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. This has changed my life dramatically – to the best since diagnosis. I am very grateful to Dana Lewis and the other people from the DIY community who made this possible, and I intensively follow Dana´s wishes to “pay it forward” and “spread the word”. So in 2017, I founded and initialized meet-ups all over Germany in order to show people, who – just like me – don’t feel so technology-savvy, that it is, nevertheless, possible to build your own system, and in order to give them peer-to-peer support in case they need help with technological issues, and to give them an opportunity to get together and meet people who will understand better. As soon as I realized that the language of the documentations might be a bigger problem in the process of building one’s own system, I helped with translating into German and made someone found a German-speaking Facebook group. For spreading the word, I give talks to people with T1D, HCPs, industry and whomever might be interested, interviews to local TV channels, write articles about DIYAPS, teach certified diabetes instructors to-be – I try to inform everyone and to connect them all.
Since last summer, I am part of the OPEN team – as a communication and dissemination manager. I am very happy to have such wonderful colleagues and to intensify my work for the open source community by helping with the research about this topic.
After having stayed at home for so many years, I enjoy travelling and in my spare time, clear my head walking through the woods, spend time with my kids – which got rare as they don´t live at home anymore, read books, nothing sophisticated – mostly crime novels, meet my non-looping friends, close the loop with a crochet needle (e.g. hats) or I knit. But sometimes, when the world gets too rough for me, I just do nothing but watch love stories on TV with a hot cocoa in my hand. This brings back the energy to continue being a DIYAPS users´ advocate!