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Cycling from Italy to Asia with Type 1 diabetes.


wo cyclists have set off

from Italy with the aim

of reaching Singapore in

a year-long adventure.

One of the riders, Chiara

Ricciardi, has Type 1 diabetes and needs

to ensure her insulin is maintained at the

right temperature during the course of

the trip. Chiara, an engineer, is travelling

with her partner Riccardo Rocchi, a

photographer and between them they

dreamed up the challenge of using pedal

power to get them from Cesena in Italy to

Singapore, 18,000km away in Asia.

They are taking all precautions for

safety. Ricciardi is supported on her

journey by diabetologists Paolo Di Bartolo

and Tosca Suprani, who will be additional

watchful eyes on this long undertaking.

They have planned a network that will

ensure they have a regular supply of

insulin and diabetic aid along the way.

For the relationship between exercise

and diabetes, they took the advice of

Marco Peruffo, a diabetic athlete who

climbed mountains over 8,000 metres

high without oxygen. Peruffo's long CV

of 'extreme experience with diabetes will

be in contact with the cyclists during the

trip. They say they will cycle eastwards

for more than 18,000km 'for a piece of

cake', because cake means celebration

yet is often off limits to poeple with

diabetes. Exercise is fundamental for

people suffering from diabetes type I,

since it significantly reduces daily insulin


Ricciardi was diagnosed with Type

1 diabetes in 2001 at the age of 11,

initially using multiple daily injections

before going on an insulin pump in 2007,

which she says made her life easier. She

combines her personal passion for artistic

gymnastics with carbohydrate counting,

helping her to live with what she calls a

'lazy pancreas'. Diabetes accompanied

her studies between Bologna, Lisbon and

Sydney until she obtained her degree.

Slow motion

The cycling couple will use pedal power

to navigate their way through numerous

countries over continents and aim to

complete an average 1,600km a month.

Pelican BioThermal's Credo

ProMed medical transport bag,

as seen left and right on the

back of the bike.


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