Founder of DIAthlete, Gavin was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) in 2000 at the age of 8. After initially struggling to deal with the condition and reconciling it with engaging in sporting activities, Gavin is now an endurance runner, who has taken over 100 challenges across the world to fundraise and support various causes and charities linked to T1D.
The award was presented on World Diabetes Day by Marjatta Stenius-Kaukonen, former MEP for Finland, IDF Europe Chair, Prof Dr Sehnaz Karadeniz, and Mr Maurizio Guidi during the IDF Europe Symposium at the European Parliament.
Commenting on the award, Kyle Jacques Rose, an IDF Europe Board Member, stated: “Gavin has shown great persistence from an early age. His work via DiAthlete (and the League of DIAthelete Heroes) helps strengthen our global community and inspires many whether it be warming up on a football pitch, running multiple marathons, or carrying on events at local support groups/hospitals. We believe in what he has built and thank him for his commitment to our cause over the years.”
Maurizio Guidi, Lilly Diabetes Corporate Affairs, External Engagement Leader, added “Diabetes is a lifelong challenge. That’s why the needs of people with diabetes have continually been an inspiration for Lilly, since 1923, when we pioneered the production of the first insulin treatment. But we know that even with the best of medicines, managing diabetes and reaching individual treatment goals can be hard – understanding and taking the medicine shouldn’t be. We are proud of our long-lasting collaboration with IDF Europe and very honoured that IDF E and Lilly long-standing achievement award goes this year to Gavin for his remarkable contribution.”
In his address which concluded the IDF Europe Symposium, Gavin shared a very positive message on living with diabetes. “I am honoured and humbled to receive this IDF Europe Long-standing Achievement award. I have shared a journey of many highs & lows – often quite literally, as far as living with type 1 diabetes is concerned – and every experience has been one to reflect and learn from; diabetes doesn’t have to close your doors in life but open up a new part of you to grow into in your own time. What we need, as far as education, communication and medical access are concerned, is to connect a platform for us all to grow together.”
The IDF Europe Long-Standing Achievement Prize is supported by Lilly and Company