ROME, Italy September 10, 2008 -- Anjali Chandrashekar, 14, knows what insulin is, how to count carbohydrates and what to do for low blood sugar, yet she doesn't have diabetes. These lessons came from years of watching her grandmother, other close relatives and several friends manage the disease. "I've experienced the effects of diabetes through interactions with family and friends as if they affected me as well," she said. With those powerful images in her head, Anjali has committed herself to calling attention to diabetes worldwide.
Anjali focused on her creativity and developed a game board-like drawing containing pictures and phrases illustrating the diabetes world she has experienced. She decided to enter her artwork into the inaugural Inspired by Diabetes Creative Expression Competition, and this week, Anjali is being recognized as a grand prize winner.
Anjali Chandrashekar is one of the five global grand prize winners of the Global Inspired by Diabetes Creative Expression Competition, which was announced today at the International Con-gress of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Rome, Italy. The In-spired by Diabetes Creative Expression competition (inspiredbydiabetes.com) encourages peo-ple touched by diabetes to share their stories through visual and written creative expressions - such as essays, poems, art and photography. The program is a global collaboration between Eli Lilly and Company, the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) Unite for Diabetes initiative, and the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD).
"Education and awareness are powerful tools in the fight against diabetes," Anjali said in her accompanying narrative. "I have learned that diabetes is not a death sentence, and people can live a normal life."
The Global Inspired by Diabetes Creative Expression Competition starts its second round begin-ning October 1, 2009.
The competition builds on the IDF's 2007-08 World Diabetes Day theme dedicated to children and adolescents living with or at risk of diabetes worldwide. The spirit of the competition is to bring families and people with diabetes together to raise awareness of the global burden of diabe-tes -- and draw particular attention to people who do not have the resources they need to fight the disease.
By entering the competition, participants can make a difference for the lives of children with diabetes around the world.
In honor of the global grand prize winners, Lilly made donations to the IDF's Life for a Child Program in the amount of $5,000 for each winning category, which provides life-saving diabetes supplies to more than 1,000 children in 17 developing countries.
Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, President of the International Diabetes Federation Pro-fessor Dr. Martin Silink, who led the international panel of judges said: "Entries came in from all over the world with each one giving us a unique perspective on someone's very personal journey with diabetes. The judges were impressed and moved by the depth of personal experiences that people affected by diabetes were able to communicate through the artistic expressions we re-ceived."
The grand prize winners of the Inspired by Diabetes Creative Expression Competition represent four categories: Adult with Diabetes, Children (including children with diabetes or family or friend under age 18), Family Member or Friend (of someone with diabetes) and Health Care Pro-fessional (where eligible).
The 2007-08 Global Inspired by Diabetes grand prize winners are:
Child - Anjali Chandrashekar, India
Anjali's creation is a gameboard-like drawing containing pictures and phrases illustrating her experiences from watching her grandmother, other family and friends struggle with diabetes for years (e.g. 'EXERCISE,' 'DIET' or 'INSULIN'). "I do hope that my entry will help to improve the awareness of diabetes worldwide," said Anjali in her narrative. She says she chose to use the board as a representation that "one can always maximize his or her benefit by playing right."
Adult with Diabetes - Yoko Matsuno, Japan
Matsuno has had diabetes for 10 years, and in her narrative she describes the feelings she had when the disease was diagnosed. "I was sad every day," said Matsuno. But then she met her current diabetologist who encouraged her to reconcile with her disease. Now Ma-tsuno looks upon her life favorably and has resumed her old hobbies of playing piano and traveling. Her emotional reconciliation with diabetes can be seen in her entry, a flower painting of incredible color. "My heart takes on a form, and the echoing harmony be-comes a picture," says Matsuno. She calls her paintings "Dancing Flowers."
Health Care Professional - Theresa Garnero, USA
Despite not having diabetes herself, Garnero is no stranger to this condition. Garnero draws diabetes-focused cartoons for various medical publications and also serves as a clinical nurse manager at a major medical center in California. She believes humor is a necessary component when talking about diabetes, saying, "If you laugh, you learn." Her entry, an interactive game, asks children to pin a pancreas on a cartoon drawing of a pig. The pancreas is the body's organ that produces insulin to regulate blood sugar levels; in people with diabetes, the pancreas makes little or no insulin, often requiring insulin re-placement therapy. Garnero says the idea for the pig came from the fact that they were an early source of insulin for people with diabetes.
Family Member (Two Winners):
Mercedes Viñuela, Spain
Viñuela's daughter was diagnosed with diabetes in 1964 when she was 8 years old. At the time, it was a challenge for people with the disease to manage their glucose levels. "Espe-cially in the 1960s, having diabetes meant living a limited life, but it was also a great mo-tivator for self-improvement," Viñuela says. She started to write to express her feelings and thoughts about a number of events that marked her and her family's life. Her entry is a poem inspired by a very important day in the life of her daughter and all her loved ones. As a consequence of a diabetic nephropathy, her daughter entered in a dialysis program in September 1998. The night of January 6, 1999, she received a phone call offering the possibility of a kidney transplant. The operation was conducted the next day. Coinciden-tally, January 6 is 'Three Kings Day' in Spain, the day when children receive their Christmas presents. The kidney transplant was a very special gift for the whole family. By telling this story in her poem, Viñuela wanted to express hope and faith to everybody experiencing a similar situation and to all diabetes patients or patients with any other dis-ease or limitation.
Teresa Ollila, USA
Ollila is a mother of two and an avid photographer. Inspired by her son's diabetes diag-nosis at age 3, she took an interest in capturing the complexity of living with diabetes by photographing others with the condition in her community. Ollila's collection of photo-graphs, titled "Living with Diabetes," reveals the emotional impact of diabetes on peo-ple's lives. "I'm photographing how diabetes affects relationships and the feelings it pro-vokes to care for others," Ollila wrote in her corresponding narrative.
"The journeys traveled by people with diabetes are expressed each day in a variety of forms, and each is creative in its own way," said Carlos Paya, Vice President, Lilly Research Laborato-ries/Global Leader of the Diabetes and Endocrine Platform. "These individuals and the many others throughout the world have given us a brief glimpse into these experiences through their creative expressions. We hope these wonderful pieces of art not only highlight the inspirations of our winners and all those who entered, but also serves to raise awareness of diabetes and the ever-present challenge of the unmet needs of this disease around the world."
Thomas Danne, president of ISPAD, expressed his appreciation to all the entrants who submitted art into the 2007-08 Global Inspired by Diabetes Creative Expression Competition. "For those who took the time to enter this year's competition, thank you. In every piece of art, your creativ-ity, passion, and dedication was clearly visible. I speak on behalf of all of us involved with In-spired by Diabetes when I say we are truly humbled by your expressions."
To learn more about Inspired by Diabetes and how to enter the competition, please visit: www.inspiredbydiabetes.com.
About Inspired by Diabetes
Inspired by Diabetes is a global campaign asking people moved by the triumphs and challenges of those with diabetes and those who care for them to express their inspiration and share it with others around the world. The program is a collaboration between global champions Eli Lilly and Company, the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) Unite for Diabetes initiative, and the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes. In the U.S., the American Diabetes Association is the program's national advocate. For more information, visit www.inspiredbydiabetes.com
About Lilly Diabetes
For more than 85 years, Lilly has been a worldwide leader in pioneering industry-leading solu-tions to support people living with and treating diabetes. Lilly introduced the world's first com-mercial insulin in 1923, and remains at the forefront of medical and delivery device innovation to manage diabetes. Lilly is also committed to providing solutions beyond therapy -- practical tools, education and support programs to help overcome barriers to success along the diabetes journey. At Lilly, the journeys of each person living with or treating diabetes inspire ours.
About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of first-in-class and best-in-class pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own world-wide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers - through medicines and information - for some of the world's most urgent medical needs.
About Unite for Diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation
Unite for Diabetes is a global campaign committed to raising awareness of diabetes and celebrat-ing the United Nations' World Diabetes Day Resolution, which establishes the global agenda for the coming fight against the diabetes pandemic and designates 14 November as an official UN-observed World Diabetes Day beginning in 2007.
The Unite for Diabetes and World Diabetes Day campaigns are led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Founded in 1950, the International Diabetes Federation is the global advocate for the 250 million people with diabetes worldwide. It represents over 200 diabetes associations in more than 160 countries. Its mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure world-wide. The main aims of IDF are to: raise awareness of diabetes and its complications worldwide; promote diabetes education; influence and bring about change; act as global advocate for people with diabetes; promote and improve diabetes care; improve clinical care and access to medica-tion. The International Diabetes Federation is an NGO in official relations with the World Health Organization and an associated NGO with the United Nations Department of Public Information. The International Diabetes Federation leads the World Diabetes Day campaign. Additional in-formation is available at www.idf.org.
About the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD)
The International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) is a professional or-ganization whose aims are to promote clinical and basic science, education and advocacy in childhood and adolescent diabetes. The strength of ISPAD lies in the scientific and clinical ex-pertise in childhood and adolescent diabetes of its members.
ISPAD is the only international society focusing specifically on all types of childhood diabetes. All forms of diabetes treatment in childhood should be based upon scientific evidence or clinical consensus. Parents are urged to contact their doctor regarding any type of treatment to take part of the evidence for it. ISPAD and its member's partner with IDF and other regional and national societies to help improve care, psychosocial function and reduce the acute as well as chronic complications of diabetes in children and adolescents.