DIABETES: YOUTH AND SPORTS
IDF Europe, in collaboration with Therese Comodini Cachia MEP and Nicola Caputo MEP, marked World Diabetes Day 2015 in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. Our diabetes awareness week comprised of a lunch debate, exhibition area, and blood glucose testing.
Our partnership with Sodexo was renewed again, providing healthy lunch options in the canteens of the European institutions in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg.
This year, our focus was to raise awareness for the importance of sports and physical activity as a means to better manage all type of diabetes and help in the prevention of type 2 diabetes. Co-hosted by Therese Comodini Cachia MEP and Nicola Caputo MEP, the event began with a presentation by Jack Delicata, a 17-year old from Malta who has been living with type 1 diabetes since the age of one. He shared with the audience his passion for sports, his experience with diabetes, and called on politicians to take note and pursue active policies on diabetes. Kyle Jacques Rose, a former professional cyclist, provided a perspective of the societal challenge in changing behaviour, the role of new technologies in helping manage diabetes better during physical activity, and his own experience as a former sportsman. The final speaker, Melanie Stephenson, a current professional athlete and youth advocate, spoke about her experience of being a young person with diabetes and the importance of good nutrition in connection to high-level physical activity.
A full house, the audience included no less than 14 MEPs, including those from the EU Diabetes Working Group, and those with a particular interest in diabetes. Impromptu speakers included: MEPs David Borelli and Christel Schaldemose.
IDF EUROPE PRIZES IN DIABETES
Following the lunch debate, the IDF Europe Prizes in Diabetes were presented. This year’s prize for Young Researcher was awarded to Dr Barbara Ludwig for her outstanding work in the field of islet cell transplantation. Valentina Ocheretenko, from Ukraine, was awarded the Prize for Long-Standing Achievement, having spent almost three decades advocating nationally and internationally for diabetes.
In our lively exhibition area, we conducted over 300 blood glucose tests with the help of nurses from the Centre Européen d'Étude du Diabète (CEED). In addition, the exhibition area provided an opportunity to raise awareness about diabetes and the work of IDF Europe with MEPs and those working at the EU institutions in Strasbourg, as well as try out interactive tools that simulate the experience of hypoglycemia.