I’m Júlia, from Portugal.
I was born in Azores, a group of islands belonging to Portugal, half way long between Europe and America. I’m living now in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal.
I’m a third year vet student.
I was diagnosed with type 1 when I was 14, 7 years ago. At the time I was living in Azores and for years I didn’t share my feelings and all the things we fell when we are teenagers. I didn’t know any person with type 1 for years.
Now all the difficulties passed and I’m living the best time of my life. I always dreamt of living on my own and I never thought it was to possible to enjoy living with diabetes for years but now I do.
This year I met wonderful people with type 1 and their relatives.
I had the fantastic opportunity to go the IDF Europe Summer Camp in Slovenia.
Before I was part of the Portuguese Diabetes Association (APDP) only but this year I started my participation on the Portuguese Juvenile Diabetes Association (AJDP).
One of my projects is to create a youth group on the Portuguese Diabetes Association in collaboration with some other youth members. We definitely need to be an active part of the Association because the activities for the youths aren’t enough and we can try to make the difference. I did a project (in sequence of the IDF Europe Youth Camp) for one of the first things that I want to create after the formation of the youth group: Camps. We definitely need, as Annelieke said to create opportunities for the youths who are more than 18. At least in Europe, these ages are the ones that have fewer activities.
I feel really happy when I’m helping and participating in the activities of the Juvenile Diabetes Association. We do hikings, holiday weekends, we participate in the forums and national diabetes events, we go to schools to tell the children that we live with diabetes and it’s possible to live well and so many other activities.
As I said in the IDF Europe Summer Camp, one of the things that I want the most to do is to develop something to help people from the small places of my country, like me, in order to make their acceptance of living with diabetes easier than mine was. I just don’t know yet how I can do that.
As one of my Portuguese friend with type 1 says “I’m not sick… I feel healthy. I just have a condition, not a sickness”. I fell that, if I didn’t have diabetes, I would be a less happy person that I’m now. After passing the 7 stages of acceptance, we just need to start working and we see, at least I saw, that we have more than all our friends without diabetes because we have a cause to fight for, we have plans on what to do.
After this presentation, I just need to say that I’m “fresh” on the leadership on diabetes world so I have lots to learn and I believe that going to this programme will help me on that.