In celebration of World Diabetes Day, which took place on 14 November 2023, school children from across the UK attended Westminster to promote the Blue Balloon Challenge – a social media campaign that focuses on making the invisible disease, visible. Seren, Danny and Otis, met with Dame Priti Patel, MP Ian Levy and Sir Peter Bottomley – Father of the House of Commons -to talk about the daily challenges of living with T1 Diabetes and the importance of growing awareness around the condition.
Danny, 12, pictured, said: “Diabetes is more complex to live with than most people know, and its daily challenges are different for each person.
“Each day can be different depending on how it’s managed, and knowledge among those who don’t have this condition is low and we need more support to help spread the word.
“That’s why I’m happy I can help tackle the stigma head-on. I’m grateful to have been able to speak to MPs in London today about the reality of life living with diabetes while helping raise money for young people around the world who don’t have access to the care I receive and also insulin.”
Organised by Medtronic, the global leader in healthcare technology, the #BlueBalloonChallenge challenge invites members of the public to step into the shoes of those who live with diabetes by posting a photo or film themselves as they try to keep a balloon in the air, a metaphor for the constant balancing act required to manage diabetes.
For every post, Medtronic will donate €5 to Life for a Child, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing life-saving insulin and basic medical devices to children with diabetes in developing countries.
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body does not produce insulin or produces insufficient insulin, resulting in excess glucose in the blood. Unlike Type 2 diabetes, it cannot be prevented and does not develop as a result of a particular lifestyle.
Currently, Type 1 Diabetes has no known cause and no known cure, but tight management of it markedly improves lives. Around 35,000 young people in the UK have Type 1 Diabetes, according to Diabetes UK.
To join the #BlueBalloonChallenge, simply post a video or photo of yourself keeping a balloon in the air while doing any daily activity and tag @MedtronicDiabetesUKI (Instagram) + @MedtronicDiabetes (LinkedIn). For every post, Medtronic will donate €5 to Life for a Child. Find out more at https://www.medtronic-diabetes.com/en-gb or check out the #BlueBalloonChallenge hashtag on Instagram for more inspiration.