One of the common issues encountered by diabetic children and youngsters is that the society does not really know much about type 1 diabetes. Most people meeting a type 1 diabetic child for the first time typically think that they cannot live a normal life, get married and have children like everyone else or carry on performing any sportive activity they may have taken up. What is more, some business owners and HR departments tend to be reluctant to employ type 1 diabetic youngsters. Because of all of these realities, some diabetic children cannot help but think that people will treat them differently after finding out about them being diabetic.
However, it is currently possible for diabetic children and youngsters to live a completely normal and successful life by receiving the appropriate treatment and do everything that their peers can by “Befriending Diabetes”. Basketballer Alper Saruhan and marathon runner Gürkan Açıkgöz are some of the successful diabetic athletes, to name a few. Alper Saruhan notes that diabetic children deserve the title of ‘survivor’ the most rather than the contestants on the television. He states that his life is an example that one can succeed as a diabetic athlete, underlining that diabetes is not an obstacle that prevents one from achieving their goals and all difficulties can be overcome by befriending diabetes.
To emphasize the fact that type 1 is not an obstacle for sportive activities and that type 1 diabetes patients can make a difference in their own lives by means of sports, the Turkish Basketball Federation’s Association of Coaches has been arranging show matches between famous basketballers and type 1 diabetic basketball players since 2017. Also since 2017, the Koç Sports Collective has been organizing the My Friend Diabetes Run in the Bağlarbaşı grove.