“Scacco al Diabete” or "Keeping Diabetes in Check" written by Massimo Massi-Benedetti, Chair of IDF’s Science Task Force, has been selected out of eleven publications to win a literary prize awarded by the Italian Health Observatory.
We asked Massimo for his reactions to this prestigious award…
What does this award mean to you?
For many reasons, I was both surprised and satisfied when the award was announced.
First of all I was satisfied because the book was the result of many contributions from a wide range of stakeholders: people with diabetes and their families, healthcare professionals, administrators and politicians. All of them were part of the BCD (Buon Compenso del Diabete, Good Diabetes Control) awareness campaign launched more than five years ago in Italy by IDF, in conjunction with all five Italian member associations and with the support of Sanofi.
Many other associations and societies took part in the campaign and this is another reason for my satisfaction: the book offered an opportunity to share diabetes experiences and explore the clinical and scientific knowledge of many professionals.
Scacco al Diabete is based on the real needs of people with diabetes. It is based on personal experiences and on solid clinical and scientific evidence, all of which is written in an easy-to-understand way.
Why is this publication important for people with diabetes?
I hope that this publication can be of real help to people with diabetes, for those who live with them and for healthcare professionals.
The book is based on real life experiences, which demonstrate the feelings, the fears, the difficulties, the expectations and the hopes of people with diabetes.
It is well known that beliefs around diabetes are still based on outdated stigma and discrimination. Many people still identify with the image of a person with diabetes as being disabled, living a life of no hope, whilst waiting for the unavoidable onset of devastating long term complications.
Today this image belongs in the past, but we must still work to overhaul this myth.
The aim of this book is to accurately represent people with diabetes and let people know that diabetes does not define a person. With the right care and education, people with diabetes can reach any targets they set themselves.
What do you hope people will take-away from Scacco al Diabete?
I hope that people with diabetes will recognize themselves in the featured stories and realise that what they once thought was just their problem is everyone’s problem.
I want people with diabetes to receive a message of hope that they are not alone.
The most important message I hope to give in this book is that; you need to take the lead; the future is in your hands!
The same message is directed to those who do not have diabetes. We want this book to make people without diabetes reassess the way they view people with diabetes.
Do you have plans for further publications?
Yes, within the framework of the BCD awareness campaign, a new book is about to be completed on type 1 diabetes in adolescents. This new publication will be launched and distributed in schools.
The diagnosis of diabetes in children and adolescents can be a dramatic event. Misconceptions in the general population make it hard for professionals to convince children and especially their parents that they can live a full life with diabetes.
By telling the story through the eyes of Marco, a teenager recently diagnosed with diabetes, I want to send out a message that having diabetes does not have to limit you in any sense.
The book is in a format suitable for teenagers and contains plenty of information for their teachers.
It has been prepared by the editorial group of the SIEDP (Italian Society of Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology) and also takes inspiration from IDF’s Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of People with Diabetes.
Thanks go to members of the Scientific Committee of the BCD awareness campaign: Paolo Cavallo Perin, Gerardo Corigliano, Sandro Gentile, Carlo Giorda, Gabriele Riccardi, Raffaele Scalpone