You can see the mountain in the distance when you are passing by, admire it from afar and take pictures with it. Or when the courage meets the ultimate challenge to climb mountain paths, with a backpack on your back and the desire to experience those things that only the mountain makes you feel and feel happy. It is the experience that 60 young people with diabetes have chosen over six years, in the eight editions of the DiaMount Challenge project, started in 2017 by the Association of Children and Young People with Diabetes (ASCOTID) Mureș and which this year was at the last edition. Young people tested the limits imposed by a chronic condition, managed their blood sugars by traversing mountain trails and showed society that heights can be conquered and living with diabetes.
The project was born from the desire to encourage young people, members of ASCOTID Mureș, to do new things, to overcome their limits. Then it expanded to the national level, bringing together young people from several areas of the country, whose blood sugar levels were monitored throughout the expedition, starting with the third edition, since there were no blood sugar sensors in the first two editions. Glucose sensors are modern systems that allow monitoring of blood glucose in real time, permanently, with alarms that warn of the increase or decrease of blood glucose. Thus, there is no fear that severe hypoglycemia could occur, secondary to intense physical effort.
“Each edition brought a new group of about 25 participants, a new route for climbing the mountains of Romania and a new sports activity like rafting, via ferata, or stand up paddling. This is because they do not have access to such activities and it was much more interesting in the group, but with an eye on the machines that indicate the blood glucose level and always in “competition” for good blood sugars! The participants call ASCOTID as a big family or their second family, with whom they have learned to manage their diabetes, participate in educational projects, enjoy and be part of the story written for over 16 years”, Rodica Molnar testified , founder and president of ASCOTID Mureș.
With diabetes at over 2,500 meters high
It started with mountain expeditions on easier routes, and later it moved to more and more difficult routes. One by one, the mountain paths from Ciucaș and Făgăraș mountains – Fereastra Mare – Vârful Cheria Bândei (2017), Piatra Craiului and Rarău – Giumalău (2018), Ceahlău (2019), Parâng (2020), Retezat (2021) were taken. , and this year the dream was to conquer Vârful Moldoveanu (2,544 meters) in the Făgăraș Mountains. It was the last redoubt conquered within the DiaMount Challenge project. And in this year’s edition, which took place between August 25-28, 25 young people participated, accompanied by doctors, rescuers and volunteers, as in every edition.
“This year I had the chance to participate in the last edition of the Diamount Challenge project, organized by ASCOTID Mureș. Thanks to the association and sponsors, in this edition we managed to conquer the highest peak in our country, the Moldoveanu peak. This project thus brought together a group of young people with diabetes whose goal was to prove that you can climb above the clouds with diabetes. Regardless of the difficulties encountered along the way, we all managed to conquer the “roof of Romania” and show the world that the will is stronger than any impediment. Being the second time I participate in this project, I was able to meet again with wonderful people, with whom I made friendships in the last edition, but I also met new people, people with whom I share some of the most beautiful memories. Thank you ASCOTID for this wonderful experience!”, said Rareș Marinescu, one of the participants.
The project was a real success and was completed without incident, with the young people being medically supervised.
“Theoretically, my role was that of a doctor but, to my relief and delight, I was more of an observer. The team members were young people with diabetes aged between 20 and 34, kind and helpful, consciously taking care of themselves and their colleagues. The tour lasted about 10 hours, during which they shared meals, made jokes and reflected on the fact that although they share a common condition, each of them has a different body and therefore their treatment it is individual and unique.
When we reached the top of Vârful Moldoveanu, it was as if a shroud was lifted from us, taking a chill, a chill, we sat down and rested, those who had higher blood sugar until then changed direction, s -they obeyed, and we started downhill with fresh strength”, said Dr. Korodi Melinda, diabetologist.
All beautiful things come to an end
The DiaMount project is unique in Romania and wanted to be a continuation of the Ascotid Trail Race project, a sports action started by ASCOTID Mureș with the aim of proving that sport means health.
“DiaMount Challenge was a beautiful story with brave young people, with life stories, with lifelong friends, with the satisfaction of the organizers that we remain trailblazers and inspiration for others in the history of Romanian diabetes. The young participants formed a united team, extremely well-welded over time, so in the end we can say that they learned to support each other, to help each other and, moreover, to know their bodies, their reactions to adrenaline, to knows how to react to different kinds of experiences than everyday ones.
Our guides, doctors, mountain rescuers and volunteers helped the group to prove that there are no impediments to wanting to live normally, to follow your dreams, not to give up challenges as this project was called the big challenge – with diabetes above the clouds”. concluded the president of ASCOTID Mureș and the manager of the DiaMount Challenge project.
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