William Palamara (Italy)

"This torch is for all people with diabetes around the world. Don't stop to follow your dreams!"

My name is William. I was born in Forli (Italy) and I am 36 years old. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1993, at the age of 12. I have always been on insulin and living with diabetes has not been easy. One day I realized that diabetes is not a handicap but a strength. If you learn to live with it, it gives you something extra!

I have been living with an insulin pump since 2008 and last year I also started using a blood glucose sensor, which has improved my quality of life a lot.

I volunteer with the “Diabete Romagna Onlus” association to support people that, like me, live with diabetes every day. Along with hundreds of other volunteers, I organize a charity “Diabetes Marathon” (www.diabetesmarathon.it) to support children with diabetes.

In January 2018, I was a torchbearer for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, one of the 19 Italian torchbearers among the 7500 selected worldwide.

When I sent in my application to become a torchbearer, my aim was to convey a message of hope to all children and adolescents living with diabetes and help them understand that by learning to live with the condition, all dreams in life can be achieved. Diabetes should not be considered as an enemy to fight but as a lifelong companion!

On January 5 2018, I stood in the streets of Suwon, South Korea, on live television with the Olympic torch in my hands. Choked up by emotion, I shouted the words, “This torch is for all children and people with diabetes. Don't stop to follow your dreams!”

I deliberately decided to shout the message in English so that it would be understood not only by the 5 million Italians living with diabetes, but the entire world, starting with the Koreans who were encouraging and supporting me in the streets during my Olympic journey.


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