Report from Italy 2004

Report from Italy 2004

If the measure of a trip is the depth of the river of tears shed upon parting, then CWD's Italy 2004 was an amazing success. Arriving in Milan on March 24, a group of IDYA teens from the United States, Canada, and Colombia and their families were the guests of Associazione per l'Aiuto ai Giovani Diabetici di Milano. They would like to thank Dr. Andrea Scaramuzza, a member of the CWD DTeam, for organizing this event and Progetto Diabete for his partnership. Dr. Scaramuzza wishes to thank Associazione per l'Aiuto ai Giovani Diabetici di Milano and Progetto Diabete for their partnership in organising this event. For eight days, our teens shared their experiences of living with diabetes, played soccer, enjoyed the wonder of Italian architecture, art, and music, and had the times of their lives.

We spent the first three days in Cremona, a city famous for the greatest violin-makers of all time, including Stradivari. There we toured the Duomo (cathedral) and tower (many climbing to the top), and art exhibition, and an evening of piano and violin music played by young people that was so breathtakingly beautiful that many in the audience were literally brought to tears. While staying in Cremona, we took a day-trip to Milan, where the teens practiced soccer and we had a chance to visit the magnificent Milan Duomo and do a little walking around. Jeff Hitchcock, Laura Billetdeaux, and Dr. Scaramuzza were guests on Radio 24, a news radio program covering all of Italy. We also were greeted by the Mayor of Milan, who formally welcomed our group to Italy.

On March 27, the group boarded two tour busses and drove to Montecatini, which hosted the international Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association Conference. There, Dr. Scaramuzza presented a paper on the use of Lantus in athletes with diabetes. Our group had a chance to visit Florence and practice soccer in preparation for the big game on March 29th.

The teens were grouped into a Red Team and a Blue Team for the big game. The Blue Team was all Italian. The Red Team included the CWD IDYA members and five top Italian teens. The game was played in a large stadium and we were blessed with perfect weather for sports -- cool, but not cold, and spots of clouds and sun. Each team played a great game, and at the end the score was 0-0. The Red Team won the penalty kick phase 4-2. Everyone was a winner, for the goal of promoting diabetes care and exercise -- as well as friendship between our teens and parents -- was the real reason for the visit.

Our trip to Rome for our final day was spectacular -- because of our motorcycle police escort into the city. Two of Rome's finest motorcycle officers met our tour buses about 30 km outside of Rome and escorted us at high speed into the center of the city. The officers stopped all traffic to allow our busses to speed through the busy streets of Rome. The bus drivers had the drive of their lives, and passengers gasped as we weaved through traffic on all sides of the streets. After a brief meeting with officials from the city of Rome, we toured some of the most famous sites of ancient Rome and regrouped for a cozy dinner at a local restaurant.

Our final night in Italy was spent at a Country Club -- which is actually a nice summer camp with cabins. Teens enjoyed their last evening together by staying up all night (some had the previous night too). Some had a very hard time saying good-bye to their new friends.

The trip was such an amazing success that we all agreed to make it an annual event. Next year, we hope to bring Dr. Scaramuzza and a group Italian families to the CWD Friends for Life annual conference at Disney World. Until then, ciao!

Many thanks to IDYA corporate sponsor, Novo Nordisk, for sponsoring the uniforms for this event. Our thanks also to Lloyd's Soccer Sports for providing assistance with uniforms, t-shirts, and coach's gear, and to iscine Laghetto e Plastecnica, which sponsored the uniforms and warmups.

Laura Billetdeaux and Dr. Andrea Scaramuzza

Jeff Hitchcock and Dr. Andrea Scaramuzza
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Italian and American Teens
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Blue Team
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Red Team
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Pictures Galleries

You can view many of the hundreds of pictures taken during the trip by following the links below. Some photos appear in multiple slide shows. Some of the photos are dark. All images are included to offer participants the best chance to get pictures that are important to them. Images in the picture galleries have been reduced in size for better web viewing. Full sized images are available by clicking on the individual images.

Short MPEG Movies

These are brief MPEG movies from our trip.

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Last Updated: Wed Nov 30 20:37:40 2005
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