Daniela Rojas above at Dia Vida Diabetes Youth Camp, Costa Rica
It is my great honor and pleasure to know Daniela Rojas. Daniela was born and raised in Costa Rica, is a psychologist, has had type 1 diabetes since the age of 9 and is helping people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes develop greater emotional strength to manage their diabetes.
I wrote about a diabetes camp Daniela ran, the first of its kind anywhere, on LinkedIn. At this 3-day adventure camp she used my book, The ABCs of Loving Yourself with Diabetes, (the translated Spanish version) as a tool for 70 kids to share their feelings, fears, concerns that a life with type 1 diabetes brings.
Two weeks ago Daniela pioneered again a resource for helping people with type 2 diabetes manage their condition, again using my book. She designed and ran a workshop titled, “Diabetes as a character in your life.” She had 30 participants, men and women, think about the character that diabetes plays in their lives, and read an essay in my book that touched them relating it to how they can put that character in its proper place.
The inspirational essays in the book helped people to express their concerns and bond with one another, and themselves, taking back their lives, with confidence and hope, from the “character” to whom they had given it.
It’s funny to me that a young woman in Costa Rica is doing this important, essential work while it’s almost impossible to get any funding for the psycho-social aspect of diabetes or even have an institution that would allow interventions such as this for local people with diabetes.
Daniela is creating her own beautiful story. She is touching the lives of so many who are bereft of emotional support and knowing they will come through this. I’m only grateful I can play a small part.
One of the pages from The ABCs of Loving Yourself with Diabetes