Our letter to Insulet, the manufacturer of Omnipod

Our recent survey found that over 95% of respondents wanted to have better access to the latest diabetes devices/models in HK. It is surprising to see that these mature technologies have been available in many markets around the world yet still not available here in HK.

The Omnipod, automated insulin delivery system, is one such technology, it was first FDA approved to the US market in 2005 and is now available in 24 countries. We can see Omnipod is life changing to people with diabetes in those 24 countries and we think there would an incredible change to people with diabetes in HK if it is available here. Therefore, we decided to write an open letter to Insulet, manufacturer of Omnipod about bringing the Omnipod to the HK market.

Our letter

Dear Sir / Madam,

We are writing to you from Youth Diabetes Action (YDA), a charitable organisation dedicated to supporting children and young people with diabetes and their families in Hong Kong (HK) since 2001.

On behalf of Type 1 diabetes patients in HK, we want to ask when the Omnipod product will be available in the HK market, and if there are no plans, would you consider providing access to it in HK. Diabetes is on the rise globally, and in HK about 10% of the population, that’s approximately 700,000 people, suffer from diabetes.

It is our mission that no child is held back because of their diabetes. We want to empower children to take control of their diabetes, and thereby creating a better feature for themselves. We believe the Omnipod will be life-changing for many who are dealing with this chronic disease, easing the burden of multiple daily insulin injections.  YDA have a wide network and experience in working with pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals. We recently launched a CGM programme in partnership with The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Medicine and the Association of Hong Kong Diabetes Nurses, with the aim of providing every young person with diabetes in HK with a CGM.

Many of our members have expressed their interest in the Omnipod product, we ask that you consider opening up the access and delivery to the HK market. We would like to have a discussion with the relevant department on how this product can be accessed in HK, and what, if anything, we can do to assist with the process.

Attached is our 20th Anniversary booklet for your reference. Should you require further information, or to further discuss, do not hesitate to contact us.

We shall be grateful to you for your kind consideration on our request and we look forward to your response.

Thank you!

Yours sincerely,

Jenny Chan
Senior Operation Manager

Shave with Love to support children with diabetes

We are very grateful to Ohio State University Alumni Club of Hong Kong(“OSUACHK”) and TWGHs Lee Ching Dee Memorial College Alumni Association (“LCDMCAA”) for organising the charity fundraising event “Shave with Love” in aid of YDA.

The event took place on 29 April in LCDMC 1/F Playground. There were seven participants who braved the head shaving, including a one-year old baby. They also took the opportunity to explain the meaning behind the event to people around them, helping to raise awareness of diabetes and funds to support children and their families with diabetes. Participants raised donations from their relatives and friends. HK$48,000 have been raised from this event.

Daniel and Elaine, the organisers of “Shave with Love”, are the parents of Madelaine, a YDA member. Being the caregivers of child with T1D, they understand the importance of financial and medical support for families. If you would like to show your support to children with T1D, please click the links below to donate to YDA. All donations will be used to support diabetes children and their families. No child held back because of diabetes!

New initiative launched to support and empower young people with diabetes

YDA is excited to be offering a new programme for young people with diabetes.

The YDA “Jockey Club Support for Young People with Diabetes” programme is a four-year initiative targeting people with diabetes between the ages of 2 and 30. Participants will receive Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM) and holistic care, including seminars and support group activities to help reduce stress, acquire updated knowledge on diabetes and gain peer support.

This initiative is funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and organised by Youth Diabetes Action (YDA), with project partners The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s (CUHK) Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine) and the Association of Hong Kong Diabetes Nurses (AHKDN) providing project evaluation and patient education, respectively.

The programme sets out to improve support and provide resources to empower patients and their families to better manage their diabetes. Additionally, the programme will help to raise awareness of diabetes, as well as study the cost-effectiveness of CGM usage in patients with diabetes.

The “Jockey Club Support for Young People with Diabetes” programme will include:

  • Access to two-year CGM supply – Hong Kong residents with diabetes aged from two to 30 will be eligible to apply. Any patients with diabetes aged below two or above 30 and facing financial or diabetes management difficulties, or is pregnant, will also be covered upon special approval on a case-by-case basis.
  • Diabetes education and support – Participants and their families will have exclusive access to regular workshops and seminars to expand their knowledge of diabetes and improve daily management.
  • Raise public awareness – The programme will provide regular educational talks on diabetes for the general public and in schools to raise awareness and improve understanding of diabetes.
  • Research study – Participants will take part in regular surveys for research purposes. All data gathered will help towards the analysis of how CGM use affects the glucose level and quality of life of patients. This will be led by the CU Medicine research team.

“This CGM programme is life-changing for young patients with diabetes, and the research study will have a profound impact on diabetes management,” said Fina Cheng, Chairperson of YDA.

“Diabetes is a complex progressive disease that increases the risk of renal and cardiovascular diseases. Through the ‘Jockey Club Support for Young People with Diabetes’ programme, our research team will collect and analyse data, including CGM usage and glucose levels, to develop more precise medical advice for young patients in the management of diabetes,” said Professor Ronald Ma, Head (Academic Affairs), Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at CU Medicine.        

For more information about the Jockey Club Support for Young People with Diabetes programme please contact:
Celia Liu – Email: ce******@yd*.hk  / Tel: 2544 3899
Wing Ki Lee –   Email: wk***@yd*.hk  / Tel: 2544 3833

Grand opening of the new YDA Lai Chi Kok Centre of Specialist Care

YDA opened a new member centre and it had its grand opening on last Saturday (15 April).

To celebrate this exciting milestone, YDA held an opening party. Many YDA Council Members, Honorary Medical Advisors, YDA members and different partners gathered to celebrate the establishment of the new centre.

Everyone had the opportunity to interact with one another, to further understand the services of YDA and the needs of YDA members.

The new centre will further extend the services that we already provide at our Centre of Excellence in To Kwa Wan.  This convenient new location will help to strengthen the connection between YDA and members. YDA can now offer more support to patients with diabetes and greatly improve lives.

You can now contact us at either of the two centres:

YDA Centre of Excellence
B17, 9/F, Block B, Merit Industrial Centre,
94 To Kwa Wan Road, Kowloon
(10 mins walk from MTR To Kwa Wan Exit D)
Email: su*****@yd*.hk
Tel: 2544 3263
Fax:  2544 3313

YDA Centre for Specialist Care
Unit 1607, Clifford Centre,
778-784 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon
(2 mins walk from MTR Lai Chi Kok Exit B1)
Email: su*******@yd*.hk
Tel: 2544 3828
Fax: 2544 3711

【Run for Diabetes】

Henry Wong, our senior YDA member, has more than 10 years of experience as a runner. He was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes nearly 20 years ago, but he continues to makes every effort to break through the barriers to challenge himself. Following from his success in completing the Hong Kong 100 Grand Slam challenge last year, he is going to take on two consecutive marathons in February this year, which is really challenging!

The two marathons are the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon (42.195km) on 12 February and HK100 Marathon (103km) on 18-19 February. Participating in two long-distance marathons within one week, requires a good, rigorous supply and blood glucose management, in addition to his daily hard work.

For people with Type 1 diabetes, blood glucose changes must also be taken into account as well as other emergencies during marathons. Since blood glucose usually fluctuates during prolonged and strenuous exercise, Henry needs to make regular stops to monitor his blood glucose readings, including doing finger-prick tests, and to replenish when necessary. For marathons, this can be regarded as a big disadvantage, but Henry still insists on participating because he firmly believes that diabetes is not an obstacle in his life.

This year, Henry will take part in two large-scale marathons within one week to raise funds for YDA. He wants to encourage all T1D patients, they can still break through themselves and live a wonderful life!

If you want to support Henry, please click here to donate to YDA. Please click “One-off Donation” box, and select “Run for Diabetes”. All donations will be used to support diabetes children and their families. No child held back because of diabetes!

Summer Movie Date with YDA

As we come to the end of the summer holidays, YDA members gather together for the movie, “DC League of Super-Pets”. We invited Nurse Iris Poon from Hong Kong Children’s Hospital to talk about points to note for a new school year, and how to prepare to get back to school.

Nurse Iris reminded our members, especially those who will be joining a new school, to communicate well with their new teachers and manage their diabetes together.

The movie was enjoyable and all the families had a great time!

Special thanks to YDA’s supporter William and family for volunteering at this event. The registration was very smooth, and they helped give out gift packs from YDA to our participants.

YDA SUN Day Camp 2022

YDA SUN Day Camp 2022 was successfully held on 7 August, 2022. It was a lovely sunny Sunday and we were very excited for the camp to be at Po Leung Kuk Jockey Club Pak Tam Chung Holiday Camp. Under the guidance of medical staff and volunteers, our members learnt how to monitor their blood glucose levels while doing sports.

Participants were divided into six groups, each group had medical professionals and volunteers supporting, so parents knew their children were in good hands. Volunteers were responsible for carrying hypo kits and first aid kits for the group. This allowed easy access for the children and medical volunteers at any time, meaning the children were able to concentrate on having fun.

Everyone checked their blood glucose level before joining their favourite activities. Some members and volunteers showed their talents on the archery range, while others joined activities such as cycling, children rope course, roller skating and rock climbing, there was something for everyone! Besides the different sports mentioned, we also had ball games. Some members teamed up with volunteers and competed in basketball and table tennis.

At lunchtime, YDA members accompanied each other to carrying out their finger-prick blood glucose test before enjoying their hotdogs and bananas.

YDA arranged an adventure-based learning session to further challenge members to try new activities. The first activity was a solo challenge – zipline. All the children enjoyed it so much, they wanted another go after their first flight, it was very exciting! Some children experience a spike in their blood glucose levels afterwards, which is normal. This was a valuable experience.

Next, we went to the swimming pool for our final adventure – raft building. Participants were divided into two big groups and had to co-operate to build a raft and paddle cross the pool. With the joint efforts of coaches, volunteers and children, we quickly managed to make two rafts, and made our way across the pool.

Before dismissal, medical staff reminded the children to check their blood glucose before bedtime and watch out for hypoglycaemia during night time. They also shared their observations on the children’s blood glucose monitoring during the course of the day, which was educational for both parents and children. Many children couldn’t stop talking about the camp afterwards; sharing all the fun details with their parents, and expressing their eagerness to enrol in the next camp!

Special thanks to

  • Goldman Sachs Community TeamWorks volunteers for encouraging the children to participate in the activities,
  • idsMED for sponsoring six blood glucose meters and supplies,
  • Novo Nordisk Hong Kong Limited for sponsoring our Day Camp.

We are so pleased the participants enjoyed the activity so much. We hope to be able to have more members join us at our next camp!

We went shrimp fishing for the first time!

Shrimp fishing was the perfect activity for a hot summer’s day. It allowed us to:

  • stay indoors in air-conditioning,
  • sit down and gather for some chit chat,
  • face some challenges but not too much,
  • eat something — but with few carbs.

The event was so popular that we received an overwhelming number of applications, and ended up hosting two sessions! We understood your enthusiasm; it had been such a long time since we last hosted an in-person group event. Lots of parents took this opportunity to mingle with each other, while the kids tried very hard to fish for their own afternoon snacks. They all enjoyed the afternoon and went home with a full belly of salt-baked shrimps and a gift bag from YDA.

Thank you for participating in this event, we hope to see you again at our next activities!

Carb Counting with Dietician

“Carb Counting with Dietician” is successfully held on June 25, 2022. Members and parents learnt carb counting in fun way.

We have invited dietician Kurtus to share with us some tips on carb counting. This activity is designed for newly diagnosed children and families to learn how to count carbohydrates in daily meals for better blood glucose management.

Once everyone arrived at the Centre of Excellence of YDA, and cleaned their hands, they all jumped into preparing lunch. There were four zones, responsible for making hotdogs, salad, pigs in the blankets, and roasted chicken.

We prepared infographics to showcase the nutrition facts of all ingredients, so that participants can calculate the amount of carbohydrates and nutrition in their lunch.

While participants are having their lunch, the dietician, Kurtus talked about basic knowledge of carb counting. The sharing was engaging and fun. He designed a mini-game where parents have to choose what they like to eat from a pile of game cards, and children will have to guess the carbohydrate servings in the food.

Parents also raised many questions, to which the dietician patiently answered. He debunked a lot of myths about G.I. value, and “low sugar” claims. We all learnt a lot from the sharing.

This time we have mainly western food, hopefully, we can introduce more food of other styles in the next carb-counting activity!