Paula Chinchilla Ortega

Costa Rica

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1999.

Member of YLD since 2015 (YLD Mentor).

Living with diabetes has helped me to achieve a lot of dreams, get to know amazing people and places and the most important help and support other people. I was diagnosed at 4 and now I am 21; at that time the ones that were taking care of me were my parents. They always taught me to be very independent with my condition and I learned to take care of my body with diabetes since school years. I have tried to be positive in each stage of my life; adolescence was the most difficult one because I tried to hide diabetes from my classmates and teachers. But then I started to help my mother more with the association we have now for people with diabetes in my country and I found a purpose for my life. That purpose is to help others, being a role model not only in diabetes management but in the attitude towards it and show others that diabetes is not a sickness if you decide it, it’s only a lifestyle.

My project: its name is EDPD (education in diabetes by people with diabetes) and it is about visiting schools, high schools, workplaces and others where people want to learn about diabetes, prevention of type 2 and stop discrimination because of lack of knowledge about diabetes. I made a team with two more young people. We are in charge of the talks and posting information to our Facebook page. People that want us to visit their schools, high schools, work places or institutions can contact us through the FB page and our official email. The only requirement for being part of the team is to have diabetes and educating by example (have discipline with diabetes management) that is our slogan. I think I can make a difference because this is my passion and purpose and making projects, sharing ideas and participate in diabetes stuff makes me happy.

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Watch my interview at YLD 2017 Training Summit in Abu Dhabi here.