Young Leaders from Ukraine

My name is Ann. I'm 24 years old.

Two years ago I graduated from the university with a degree in journalism and work now as an editor at one of the most popular radio stations in our country.
Last year's study at the university seemed special because I was diagnosed with diabetes.

My family perceived this diagnosis harder than me. From the first days in the hospital, I took up literature to convince them that "I will live". After a long absence at the university my friends met me with support, the others with compassion and some people asked with caution whether it is not transmitted. Nobody can believe that diabetes does not choose!

My life was changed definitely by a teacher of journalism, who just wrote an article about diabetes and the Ukrainian Diabetes Federation. She advised me to contact to this organization.
Making first steps in cooperation with the organization I was full of pride that I joined the people who are not afraid to talk about their special way of life. After all, a big problem in our society is not only diagnosis, a delay in treatment of illness and a fear of injections of insulin, but also when people do not wish to tell their friends and colleagues that they are sick. Sometimes it is very dangerous!

My name is Olena (Helen) Mykhalska and I am from Ukraine. I live in the beautiful capital city of Ukraine called Kyiv. I am 25 years old and I have degrees in biotechnology and psychology. However, my favourite thing to do is to sing. I work as a singer at weddings, holidays, birthdays and I help to organise those events. Also I write my own songs and take dancing classes, and I am engaged in video shooting, editing and photography.

When I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 16 I was a leader at my high school. I could not help crying for the first two days after my diagnosis. Even though I understood that my life had changed, I couldn’t imagine exactly how much it had changed. While I was in hospital, the head of my school decided that I couldn’t continue to hold the leading position because I was sick, and another pupil was chosen for the role. That was the point where I became determined to show everyone that I am capable and full of the energy and strength it takes to realize my dreams and fulfil my goals. Now I can hardly remember that time. It was almost 10 years ago, but I can certainly say that the support from my family, friends and my boyfriend helped get me through it. The International Diabetes Association of Ukraine also took care of me and I realized that I was not alone.

My name is Roman Vlasenko and I was born on February 1984 in Svitlovodsk, small town in the centre of Ukraine. Currently I’m living in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.
When I was 6 years old I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. A that time I hardly understood what had happened to me, but life was going on and since then my diabetes is just way of life.
It didn’t prevent me to make good friends, realize interesting projects in my life, get several master degrees, make career – in other words - to live normal life.

Much later I joined the International Diabetes Association of Ukraine and became an active volunteer. I started as an active participant of summer camps, helping to arrange activities during the camp within. Then I participated in many events of Association, such as World Diabetes Day, Health Day, cultural and recreation activities (e.g. New Year events, quests, entertainment activities for children and young people with diabetes).
One of the most successful activities was the Charity fundraising event on collecting money for acquisition of insulin pump for children with diabetes (jointly with All-Ukrainian Charity Fund “Heart-to-Heart”).

Now I have some ideas how to make the lives of people with diabetes better. And the more events we organize, the more I realize that together we are stronger!