My name is Pauline, I’m 23 and I live in Lyon. I'm in 3rd year of communication school. I used to play basketball but now it's a bit complicated with my studies.
I have diabetes since I’m 3 years old. I can’t remember my diagnosis, I was too young! Actually I prefer that I grew up with my diabetes, my injections and my blood sugar tests. For me all that is “normal”. My parents still tell me that I was like other kids, that I had to be proud of my diabetes, to assert it. That's what I’ve done!
I have diabetes for 20 years now and I’m involved in an organization since I’m 17. At the beginning it was the organization of my city. We did lots of screenings, medical conferences and patient information. After that, I discovered my national organization Fédération Française des Diabétiques (AFD), based in Paris. I’ve been there for trainings and national meetings. I’m really interested in their big projects for patient education, population awareness and more. Two years ago, they proposed me to go to the first “IDF Europe Summer camp” in Slovenia (for more information on the IDF Europe Youth Leadership Camps, click <a href="http://youngleaders.idf.org/activities/article/idf-europe-youth-leadersh...). It was one week, deep down in Slovenia for young people with diabetes involved in their own organization. There were 23 of us and we’ve learnt how to write an article, how to do an interview, how to create a budget. It was there that we heard about Dubai and the IDF Young Leaders in Diabetes Programme. This programme is the thing I've been waiting for since I got involved in my organization.
Now I have my own project. I would like to gather young people with diabetes in my country. In France, nothing’s done for people from 20 to 40/45. Thanks to my parents I don’t suffer with my diabetes. It’s not a negative thing to me. My main goal is to show everyone my vision of diabetes: the fact that we can live like anyone else, even with our condition. We can travel, practice sports, have a boy- or girlfriend, have children…
I'm working now with my national organization in order to create something for people between 18 and 40, maybe activities, or trainings and meetings. For the moment nothing's done but we are working on it. In France we have, almost, everything that we need for free and people don't necessary need to meet other people with diabetes. So I'll have to create something attractive for them :-)
The Young Leaders in Diabetes Programme has allowed me to meet so many young people like myself. This is fantastic! I can see commitment and passion in other young adults and this gives me more energy and motivation than I’ve ever had!