Young Leaders from Brazil

My name is Claudia Labate and I am from São Paulo (Brazil). In 2009, during my bachelor degree in Marketing, I met ADJ Diabetes Brasil while I was walking on the street for another purpose. Since then I have been in touch with different areas and projects of the association.

My first experience with diabetes occurred while I was still in the hospital and nurses taught me how to check the glycemia, inject insulin and things I´d need to implement into my routine. I was 10 at the time and in the moment I saw I could do those things it gave me a lot of confidence because I felt I could use those tools to control diabetes.
Nowadays I see that keeping the balance can be a big challenge. There are many things to deal with such as work, studies, monitoring, exercise, diet, friends, family and this can be quite stressful to maintain all this train locomotives without derailing.
It helps to count on a multidisciplinary medical team (such as endocrinologist, therapist, physical educator, nutritionist), friends and family support.

My name is Ronaldo, and I am 24 years-old. I live in São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, where I was born. I was diagnosed with diabetes 22 years ago at the age of 2. Everything started after an ear infection, I started to lose weight, frequent visits to the bathroom, and I was always thirsty. Every pediatric doctor I visited stated that it was only a viral infection that would be cured by itself…

…but, suddenly, one day I did not wake up. My mother ran with me to the nearest hospital, and luckily the emergency chief was also an endocrinologist. He requested a blood glucose test which was sky high, and, with a diabetic ketoacidosis, I was admitted to the ICU for eleven days. Those days haunt my mother until now.

With the help of the medical team, I managed to recover completely, and a “new” life started for me. I use the quotation marks because I really can’t remember how my “old” life, without diabetes, was. Then, insulin injections – even if it was animal insulin –, glucose testing – even if it was in urine – and nutritional care – even if it was by forbidding sugar and carbohydrates – always made part of my life, as long as I remember.