Diabetes came into my life like thunder from the sky. The thunder that would break somebody filled me with positive energy. It sounds strange to people when I say that for me this world has become more beautiful since that moment. Diabetes did close one door in my life but he opened many others, much bigger and nicer. The life behind those doors makes more sense and defines true values.
All these 23 years I have been trying to convey my volcanic energy to others. I have been trying to show that life with diabetes can be normal and that there should not be an obstacle to achieving dreams. 2007 I have started to run marathons to motivate other people with diabetes. I finished 34 marathons and 3 ultramarathons till today. I have devised the motto ”Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint ”with which I wanted to indicate to everyone ( both patients and doctors) that diabetes is a disease that you have to fight against every day, for your entire life. Many people forget it and we all know the consequences.
Prejudices are also a huge problem and people with diabetes have a lot of problems in everyday life, in society in general. It takes a lot of work to break these prejudices and to make society accept people with diabetes as any other people. I use the Internet because young people follow it and they are my target audience. The world depends on young people and they have to take care of their health. You must live the ideas that you present. I have shown that you can stay in the wilderness for days without having any problems with the maintenance of normal blood glucose levels. People appreciate honesty and it’s the only way to gain their trust. When they see that I can do it, they know they can too.
I have chosen running because it is one of the oldest sports and for me, it is the embodiment of freedom. To climb Mount Everest or to be a good tennis player, you need a lot of money, apart from the talent, and to run a marathon, you need only shoes, a great will, and a desire to do so. In the marathon, my goal is not the time-the only important thing is to finish it because it is a victory of health over diseases, it is the triumph of life. Every step I make is easier than the previous one. Every meter that I run makes a positive influence on my health and because of it, every part of my body feels strong and full of energy.
My daily life is very dynamic, and in the past, I couldn’t maintain good glycemic control. Therefore, in 2009 I switched to the insulin pump. Honestly, I was afraid that I would get used to living with this gadget. Day to day running, cycling, and hiking, especially through difficult terrains: I wondered if I still keep a normal life or a pump would limit me?
As I like to say-LIMITS EXIST ONLY IN OUR HEADS. A pump has become a part of me in a very easy and simple way and I feel that I have had it all my life. Together with it, I have gone through the worst and the best moments, I have run a lot of races and hiked many mountains and canyons. It allows me to make my dreams come true, to be a good father, a friend, a normal citizen of the world. My friend jokingly calls me a cyborg, which tells about how successful the symbiosis of man and machine is in me. Almost everyone who does not know me would say that I don´t have diabetes, with everyday procedures and physical activities I break a common stereotype of a chronic patient. They usually imagine a man who spends most of his time in hospital or bed and not someone who lives life to the full extent and at the same time serves as an example to healthy individuals how they should live.
What makes me happy is that with it diabetics are less seen as people with special needs and the level of discrimination in society is diminished. The treatment of diabetes is becoming better and more accessible. Many young people speak out about their problems, they have established various associations and clubs. Diabetes is not taboo anymore.
Internet helps us a lot, it doesn’t matter anymore where you live, which color your skin is, we have only one enemy-diabetes. And only united we can defeat him.
When I started with all this I told myself that if I only motivate one person to change their life, my mission will be successful. That number increased long ago. So I am happy now and for me, it is the biggest reward.