Katia is an amazing young woman that I met on the weekend at the Montreal JDRF Research Symposium.. She's currently at Concordia University here in Montreal completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. In the meantime, with her busy life, she managed to produce a documentary that takes place over 4 years. It shows the highs and lows of herself and other teens dealing with their Type 1 diagnosis and was filmed in Canada/USA and Ecuador.
She was sweet 16 in 2007 when she received the diagnosis of diabetes. Of course, it was devastating to her to discover that she was diabetic (who isn't?), and she went into abit of a slump dealing with how it was going to affect her life. It was something she knew that she could never get rid of and she decided that the best way to accept it was to take control of her life and one of those steps I feel was working on this project - which when you see the clip - you will be anxiously awaiting for the release of it next month.
She is quite the adventurous gal (she's like my D-twin) - in the way she takes life to the fullest. Just within a year of diagnosis - she went to Europe by herself for 4 weeks - and discovered that nothing could stop her from doing what she wants to do in life. Her next adventure was in the summer of 2010 at the age of 19 - she volunteered at the FUVIDA camp in Ecudaor - and she's now done this twice - and hopes to return again this summer. Despite knowing very little Spanish - she managed to help others there with their diabetes.
One part of her speech really perked my interest was the Austalian group called Insulin For Life (IFL) - along with the Diabetes Hands Foundation (DHF) provides insulin at the camp in Ecuador. According to Neil Donelan of IFL - 10 million vials of insulin are produced every year and sadly 1 million vials go to waste. That left me so angry - hearing this - and of course - as I discovered a few years ago - Banting never wanted insulin to be a money making drug - he wanted it available to EVERYONE that needed it to stay alive with diabetes. Sadly, this is not the case, as other countries outside of Canada saw the money making potential (sigh) - and now - those of us who are unable to obtain insulin suffer - without insulin - we die.
I can tell that she has a very supportive family - as they were in attendance at the JDRF symposium - something I sort of envy since in my days - groups like this were very rare - and I'm not even sure if my parents would have joined up - since diabetes didn't seem to be a serious thing that I had (or that's the impression I get sometimes). Seeing all the families at the JDRF events really gets me all pumped up - with meeting up with kids - showing them that you can lead a great life with diabetes (and yes - it's not always rosey - but what life is - that's what living is all about).
Anyway, I see great things for her future - she laughed when I told her that she could be our Prime Minister one day - to her - film making is all that she wants to do in life - but like I told her - you never know - I mean Arnold Schwarzenegger has done a few things in his life time besides flexing his biceps !