My name is Frans Luijendijk, founder of Diabelle. I studied physical therapy when I was diagnosed diabetes type 1 in 1985. Having an active lifestyle and following a medical education I never even considered diabetes being a problem for doing sports. I just kept on going, playing badminton tournaments, doing long cycling tours and every now and then big running events. Already in my second year as a diabetic in 1986 I ran half a marathon without having a single hypoglycemia. Just last year I participated in the mHealth Grand Tour as a member of Team BloodGlucose, an epic cycling tour from Brussels to Barcelona of 2,100 kilometers and 22,000 meters of climbing in only thirteen days.
Meeting up with other diabetics I noticed that it wasn’t that normal just moving on with sports and exercise. Many of them where afraid of being active and taking the risk of running into hypoglycemia. It was then that I realized this was caused by a lack of knowledge on how to deal with diabetes under these circumstances.
When I started working for an affiliate of Novo Nordisk as a marketing sales manager in 1990 all marketing and sales activities I organized had one basic ground rule: giving information to diabetics on how to cope with diabetes will help them to manage diabetes more easily. When you know better, you do better.
This ground rule was also the basis for establishing my own company in 1997. A publishing house dedicated to giving information about diabetes, not only to patients but also to nurses, doctors and dietitians. Next to scientific books and magazines the most important title was ‘Diabetes & Life’, a trendy lifestyle magazine for diabetics. Besides the magazines I also published a series of ‘FAQ books’ on topics like insulin pump therapy, diabetes and pregnancy, diabetes type 1 and diabetes type 2.
When iPad hit the market in 2010, I instantly saw the possibilities for digital publications and ways of starting a dialogue with ‘peers’ within an App. I then introduced the world’s first iPad magazine for people with diabetes in February 2011 and only 2 years later I am combining news and background articles within an App with social functionality to actually start a dialogue between diabetics. This new App brings you the latest news, blogs from all over the world, the best background articles and worldwide tweet chats on diabetes.
Maya Angelou’s line “when you know better, you do better”, is definitely something I am living by. Everyday I am putting all my energy in making information on how to deal with diabetes in real life, so that you can do better.