15 December 2013
Stephanie’s first engagement as an Australian Young Leader in Diabetes was a very humbling experience. She had the honour in being a guest speaker at a Diabetes Tasmania Forum. At this Forum several experts spoke about new projects impacting the diabetes community in Tasmania, like Diabetes Tasmania CEO Caroline Wells about the new initiative Type One Youth Support (TOYS) and Guy Barnett about the establishment of The Melbourne Declaration on Diabetes. As Young Leader, Stephanie was able to share her invaluable experiences from participating in the YLD Leadership Training and World Diabetes Congress in Melbourne, and also explain how attending these events and interacting with other Young Leaders was a truly life changing experience for her. In her speech Stephanie also disclosed the initial ideas of her YLD project. During the YLD training she noticed the common theme of the concept of friendship and your diabetes family. Youth camps are an excellent example of this sense of family and mutual understanding of your diabetes. However, such camps are only once in a while and immediately after diagnosis there is the lag in meeting other people living with diabetes. Based on her own experience of being diagnosed a decade ago, Stephanie plans to develop a network of people living with diabetes in the state of Tasmania, which will link those newly diagnosed to those already living with diabetes. This network will give kids, teenagers and young adults the opportunity to interact regularly, which will not only create fun memories like at camp, but also strengthen the ‘diabetes family’ in Tasmania. Being a peer leader at Diabetes Tasmania’s senior camp last month she shared this idea with the teenagers and they were very enthusiastic about this concept. Stephanie declared: “After my experience at the YLD Leadership Training, I truly believe it’s just a matter of time before the Tasmanian diabetes family is reunited and becomes stronger than ever.” To hear more about Stephanie’s journey, watch this space!
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