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'Inspired by Diabetes' U.S. National Contest Winners Reveal Unique Challenges but Common Resolve in the Face of Diabetes

INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As any 16-year-old can attest, high school can be filled with difficult challenges, both social and academic. Whether it's finding a date to the prom or filling out college applications, stress can be high and worries endless. But for 16-year-old sophomore and Gate City, Va., native Dalton Clark, a challenge beyond his imagination emerged in early 2008. Dalton was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and suddenly, typical high school hurdles paled in comparison.

Dalton is one of two U.S. national grand-prize winners of the Inspired by Diabetes Creative Expression Competition announced today by Lilly USA, LLC and the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The winners were honored at a celebration in June hosted by Lilly during the Association's 69th Annual Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

The Inspired by Diabetes Creative Expression competition ( encourages all people touched by diabetes to share their stories through visual and written creative expressions such as essays, poems, art and photography. Inspired by Diabetes is a global collaboration between Lilly, the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) Unite for Diabetes initiative, and the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD). The ADA serves as the Inspired by Diabetes national advocate in the U.S.

Dalton entered the contest in the "child category, written expression," and his personal account with diabetes offered compelling insight into the life of a teenager with the disease. For Dalton, diabetes has meant that he must pay more attention to his health and diet than most people his age. When asked to offer advice for the recently diagnosed, he said, "I would encourage them to learn as much as possible about their condition because with proper control, diabetes should not limit what you can accomplish."

Regardless of what Dalton does to manage his diabetes daily, he still sees himself as an average teenage boy who lifts weights, runs track, and, most significantly, is an honor student at Gate City High School.

This year's adult grand-prize winner has faced equally daunting challenges. Megan Rozek of Bend, Ore., tackled diabetes not as someone with the disease, but as the parent of 7-year-old Anya who was diagnosed in May 2007. As part of her entry into the "adult category, visual expression," Meg submitted a photograph of her daughter with her hand outstretched to the sky. Each finger was individually lettered to spell out the word "brave."

"When Anya was diagnosed, I kept telling her that she needed to be brave," said Rozek. "For a child, the hospital experience can be scary, but I told her that the finger pokes and shots wouldn't hurt after a while as long as she thought positively. I look at my daughter and I think that she is brave every day for facing this illness."

Today, with Meg's help, Anya has just completed the second grade, and her favorite activities include jumping rope and reading to her little brother.

Inspired by Diabetes builds on the theme of the IDF's World Diabetes Day 2007-08, dedicated to children and adolescents living with or at risk for diabetes worldwide. The spirit of the competition is to bring families and people with diabetes together to raise awareness of the global burden of diabetes, and draw particular attention to people who do not have the resources they need to fight the disease.

By entering the competition, participants have had a direct impact on the lives of children with diabetes around the world.

In honor of the participants from the U.S., Lilly made a $50,000 donation to the ADA for scholarships for low-income children to attend the ADA's diabetes camps and independent camps to which the ADA provides financial support. The ADA is the largest provider of diabetes camps in the world. In addition, for each entry into the global contest, Lilly is donating money to IDF's Life for a Child Program, which provides life-saving diabetes supplies to more than 1,000 children in 17 developing countries.

"It's exciting for the diabetes community to celebrate the winners of the Inspired by Diabetes competition," said George J. Huntley, CPA, Chairman of the ADA. "We recognize their spirit and perseverance in living with diabetes, and appreciate their willingness to share personal stories as well as the way diabetes inspires them to connect with others. Diabetes is not easy to live with, and we hope people continue to illustrate their unique journeys as a testimony to the united force with which people with diabetes can live, connect, and encourage others."

U.S. grand-prize winners will have their submissions entered into the global competition. Winners of the global contest will be announced this fall.

"The journeys taken by people with diabetes and their families -- including both the ups and downs -- have inspired us at Lilly for more than 85 years," said Matt Beebe, diabetes brand leader, Lilly USA, LLC. "We hope these creative expressions of living with diabetes, each a unique story, will not only inspire those affected by this condition but also help increase awareness of diabetes around the world."

About Inspired by Diabetes

Inspired by Diabetes is a global campaign asking people moved by the triumphs and challenges of those with diabetes and those who care for them to express their inspiration and share it with others around the world. The program is a collaboration between global champions Eli Lilly and Company, the International Diabetes Federation's (IDF) Unite for Diabetes initiative and the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes. In the U.S., the American Diabetes Association is the program's national advocate. For more information, visit

About Lilly Diabetes

For more than 85 years, Lilly has been a worldwide leader in pioneering industry-leading solutions to support people living with and treating diabetes. Lilly introduced the world's first commercial insulin in 1923, and remains at the forefront of medical and delivery device innovation to manage diabetes. Lilly is also committed to providing solutions beyond therapy -- practical tools, education and support programs to help overcome barriers to success along the diabetes journey. At Lilly, the journeys of each person living with or treating diabetes inspire ours. For more information, visit

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation, is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers - through medicines and information -- for some of the world's most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at

About Unite for Diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation

Unite for Diabetes is a global campaign committed to raising awareness of diabetes and celebrating the United Nations' World Diabetes Day Resolution, which establishes the global agenda for the coming fight against the diabetes pandemic and designates 14 November as an official UN-observed World Diabetes Day beginning in 2007.

The Unite for Diabetes and World Diabetes Day campaigns are led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Founded in 1950, the International Diabetes Federation is the global advocate for the 250 million people with diabetes worldwide. It represents over 200 diabetes associations in more than 160 countries. Its mission is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a cure worldwide. The main aims of IDF are to: raise awareness of diabetes and its complications worldwide; promote diabetes education; influence and bring about change; act as global advocate for people with diabetes; promote and improve diabetes care; improve clinical care and access to medication. 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 campaign.

Additional information is available at

About the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes

The International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) is a professional organization whose aims are to promote clinical and basic science, education and advocacy in childhood and adolescent diabetes. The strength of ISPAD lies in the scientific and clinical expertise in childhood and adolescent diabetes of its members.

ISPAD is the only international society focusing specifically on all types of childhood diabetes. All forms of diabetes treatment in childhood should be based upon scientific evidence or clinical consensus. Parents are urged to contact their doctor regarding any type of treatment to take part of the evidence for it. ISPAD and its members partner with IDF and other regional and national societies to help improve care, psychosocial function and reduce the acute as well as chronic complications of diabetes in children and adolescents.

For more information, please visit

About the American Diabetes Association

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight against the deadly consequences of diabetes and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, the ADA's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

SOURCE Inspired by Diabetes

SOURCE Inspired by Diabetes
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