fresnos, is born, which provides support to patients, whether type 1 or type 2, to their families to maintain a healthier lifestyle, the support is in the medical, psychological accompaniment, and educational for the patient and the family, so that they can take their new lifestyle in a better way.
“I am Ana Daniela Molina Sánchez, I am 22 years old I was born the first of October 1995, I am 22 years old and 19 with diabetes. I am from Cuenca- Ecuador; I studied International Studies at the University of Azuay, missing one more year to finish my university studies. I was diagnosed with diabetes on June 17, 1999, which have been good, bad, hard, and exciting, forcing me to know myself as a person. I am a very passionate person with everything I do, I do not leave things unfinished, I love helping people, in my association I am in charge of the type 1 patients club, where my main role is to organize the activities of the Type 1 patients per year to seek funds and resources so that all planned activities can be carried out.
My message for people with diabetes whether type 1 or 2 is that we can never give up, there are good and bad days and although there are many times that we get tired we hate injections, medicines, carbohydrate counting and everything a life with diabetes implies, we must always keep in mind that not all people could live with this and that being able to handle it every day makes us superheroes without a cloak. So fight every day and move forward because nothing and no one can stop you.
In many hospitals in Ghana, adolescents and youth with chronic diseases are usually managed in the same setting as the adults. The age differences between them and the adults also create some cultural barriers. With this, most young people with chronic diseases would either come to the hospital close to closing time or would have very poor compliance to their various treatment regimens.
With this in mind, Diabetes Youth Care was set up in October 2012 in the Western Region at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital to manage such patients separately to improve the quality of life for children, teens and families affected by diabetes. Diabetes YouthCare provides education and medical support to encourage personal growth, knowledge acquisition and independence.
“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.
FRED APPIAH TWUM
“It’s just after midnight local time. You wake up with this headache feeling all sweaty and confused, and then you notice it’s a hypo. It’s a feeling only another person living with diabetes would understand, though I’ve tried my best to explain it, I’m probably sure others wouldn’t understand this. I really can’t really remember the first one I had but I know it felt this way, and twenty four years on, I’m still not used to the feeling. You think you get better with experience, but to be honest it still sneaks up on you. If you did one thing constantly for this long people would consider you an expert, but diabetes is different, complacency would undo all your years of hard work or worse be the death of you. I am not trying to scare anyone but rather do the opposite. On this special day of love and sharing, my message to you is the fact that no matter how bad you think you’ve got it, you are not alone, and exactly twenty four years down the line my fight still continues. Yours should too and when the dust settles around us, we realize we have option but to keep surviving. Diabetes won’t stop us.”
1. Education/ Awareness
The education and awareness segment includes lectures in schools, social media posts (Facebook, twitter, Instagram and snapchat).
2. Insulin Access
DAP is currently working with T1International regarding Diabetes Access Advocacy Toolkit, the latest campaign was regarding insulin access for Syrian refugees currently T1International and DAP are working on the Diabetes toolkit generated by T1Int.
The advocacy tasks involve attending local and international workshops and congress. TV & Radio interviews is including under this component.
4. People living with diabetes Laws & Regulations
This component is dedicated for the development of a Kuwait law that protects their rights as people living with diabetes, either for their career growth, social and children rights.
5. Group Session (2018)
This component will include:
• Group discussion session; for people living with diabetes, to have an open discussion about a specific subject related to diabetes (will be held once every two weeks).
• Guest interview; will be mainly a guest living with diabetes, people affected by diabetes (such as Spouses, parents, family members).
6. Self-Management (2018)
This component is mainly focused on the daily routine of people living with diabetes, sports, extreme sports, travel, adventure, as well as their involvement in the social responsibility activities, which will reflect the knowledge and well-being of people living with diabetes.
“I am Mo from Kuwait and 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.
Meethi Zindagi is an association of people dealing with diabetes and was founded in March 2012. Meethi Zindagi was founded by a person living with diabetes, who envisioned improving lives of people with diabetes in Pakistan through a Patient-Centered approach. Associations of people dealing with a certain health condition are instrumental in bringing about changes to the health care systems, by being a unification platform and voice for the people who are affected by a health condition, or are providing care to those affected by it. As the name suggests, Meethi Zindagi aims to target environmental, educational, political, financial, health, technological and psycho-social factors for improving the lives of people living with diabetes and its co-morbidities, thereby making their lives sweet.
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!
“My name is Muhammad Talha Khan. I am from Pakistan. I am a professional cricketer. I was merely 11 years old when i was diagnosed with type1 diabetes which has been my companion for 18 years now. A few year after my diagnosis, I realized I had to live healthy for my own sake and dreams. I started going playing cricket and gym training. I also started swimming to build more stamina. I take my insulin on time and choose the right type and amount of food. I enjoy the healthier life style while playing professional cricket with type1 diabetes. I have played in the national under-17 cricket team for Pakistan.
My message to others who living with type1 diabetes is that playing any sports is as difficult as it seems. You just need to be proactive in monitoring your sugar levels on a regular basis, taking your insulin on time and have that fire within – the belief that despite having diabetes, there is nothing you cannot achieve!
The Sonia Nabeta Foundation (SNF) is a New York based 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission and vision are:
To alleviate the hefty cost of treatment and provide holistic healthcare and community support for low income children with T1D aka “warriors” in Africa, starting in Uganda.
Reduce deaths due to T1D complications, increase life expectancy and improve the quality of life for warriors to reach their greatest potential.
Specifically, the SNF:
Hosts holistic wellness camps that integrate mind, body and spirit into T1D care and management regime.
Provides tools and services for on- going warrior support and education
Provides blood sugar monitoring devices, test strips, syringes, HbA1c monitoring and other essential tests and medical supplies.
Builds T1D awareness campaigns, host diagnosis drives and healthcare worker training to reduce deaths from lack of awareness and/or diagnosis
Advocates for policy environments that protect and include the needs of warriors.
“When I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) at age 19, I felt my life had hit a dead end and I would never amount to anything in life. I had spent a full 19 years of my life without inhibitions, without the remotest thought of T1D or the slightest knowledge about the condition, yet here I was, exiting my teenage years, having to reconfigure my life to fit this diagnosis.
I remember being in the hospital shackled with unshakeable depression, wondering how to overcome what would surely follow – funny looks from friends; pity from the community; worry from my family. It was a monumental diagnosis that I felt was insurmountable. It took serious mental reorganization and emotional resilience to move past denial, through acceptance and now to championing and advocating for all things T1D in my motherland, Uganda and beyond.
In my journey thus far I have met warriors (a.k.a. people living with T1D) across the East African region, from all walks of life, and so many, from measly backgrounds, that have managed to live positively with T1D. It is this community and interaction with such warriors that gave me the break that I needed to transform my attitude and find the positive in my diagnosis. Plenty of people living with T1D get stuck in the denial phase and I can relate completely. But I also now believe that my very existence on this planet is to motivate and inspire others to own T1D, accept T1D and thrive with T1D.
Moreover, I come from Uganda, a country that is like many other developing countries, particularly in Africa where T1D is this big mystery, and a diagnosis can be challenging to own because of several reasons. For example, the medical infrastructure is weak; healthcare workers are not as knowledgeable if at all; communities and schools are unaware and unsupportive and T1D is not necessarily on the radar of policy makers. To add icing to the cake, poverty is abundant which only makes T1D that much harder to manage. Uganda has a long way to go to create the environment critical for warriors to survive. So rather than rest on my laurels and feel sorry for myself, I made the pivot to change-maker and disrupter.
Now at 25, life with T1D has become easier because I changed my mindset, my habits and my lifestyle. I have maintained a positive attitude towards T1D to enable me to push my boundaries, and now I can say with fervor that I am a warrior, I am a mentor, I am a counselor, I am an advocate and I am a proud ambassador for the Sonia Nabeta Foundation.”
The Diabetes Football Community is a peer support community for people living with the condition who are passionate about Football. The community is a 24/7 destination for educational information and inspiration which exists to help our followers by:
Promoting inclusion, reducing barriers and normalising Diabetes in mainstream sport.
Celebrating the success of our Diabetic Football Community and what makes us unique.
Raising awareness of Diabetes.
Educating and changing the perception of people involved in Football.
Educating and supporting people with Diabetes.
Inspiring people with Diabetes through the vehicle of Football.
With the overall aim of the community being to ensure that there are no barriers for Diabetics participating in Football/Soccer.
“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.
LEAGUE ALLIANCE WITH: T1INTERNATIONAL
T1D HERO: ELIZABETH ROWLEY
Elizabeth Rowley is the Founder and Director of T1International, a UK registered charity that advocates for all people with type 1 diabetes around the world. The charity supports local communities by giving them the tools they need to stand up for their rights so that everyone with type 1 diabetes – no matter where they live – has everything they need to survive and achieve their dreams.
Elizabeth was born in the United States and has lived with type 1 diabetes since she was four years old. She moved to London in 2011 to complete her Master’s degree in International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science and soon recognized how grateful she was that the UK sees health as a human right. She believes that where you were born should not determine whether you live or die with diabetes, and she is confident that by working together we can find solutions to the complex problems faced by people with diabetes.
DASH Sports Education is a non-profit organization running diabetes education and empowerment programs around the San Francisco Bay Area and Internationally since 2012. DASH, for short, is a run by a group of people living with diabetes and without who are not content with the current status of health in the USA and across the globe and seek to give back. We work for DASH on a volunteer basis and strive to build DASH leaders from within the community.
“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.
HERE we share the empowering future of type 1! DiAthlete posts shared by “Junior DiAthletes” who take on the daily challenges of type 1 diabetes whilst showing that by taking on that responsibility for their health, they have the super power to go on and live their lives to the fullest, to dream big and accomplishment any achievement!
Jarvis Braddon Thomas is an active DiAthlete from Pembrokeshire in Wales – and recently has transitioned into boxing. Here, Jarv writes about his type 1 experiences so far #TeamDiAthlete (September 2017)
“My name is Jarvis, I am 14 years old and at the age of 4 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I have always loved taking part in sports, mainly football & running…having diabetes was hard on my family to start with as they were in control of looking after me. When I was first diagnosed I was on injections, I am now on an insulin pump, which seems to suit me better as I / we find it easier to control my blood sugars when exercising & after.
I am captain of a U15’s football team Angle (some of us boys have played football together since we were 6 years old) & they all know about my diabetes. Last year we won the local cup for our age group.
Last September I started boxing training to improve my fitness. After 2 months I took part in my first boxing fight, which unfortunately I lost…this encouraged me to train harder, with the help from my great coaches.
Recently on the 23rd of September I had my second boxing bout which I won by unanimous decision! It goes to show that hard work pays off & diabetes won’t stop you from achieving your ambitions & dreams.
DAISY’S #TEAMDIATHLETE INTERVIEW
1. Hello Daisy, congrats on your recent triathlete of the year award! What interested you to get into triathlons – and please explain to us a bit about how you race for a triathlon?!
Hi Gavin, when I was 4 I took part in Iron Kids at Club la Santa in Lanzarote when my dad was racing in Ironman. I’ve always been quite good at swimming and running so starting Triathlon with Chester TriClub when I could join seemed a good idea. It’s even more important to be fit now that I have Type 1. I race in the Tristart group as I am still only 8. We have to swim 50m, cycle for 1000m and run 400m. The hardest part is putting my trainers on in the transitions when my feet are wet!
2. In living with type 1 diabetes, how do you go about managing your blood sugars when it comes to triathlons? (pretty big challenge right?!)
Sometimes I get excited and nervous and this sends my glucose levels up. Mum and Dad try and get my levels between 8-12 before I have a race or go training. If I am low I have a couple of Dextrose tablets and I cellotape 1 to my handle bars just in case! I’ve started drinking Lucozade orange. I don’t like the taste but I can’t stop drinking it!
3. Have you ever had any hypo or hyper experiences during a sports / triathlon event, and if so, how did you go about sorting it out?
Not really during Triathlons but I will sometimes do a fingerprick during swimming. You don’t really feel hypo in the water and my Dexcom doesn’t work under water! When I was first diagnosed I used to get hypo playing netball. We were still getting used to the pump and exercising so I went hypo every week. I am much better now though it’s just practice.
4. To win this award, you must be pretty good at it! What was your favourite race last year and why?
I always try my best in training and even though I sometimes stop to check my levels the coaches see that I am working really hard, getting better and not letting the Type 1 stop me. That’s why they gave me the award. The first Triathlon I did was only a month after I was diagnosed. Mum and dad let me decide if I wanted to do it and I’m glad I did. I was really worried before as everything was so new with diabetes and I didn’t know if I could do it.
I came 15th out of 40 including boys so was really pleased!
5. When you were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes / or in your earlier months in living with it, what was your initial reaction, did you have any concerns?
I had been really thirsty for a few days and drinking a lot. My dad recognized the symptoms and took me straight to the Dr and he was right. We had to go to hospital and I hated all the blood tests. I was really scared of the needles and injections. Everyone was worried and I didn’t really understand what Type 1 Diabetes was and how it would affect our lives.
6. And what is your attitude about living with diabetes like now? You are out there achieving, so it is not holding you back, right!?
It’s not holding me back I’m ready to face the world and achieve anything…but it is a pain at times and I wish I didn’t have to think about it all the time.
7. As an outstanding triathlete of the year and DiAthlete, what is your message to anybody else also living with type 1 diabetes out there?
When people they ask me about Type 1 I like to say , it’s not an illness because I’m not ill I’m fine. It’s not a disease because you can’t catch it. It’s just a condition that you have to live with. Even if you have Diabetes never give up and don’t let it stop you doing anything!
(Written by Angel, January 2017)
“My name is Angel and I am 10, I am type 1 diabetic and was diagnosed in 2010 when I was just 3 – so I pretty much don’t remember life without diabetes!
My parents have always taught me to be positive about diabetes and that I should never let it control me, I should always control it.
Almost 4 years ago we were on holiday in Orlando and I can remember seeing a parade at The Magic Kingdom, with lots of cheerleaders in it. I told my mum I want to do that one day. This was when my obsession with competitive cheerleading began!
A few months later I joined my first team and I soon realised that cheer wasn’t just nice costumes and waving pom-poms. It was actually really hard work with a lot of commitment and determination. It means lots of dance tumble stunts (being thrown or throwing people up in the air…. scary stuff..right!!!) and awesome jumps.
Training was really hard at first as I was wearing a Medtronic pump that I use, it got pulled a lot and people caught it due to its cable. After a while I changed to the Omnipod and I have never looked back, I also wear the Dexcom G5 as my hypo awareness isn’t great but hopefully that will improve.
About 18 months ago, I made the move to a new team called CheerForceKnights and this is where my love for cheer grew even more as my coaches really believed in me and knew that there was no way diabetes was gonna stop my love for this sport.
We are now just months into a new competitive season which will see me and my Team Mates hit the floor at comps like BCA northern at Newcastle Metro Arena and Jamfest Europe at the Liverpool Echo Arena.
I love cheer and all my team mates are fab, they have never once made me feel different however they do understand sometimes I may need to take a break till my blood sugars are ok. My mum sits in on every training session I do just to make sure I am ok as sometimes I concentrate on cheer so much I forget about my blood sugars and how I am feeling, so I need to learn with this!”
(Posted October 2017)
Alfie Huke is from Bristol and is 9 years old. Alfie was diagnosed with type 1 in 2010, just before his 3rd birthday, and ever since has been pushing boundaries through sport regularly – playing the sports he loves in football and cricket.
This summer saw Alfie play his first full season of cricket moving up into the under 11’s and into hard ball cricket with matches lasting 3 to 4 hours. Over the season Alfie developed as a star bowler, regularly opening the bowling attack, and he ended up being selected to play for the district side as the opening bowler!
Alfie has had to quickly master his blood sugars playing cricket: before and during his matches, managing adrenaline levels and food intake during the game. Luckily Alfie moved to a CGM during the summer and feels this has certainly helped in his game management and given him the confidence to focus on his performance more, rather than worrying about his levels.
Alfie’s message: “Never let type 1 stop you from doing what you want to do, taking part in sport shows everyone we are not different and can achieve our goals. The worst thing about type 1 is when my bloods go really high, but playing the sports you love help keep numbers in a good place and helps keeping you fit and healthy, and playing sport for the rest of your life #nostoppingme”
Holly Mitchell is a 12-year-old Ice Skater from Kilmarnock in Scotland!
(Posted January 2017)
“I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about 18 months ago and I love to skate. When first diagnosed, I was scared in case I wouldn’t be able to skate anymore because of it. At the time there was a girl who already had diabetes at my club so I kind of knew that I could skate but I was still scared. I was in hospital for two days after diagnosis and by the end of the two days I felt a little bit better. I went back to skating straight away – it was quite different but with help from my mum and dad I managed.
Just over a year ago I started on the Medtronic 640G pump. When I went onto the insulin pump I had to stay off skating for a week so I could get used to using it and to check the rates were all right. When I went back I found it much easier as I could give corrections or have something to eat without needing to have an injection. I always take my pump off when I go on the ice in case I fall on it. I come off the ice every hour most sessions to put through a basal so I don’t go high. If I do go high and won’t come down I will usually go home and change my set.
I have been skating since I was 5 years old and I have recently moved up to Level 2 after I got the score to move up at a competition in Aberdeen. I go skating every Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday morning. I also do off ice classes three times a week. Saturdays are my longest skating days, I have skating and off ice lessons – I am on the ice for 6:45am and don’t finish until half twelve.
I have a competition coming up in February in Bradford – my first one at Level 2, and so will write about how I get on in my next blog! I love skating just as much now if not more. My favourite saying is – don’t let your diabetes stop you from doing what you love!”
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