Klara Kaden

Germany

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2000.

Member of YLD since 2015 (YLD Candidate).

When being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I was quite interested in the disease and read everything I could about it. But over the years - especially during puberty - I got coping issues with the treatment and the handling of “my” diabetes in social situations. Being overwhelmed by the compatibility of the desire of independence on the one hand and the need for support on the other hand. Since I’ve experienced thousands of days having diabetes, I would like to support others - especially younger people - in coping with their disease and getting strength out of a situation they didn’t chose to be in. As I didn’t have any proper contact with other people with diabetes and didn’t get adequate empowerment to support me on handling the daily issues, especially during my adolescence, I’m now in a quite privileged situation having made many experiences myself that I would like to pass on. I think every person with diabetes needs (and deserves!) the support to have the best possible health, which not only includes physical health, but a life full of great mental health and social inclusion.

My project: The project is an activity-based peer-support-group, focusing on the empowerment of young girls with type 1 diabetes, who have issues coping with their diabetes in everyday life. The project is going to be led by university students majoring in human medicine and psychology who have type 1 diabetes and will be coached /supervised by a paediatrician and a psychotherapist, whereas the main responsibility rests with the university students. The project is planned to last for 6 months with alternating focus on talking about empowering/coping mechanisms in everyday situations and focus on activities such as sports and other social activities. Since the conducting students are diabetics themselves, they’re able to offer help and support to participants based on their personal experiences with diabetes in their everyday lives. Thus the conducting students reflect their individual way of coping with diabetes type 1, as-well.