My name is Andrada Sgaiba and I'm 14 years old. Three years ago I found out that I have insulin dependent diabetes. It was a shock both for me and my parents, but we didn't consider this fact a disaster. It's not easy to depend on four insulin injections daily and to be on a severe diet, but I got used to it.
At the beginning it was hard and sad: I gave all my dolls to a little girl, I cried and I felt very sorry for that. As the days went by, I found the support I needed in my mother. She was always by my side, day and night, so I decided not to give up.
I am in the seventh grade at an Art School in Craiova, Romania. In fact, I've been painting since I was four, but I didn't think that painting is important until I got ill. When I found out that I have diabetes I decided to put on paper, in shapes and colours, my feelings. In December 1998 I had my first exhibition, called Flying lesson. In December 1999, I had my second exhibition of icons on glass and wood, called Angels' tears.
My dissatisfactions, in fact the dissatisfactions of all the children that have diabetes in Romania, are mostly connected to the medical deed. Im my country, the medical deed suffers of many disorders. In Craiova, my hometown, even if it's one of the biggest cities in the country, there is not a pediatric diabetes section at the hospital, so there are not doctors specialised for this field. The children that have diabetes are attended by doctors specialised in adult diabetes. When I was hospitalized for the first tme at the diabetes and nutritional desorders section, I had a shock: in the same ward with me there were two elderly ladies that had diabetes with complications and I saw many things that I was not supposed to see at my age. Every month I have to go to the hospital to get my insulin - Humalog and Humulin N - and I must wait on the line together with the adults. Many times there is no insulin left so I have to come back another day. Another problem: I don't have enough tests for measuring the sugar level in my blood. Actually I should measure the sugar level in my blood four times a day, but the tests are far too expensive and I can't afford them - In Romania, social security is practically non-existent!
My greatest wish is to hawe a good health even if it's conditioned. I hope with all my heart that God will give inspiration to a researcher and diabetes will be no longer an incurable disease.
My whole life is turning around painting. I'd like to go to competitions, to show everybody that children with diabetes are worthing all the attention, that they are sensitive and gifted. Romania has been looking to the USA for decades, like a child that learns to walk and needs a helping hand. A Romanian child is dreaming that one day will cross the ocean together with her paintings and icons to give to other people a little beauty and kindness, together with her endless love.
Andrada receives e-mail at
Samples of her art work. Click to see a larger image.
Published April 9, 2000
Updated November 25, 2003
Last Updated: Sunday December 05, 2004 10:16:26
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