Renza Scibilia

Renza is an OPEN team member from – European view – far, far away but nevertheless very easy to hear: In her charming way she gets to the heart of things and insists on clarifying and improving views on a life with type 1 diabetes. There is a lot more to say about her, but lets just hear it from herself:

Hi! I’m Renza and I’m from Melbourne Australia – miles away from pretty much everyone else in the OPEN Team. Nonetheless, I’m pleased to be part of it all – and not just because I get bragging rights when it comes to being exhausted with jet lag whenever we meet.

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in April 1998, and since 2001 have worked for diabetes organisations where I spend a lot of time banging on about the importance of including people with diabetes in each and every sort of activity that involves us – healthcare, diabetes activities and services, research, education. If it’s for us, include us in the planning of it. If I was the tattooing type, I’d have #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs boldly inked somewhere very obvious! Alas, I am not, so I just spend a lot of time saying and writing it to anyone and everyone who will listen or read about it.

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Mandy Wäldchen

And on we go with our OPEN team introduction series – with Mandy Wäldchen. She will tell us about her struggle with beta cells and about more prosperous events in her life.

Hi everyone,

my name is Mandy Wäldchen. I was born in Berlin but grew up in a rural area close to Lutherstadt Wittenberg. Having always been fascinated by the beauty of nature and interested in understanding the underlying mechanisms of life, I studied Biology (B.Sc.) at Leipzig University and subsequently continued my Master’s studies in Biochemistry with focus Biomedicine (M.Sc.).
During my studies, I performed a Research Traineeship at Stockholm University and fell in love with Scandinavia.
Because of my interest in diabetes research I worked with pancreatic alpha and beta-cells for my Master’s thesis. Unfortunately, experiments didn’t go well, since my beta-cell cultures always died during the experiments (because they had already been contaminated in the stock – as we found out… later). Accepting that I obviously have bad karma with beta-cells (my personal beta-cells died, too), I switched to a more technological approach in diabetes therapy and worked as a technical consultant for insulin pumps, glucose sensors and sensor-augmented pump therapy at Medtronic.

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Saskia Wolf

Hello everybody,

I am Saskia Wolf and as a communication and dissemination manager at OPEN. I grew up in a rural area of Lower Saxony in Germany. During school I spent one year as an exchange student in the eastern part of Washington State, USA, where I got my high school diploma. After finishing my school back in Germany, I studied law for six years, and after my first state exam, I continued with the legal clerkship where you switch between educational institutions – different courts and governmental authorities, lawyer and public prosecutor –  every three to six months. Meanwhile, my life had changed completely as I became a mother, and after I completed my education with the second state exam – with distinction, I had my second child. I then decided to stay at home and take care of my family.

Two years later, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. After dealing with the first shock, things went pretty well – at least during the first years which also were my first in Berlin. Once my beta cells stopped working altogether, things got more complicated. An insulin pump helped a lot, but hormones gave me an increasingly hard time. Even my – very good – doctor wasn’t able to help because the amount of insulin I needed varied from day to day and there was no regularity to be identified. I felt increasingly helpless with my diabetes management and finally slipped into a very depressive condition which made me hardly take care of my diabetes. This lasted a few years, but finally I managed to reach out for help – in a type 1 community.

Long story short, I became an early and very proud adopter of DIYAPS, looper (n=1)*64 since May 2016.

Read more Saskia Wolf