Impossible becomes possible when we have the will. Twenty six young Indians with Type 1 diabetes (T1D) proved the adage right by conquering the Chandrakhani Pass at 13,000 feet.

The young trekkers from 16 cities across India, aged between 15 and 30 years, participated in the challenge to bring attention to Type 1 diabetes and bust myths around the disease.

Participating in ‘T1D Challenge 2018 – OneUp Trek’ organised by Sanofi India and Diabetes India, the participants completed the four-day trek that traverses through the high Himalayas in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.

Known for its spectacular views, the trek route goes through some dense forests, with moderate to steep ascends. It begins from Rumsu base camp and reaches Chandrakhani Pass through Naya Tapru.

The trekkers took with them a compact diabetes kit containing a glucometer, insulin and syringes or an insulin pen.

During the trek, they had to monitor their blood sugar at least seven times a day to make sure it was well controlled. All meals were planned in advance to ensure a balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat.

N Rajaram, Managing Director, Sanofi India said, “India accounts for most children with type 1 diabetes within South-East Asia and this number increases by 3-5 per cent every year. Sanofi India introduced the ‘OneUp Trek’ to empower children with type 1 diabetes and give them the opportunity to explore their potential in an encouraging and supportive environment.”

Dr. Banshi Saboo, Diabetologist and Executive Secretary, Diabetes India, said, “Coming from diverse backgrounds and different parts of the country, these 26 young trekkers united to establish one fact that ‘nothing is impossible’. This trek was also a demonstration of the fact that with the right kind of awareness, preparedness and motivation, people with Type 1 diabetes can pursue any challenge.”

Dr. S Sadikot, President, International Diabetes Foundation added, “While diabetes is a known disease, not much is spoken about Type 1 diabetes. Any physical activity for people with Type 1 diabetes would require careful planning and monitoring.”

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease where the beta cells in the pancreas produce little or no insulin which leads to high blood sugar levels. Although, the disease can occur at any age, it is often diagnosed in children, adolescents or young people.

This was Sanofi India’s second T1D Challenge. The first challenge was held in Maharashtra in 2017.