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Budding Videographers Vividly Portray Life with Diabetes to Mark World Diabetes Day

Ridgefield, CT, November 10, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — Today ten people with diabetes from across the U.S. and as far as South America were honored for their moving portrayal of how this chronic condition impacts their everyday life through the Making Sense of Diabetes online video contest. A compilation of the winning videos premieres at to mark the importance of World Diabetes Day on November 14th. The contest was sponsored by the Diabetes Hands Foundation, a pioneering advocacy organization in social media, and made possible through support provided by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Making Sense of Diabetes encouraged people living with diabetes to visually reveal its impact on their lives through one of the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch or smell. The videos submitted took various approaches ranging from hopeful to dramatic, inspirational and funny.

One winning video about the sense of sight offered a view of how most people see a bowl of candy -- colorful and sweet. But when the filmmaker sees candy, he sees a pile of insulin syringes. Another videographer used the sense of smell to show how diabetes “stinks” because figuring out what to eat is like doing math problems. Other videos revealed feelings of frustration, anger, hope and triumph through the various senses.

“The creativity and reality captured through this video contest embody the spirit of World Diabetes Day,” said Manny Hernandez, president of the Diabetes Hands Foundation, who has been living with diabetes since 2002. “There are no better ambassadors to communicate the experience of living with diabetes and raise awareness of the condition than those living with it themselves."

The online diabetes community, including bloggers and those within social networks, was extremely enthusiastic about the contest. Video submissions were viewed thousands of times by people around the world, and many viewers posted comments in support of the videos and the people who made them. The resulting compilation video is intended to raise awareness about what it feels like to live every single day with diabetes.

“The online community is an important source of inspiration for anyone living with diabetes,” said Terry Keelan, one of the contest winners. “I’m glad to have had the opportunity to share my perspective and hope my videos will offer encouragement, hope and humor to others living with diabetes.”

Winners of the Making Sense of Diabetes contest were:

  • Dennis Adair, PA
  • Fabiana Couto, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Patricia Harmon, NJ
  • Scott Johnson, MN
  • Andrew Jones, CA
  • Terry Keelan, CA
  • Joseph Nielsen, TX
  • George Simmons, CA
  • Bill Woods, CT
  • Lorraine, CT

About Diabetes

Approximately 23.61 million Americans and 246 million people worldwide2 have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type, accounting for more than 90% of all diabetes cases in the developed world.3 Each year, more than 200,000 people in North America2 and more than 3.8 million people worldwide die from diabetes and its complications2 – a number which is expected to increase by more than 50 percent over the next decade.3 Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body either does not properly produce or use the hormone, insulin.2

About Boehringer Ingelheim and Diabetes

In June 2009, Boehringer Ingelheim announced its pipeline of oral antidiabetic compounds, establishing itself in the type 2 diabetes therapeutic area. The Company is investigating compounds in Phase II and Phase III clinical development worldwide.

About The Diabetes Hands Foundation

The Diabetes Hands Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to connecting people touched by diabetes (those with diabetes as well as their loved ones) and raising diabetes awareness.

The roots of DHF go back to 2006, when the idea of creating a social network for a higher purpose was born, later turning into®. (a sister community in Spanish) followed, along with the Foundation’s first diabetes awareness program, Word In Your Hand™, which was born within the community.® started in March 2007 and was launched in August 2007. With more than 16,000 combined members, both social networks have become top destinations for people searching for support and information about diabetes.

In March 2009, was started to showcase educational materials created by diabetes community members while serving as an outlet for creative expression and raising diabetes awareness. All of the awareness programs of the Diabetes Hands Foundation can be found on this web site.

For more information, please visit

About Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., based in Ridgefield, CT, is the largest U.S. subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation (Ridgefield, CT) and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 138 affiliates in 47 countries and approximately 41,300 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

In 2008, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of US $17 billion (11.6 billion euro) while spending approximately one-fifth of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development.

For more information, please visit

1Centers for Disease Control. 2007 National Diabetes Fact Sheet.

2International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes Atlas. 3rd edn. Brussels: International Diabetes Federation, 2006.

3World Health Organization. Fact Sheet No. 312: What is Diabetes? Available at: Accessed on: February 4, 2009.


Manny Hernandez
President, Chairman of the Board
Diabetes Hands Foundation
Phone: 650-283-4862
Ann Wainright
Public Affairs & Communications
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Phone: 203-791-6318