At the park, while swimming or in a business meeting, making a balloon hover in the air. It is the Blue Balloon, the protagonist and symbol of an awareness campaign sponsored by the patient associations AGD Italia, ANIAD, Diabete Forum, FAND and FDG and promoted by Medtronic on type 1 diabetes that affects about 300 thousand Italians and can arise already in childhood or during adolescence. The second phase of the campaign starts on April 8th, with the # T1DBALLOONCHALLENGE challenge. Objective: to remind everyone, but especially people with type 1 diabetes and their families, that a correct approach to managing the disease allows them to lead a normal and free life.
In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce insulin and it becomes necessary to inject it every day and for life. It typically occurs in childhood or adolescence, but it can also occur in adults. In Italy it occurs every year in 8.1 children out of 100,000 and it is a chronic condition from which one does not recover but can be controlled by respecting insulin therapy, following a healthy diet and engaging in physical activity.
The risk factors
People with type 1 diabetes, in addition to the aspects related to the practical management of the disease, are faced with a daily challenge against the stigma that affects them as people who live this chronic condition feeling guilt, shame, negative social judgment , stereotypes, exclusion, rejection and discrimination. “We know that genetic, immune and environmental factors contribute to the onset of type 1 diabetes,” he explains Emilio Augusto Benini, president of FAND. “There are people with a hereditary predisposition to develop the pathology with which today one can live with constant care and attention. For this reason it is essential that the Diabetes Teams are enabled to carry out a systemic and permanent therapeutic education aimed at the use of new drugs and new technologies, correct lifestyles, to allow the person with diabetes a correct self-control and self-monitoring of the glycemia which has a fundamental role in the management of the disease allowing to live a normal life in all respects “.
The impact on the quality of life
Although many advances have been made in the treatment of type 1 diabetes in the last 20 years, this disease still has an important impact on the habits and daily life of those affected. “The patient with diabetes, in particular the child / young person, must in fact continuously pay attention to changes in blood sugar levels and manage nutrition and physical activity in a controlled manner which, together with insulin therapy, constitute the fundamental pillars of care “, Highlights Gianni Lamenza, president of AGD Italia.
Today, the evolution of technology provides tools capable of continuously monitoring blood glucose and automating insulin administration, simplifying therapy management and significantly improving people’s quality of life. “For almost 40 years we have been dealing with type 1 diabetes by developing technologies that allow us to continuously control the glucose level and to better manage the automatic insulin infusion with increasingly automated technologies thanks to the use of Artificial Intelligence”, he explains. Luigi Morgese, Business Director of the Diabetes Division of Medtronic Italia. “Today, thanks to new technologies, it is possible to achieve an ambitious goal, the Time in Range (TIR), that is the time in which your blood sugar is in a normal range of about 80% but we aim for 100% to make this balloon fly away, ”adds Morgese.
The emotional campaign created shows scenes from everyday life: a mother stretching in bed while tapping a balloon with her feet; a family playing with their children in the park and friends talking to each other but always making the Blue Balloon spin. These are some of the scenes that make up the “Video Hero”, available in the section of the Medtronic website dedicated to in-depth information on the disease.
The key element of the campaign is a blue balloon, to be kept constantly in balance: an uninterrupted activity that can be influenced by many variables and situations that make it difficult to control just like type 1 diabetes. “For work we are in contact daily with people with insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes, ”Morgese explains. “With this campaign we want to create sensitivity on this chronic pathology, break down the stigma and prejudices rooted in the social. It is often thought that type 1 diabetes has to do with overeating and bad eating habits, but this is not the case and those who suffer from it must take insulin for life ”.
A video to identify with the patient
The video metaphorically represents the daily life of those affected by this pathology: in every action performed, the person with diabetes must always keep in mind the importance of managing their condition, which translates into the control of insulin and changes in blood levels. its values in your body. “We chose the analogy of the blue balloon to be kept suspended in the air – continues Morgese – because those who live with this pathology have a constant presence of the disease, so much so that they make at least 140 gestures a day related to the management of diabetes for life and this involves a burden not only on a practical level but also on an emotional level “. With the balloon game we want to ensure that the viewer identifies with those who, having type 1 diabetes, must constantly think about their condition even during the performance of daily activities.
A balloon to challenge type 1 diabetes. Blue Balloon Challenge
The Blue Balloon campaign is also animated by well-known personalities on the web and not only who have chosen to lend their voice to the campaign by re-sharing the “Video Hero” to raise awareness among their communities on the complexities of this pathology and on the importance of adequate support so that people in this condition can live a real life. Precisely with the involvement of the influencers, the second phase of the campaign starts on April 8, with the # T1DBALLOONCHALLENGE challenge: the influencers will try to hold up a balloon while carrying out daily activities and will be able to do so thanks to the filter created ad hoc for the campaign that will allow you to recover while a blue balloon floats across the screen. With the filter it will also be possible to stimulate content created by users to allow as many people as possible to participate in the challenge.