My name is Katarina, I am 24 years old and a final year Medical Student.
When I was diagnosed at the age of 12, my mom asked Dr. Google about diabetes in childhood. She came across an internet board for families with children with diabetes (Diabetes-Kids.de). Back then I had no idea how much joining that internet board would affect my entire life forever.
I learned the most important fact about living with diabetes: talk to others, so that you will never think you are alone!
However, I realized that there is still a lot to be done to help young people with diabetes to cope with their condition. In 2005 I helped to start the internet board Diabetes-Teens.Net with the help of a few like-minded friends, which steadily grew with the years so that we finally founded our own non-profit organisation Diabetes-Zentrale e.V.
This was the starting shot to a life as a volunteer in diabetes. I became a member of Novo Nordisk’s DAWN Youth panel, joined the Diabetes Jounal publishing group, organized lots of summer camps for young people with diabetes like “Camp D” and “Camp DT”, created lots of websites, for example the German edition of the World Diabetes Day Website, I started my first research project about “Studies concerning the quality of life in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes”, which was honoured with the German Youth Researches award of 2007.
My current project is “Icing Sugar”, an international CGMS skiing camp that will give young people with diabetes the chance to learn how to predict and manage their diabetes during extreme sports. We will hopefully launch the skiing camp for the first time in 2014.
Finally, I decided to turn my passion to my profession and I attended the Medical School and visited hospitals all over the world to watch and learn how diabetes looks like in other parts of the world.
After I’ll be graduated as a M.D., I will specialize in Paediatrics and later on in Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology to empower and educate young patients.