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02 October 2023

Movers & Shakers

Meet Davide Pilleri, youth advocate for diabetes from Italy

Davide PilleriAt 25, Davide Pilleri is a committed and active youth advocate for diabetes. From Italy, the young student in language mediation recalls how he started advocate for diabetes .

“My involvement in the diabetes community started a couple of years ago, when my doctor suggested that I become a member of an association. I decided to become a member of ANIAD, an association that promotes sports and physical activity for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.”

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 11, Davide says one of the reasons that pushed him to become a youth advocate is the belief that through communication, we can overcome all the cultural barriers that still characterize our world. “My passion for foreign languages has a lot to do with that. I’ve always been fascinated by different cultures and realities, and I like to know how people from other countries manage to live with their diabetes, see what’s different, give my advice when I can and see how people’s own experiences can make me grow as a person.”

The turning point for Davide came in July 2012 when he took part in the second edition of the IDF Europe Youth Leadership Camp in Rogla, Slovenia.  “The camp is definitely one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. I learned so much – and I think such camps are the best way to learn how to get involved in the diabetes cause and work as a team. I was impressed by the inspirational stories from other young people and athletes I met during the camp. Listening to their experience makes you realize that you too, you can contribute and make the world a better place for people with diabetes and everybody else.”

Back from Rogla, Davide was willing to get more involved into ANIAD’s work. He helped organize Diatletica in September 2013, an Athletics championship for people with diabetes which aims is to raise awareness of the importance and benefits of sports and physical activity. Then in November, Davide travelled to Brussels to take part in World Diabetes Day celebrations at the European Parliament.

This year, Davide will also be coming back to the Youth Leadership Camp, which he helped organize through ANIAD. “I’m really proud that our application to host the IDF Europe camp was successful and I’m honoured to be able to meet new young leaders in diabetes. I just want to share with them what I’ve learned from my own experience. Let them know how powerful our will can be. Encourage them to always work as a team, because this is what makes us strong.”

In September, Davide will be leaving for Spain, where he will spend 10 months studying at the University of Cordoba. “Though I will be far from home, I’ll try to keep in touch with ANIAD to see how I can help the association on its future projects. I also hope that I’ll meet people from the Spanish diabetes community. That would be a great way to share my experience with them and see how we can work together in the future.”


Photo: from left to right - Davide with IDF Europe President João Nabais during World Diabetes Day celebrations in Brussels on 14 November 2012.