National Youth Advocate
Meet Basma Abdellaoui, our 2014 National Youth Advocate.
Basma was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was three years old.
Basma has been actively involved with the American Diabetes Association since the age of five, when she first attended the Association's Camp Wana Kura, a camp for children with diabetes where she now works as a teen staff member. In addition to her dedication to care for and educate children with diabetes at camp, Basma continues to be actively involved with the Association through her local office and local events. As an avid advocate and fundraiser, she has shared her personal diabetes story and her passion to find a cure at many of the Association's signature events, including San Diego’s Tour de Cure® kickoff event, the Father of the Year Awards and Step Out®: Walk to Stop Diabetes®. As she says, "Since day one, my family, friends, doctors and the American Diabetes Association, have had such a huge influence on me."
In her role as the National Youth Advocate, Basma will continue to participate in important speaking engagements and advocacy efforts. She will travel the country to speak about the Association’s Safe at School campaign, helping to ensure that all children with diabetes are medically safe at school.
Basma, a junior at La Jolla High School, is the youngest member of the Camp Wana Kura planning committee, volunteering her time and expertise in planning the most successful diabetes camp possible. In addition to her extensive diabetes volunteer efforts, she is also involved with the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, participates in her school's American Red Cross club, and initiated her own club at school to raise awareness about cancer and how others can get involved to help in the cause.
She will travel and speak nationwide with an emphasis on the Association's Safe at School campaign advocating for students with diabetes to have the diabetes care required to create safe and equal opportunities to learn and participate in a total-school experience.
February 24, 2014
I hope you are all having a great week! I wanted to update you all on everything that's been happening so far - and its been quite a lot! I got the chance to go to Alexandria, Virginia and Washington D.C. for my first American Diabetes Association Office Orientation last month, where I got to learn about all the roles that I will be taking on for 2014, meet the inspiring people I will work closely with, and the events I'll be partaking in! Visiting Alexandria and D.C was such a thrilling adventure and I can't wait until I'm able to go back! But I'm definitley kept busy here in San Diego! I had an amazing speech opportunity on Saturday, February 15, at the South Coast Winery, Temecula, CA, for the American Diabetes Association Greater San Diego Area Annual Celebration Donor and Volunteer Recognition Event, and I just had another Camp committee meeting to plan for the upcoming summer 2014 camp year. I am so humbled that I get to do so much for the Association on so many levels, I really couldn't see myself taking so much pride and joy in doing anything else but helping others battle diabetes and find a cure.
Another great project that I am SO immensely proud to announce is the new ADA Vlog series that I have started with the Association! These Vlogs will get to show everyone at home and around the nation what I get to do first hand! I'll show you guys the trips I make, the events I go to, and I'll be able to talk to you about things that just suddenly come to mind. My first one is up on the Association's YouTube channel - go check it out just below this entry on this webpage!
Speaking about diabetes, Valentine's Day was a week ago! Now, while the first thing that comes to mind is chocolate boxes, heart shaped candy and lolly pops, we should keep in mind that we don't want to go too crazy so we don't make our blood sugar rise too high!
While this is just my first blog entry, make sure to keep checking back in for my updates, the ADA Vlogs, and all the work that we'll be able to accomplish with the help of the hard-working Association and the support we get from everyone of you! Together, hand in hand, we will be able to change the lives of those who live with diabetes!