Bringing Diabetes to Light: International Diabetes Federation Encouraging Citizens to Raise Awareness and Protect Future Generations

    - Theme for 2008 World Diabetes Day - November 14 - is "Diabetes in
    Children and Adolescents"

    BRUSSELS, Belgium, Sept. 24 /CNW/ - The International Diabetes Federation
announced today that it is calling on groups and individuals worldwide to get
involved in activities to raise awareness of diabetes in the 50 days leading
up to World Diabetes Day on November 14. The theme for this year's campaign is
"Diabetes in Children and Adolescents."
    Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases to affect children.
It can strike children of any age, even toddlers and babies. Every day more
than 200 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, requiring them to take
multiple daily insulin shots and monitor the glucose levels in their blood. It
is increasing at a rate of 3% each year among children and rising even faster
in pre-school children at a rate of 5% per year. Over 70,000 children a year
under the age of 15 get diabetes.
    If not detected early enough in a child, diabetes can be fatal or result
in serious brain damage. The obvious warning signs of increased urination,
increased thirst, weight loss and tiredness are at times completely overlooked
and the disease is misdiagnosed as the flu or not diagnosed at all.
    "Every parent, school teacher, school nurse, doctor and anyone involved
in the care of children should be familiar with the warning signs and alert to
the diabetes threat," said Dr Martin Silink, President of the International
Diabetes Federation. "Children who are not diagnosed or misdiagnosed can die
from DKA (diabetic coma). In the developing world insulin is not reaching many
children who need it and the children are dying. The International Diabetes
Federation is advocating that access to appropriate medication and care should
be a right for a child with diabetes and not a privilege."
    World Diabetes Day made a global splash last year, organizing the
lighting of several of the world's most recognizable monuments in blue. For
2008 the Federation is reaching out to the global community for their ideas on
how to raise awareness.
    "There are activities planned worldwide. We hope to have them all listed
on the World Diabetes Day website," said Campaign Director Phil Riley. "We're
encouraging people to join in with activities in their community and contact
us with their ideas."

    Some of the projects already underway include:

    -  A team of Silicon Valley professionals is racing the official World
       Diabetes Day race car - a 1969 VW Beetle - in the Baja 1000 in
       November. The team, Desert Dingo Racing, is conducting a drive-a-thon
       fundraiser for the Federation's "Life for a Child" program and working
       with the Federacion Mexicana de Diabetes to distribute educational
       material in Mexico during the race.

    -  In the Middle East, an Australian motorcycle enthusiast, Youcef
       Cummings, is piloting the World Diabetes Day motorcycle in World Cross
       Country Rally events in the region. Youcef is also conducting a
       ride-a-thon fundraiser for the Federation's "Life for a Child
       Program". Following a top-10 finish in the Rally of Tunisia in May,
       Youcef's next race will be the UAE Desert Challenge in Dubai on
       October 24-31.

    -  In Italy, Diabete Italia has partnered with current Italian League
       Champions, Inter Football Club to have children sketch the World
       Diabetes Day logo on the field during the matches on the Nov. 10 and
       16. The players plan to sign balls and t-shirts which will be

    "One of the most popular and visible projects is to identify a monument
in the community and arrange to have it lit blue," said Phil Riley. "We hope
that 500 monuments will be lit this year and are looking to promote these
projects worldwide."
    At this early stage more than 100 monuments are already confirmed
including the Pyramids (Giza) and the Sphinx in Egypt; the Hofburg in Austria;
Christ the Redeemer in Brazil; Tokyo Tower in Japan; Burj al Arab and Jumeirah
Emirates tower in the UAE; Manneken-Pis in Belgium and the Brandenburger Tor
in Germany.

    Supporting links:

    IDF logo:
    World Diabetes Day logo:

    International Diabetes Federation:
    World Diabetes Day:
    IDF Life for a Child program:

    World Diabetes Day Projects:
    Desert Dingo Racing:
    (Due to the length of this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste
    this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the
    space if one exists.)

    WDD Bike:

    Global Activities:

    All monuments in blue 2007 -
    Burj Al Arab lit in blue:
    Sydney Opera House:
    Niagara Falls:

    Individuals interested in proposing new projects or getting involved in
existing ones can contact the Kerrita McClaughlyn and the World Diabetes Day
team at or at +32-2-5385511. For more information, visit the WDD
website at

    Note to editors:

    The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organization
of over 200 member associations in more than 160 countries, advocating for the
more than 250 million people with diabetes, their families, and their
healthcare providers. Its mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and
a cure worldwide. 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 and Unite for Diabetes campaigns.
Additional information is available at

For further information:

For further information: Kerrita McClaughlyn, IDF Media Relations
Manager, office: +32-2-5431639, mobile: +32-487-530625, email:

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