woensdag 20 februari 2013

Nothing but a dream

A dream, that was all Margot had. 

Margot has experienced throughout her life that having diabetes can make things more complicated and definitely when people don't understand diabetes. By example at her teachers having to explain what diabetes is because they didn't realize how it could affect her behavior in class or just to parents of other children. Starting from a young age she took the lead herself, without the help of her parents, and explained to parents of her friends what to do in case of emergency. As a child it was sometimes confronting how people reacted upon her explanation. Some ran away out of fear but others took it with a smile and thanked her for the advice. 

Teachers were sometimes more difficult to reach. Luckily more Margot had teachers who helped her out as a princess but others were, slightly expressed, rude. Some of them didn't help her out when necessary or told her in class that it was nothing else but an excuse to grab some food. As a child it wasn't always easy but diabetes learned her at least one lesson: "The more people break you, the stronger you become".  

To solve the problem of ignorance she just wanted to ensure that there is enough education available. This way she designed Marjore. 

Even upon the decision to make a game, as a 15 year old, were people reacting. Some said that it was impossible to go in the business at that age and produce something. 
But as said before this only made her stronger.  

Throughout the year she ran a competition from Lions International, the Lions Young Ambassador Award and finally won the competition. This made the power to pursue her dream only stronger so she continued and turned back at those people who told that she was too young and showed them what she had accomplished that year. People were denying her success but she didn't care. 

Throughout the years she has had more than one negative reaction but most of all amazing words from people who supported her. Those people gave her the supported she needed to cross her limits. 

It has not only been a story of highs there were definitely also lows. With the right help she learned how to turn those into something else which was better. 

Day by day she realizes more that there will always be people around who are negative and want to break her down but the moment, she believes, you give up you'll only show them that they right so there was and never will be a reason to give up. 

Are you young and willing to make a difference for the project? Please send a mail to marjore.edu@gmail.com for more information on how you can make a difference. 

maandag 11 februari 2013


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A bit more about the founder

Margot has suffered from diabetes since the age of 2,5. In all these years she never dropped her shoulders, on the contrary, she always tried and still does through ups and downs to enjoy life.

Nevertheless at the age of 10 she was bullied because of her diabetes. Although she found this hard, it gave her that extra push not to give up on life. Even more, this again proved to her that there was a serious need to educate people about the disease.

When she was fifteen she had to make the transition from injections to a pump. Initially she found this a tough mountain to climb. She struggled with the idea but then, after about six months of living with the pump, a ray of sunlight came shining through again and she started to enjoy life once more.

This difficult time in her life helped her to realize that she needed to do something for and with diabetics. Thus, she took the negative and shaped it into a positive force, a reflection of her life's mottos: "Think positive, be positive" and "Diabetes is not an illness but a chance you just need to grab when the time is right". 

As early on as kindergarten, in a childlike way, Margot tried to teach the children of her elementary school about diabetes.

Later in secondary school she continued explaining to her fellow pupils and her teachers what diabetes is. 

In 2009 Margot took the initiative to send an e-mail to a number of politicians. A week later she received an answer from the cabinet of Wouter Beke who was eager to hear her story. Thus, having finished her exams on 4 December 2009 Margot travelled to Brussels. She had an enthusiastic meeting with Wouter Beke about diabetes and about what could be done to put the limelight on type 1 diabetes (juvenile type). A month later she also accompanied Stijn Deceukelier, head of the Flemish Diabetes Association, to the cabinet of Minister Jo Vandeurzen.

Since the end of April 2012. She is also part of the IDF(international diabetes federation) advisory committee(YLD’s EU). There she is responsible for networking and politics. She is blessed to work in a team of 5 people. It’s an international team with people from Denmark, Belgium & Germany. Besides that she’s also in the faculty of the international skiing camp. She is the youngest member but yet she made her name. Full of life and fond of working with people.

In the summer of 2012 She was a counselor at a camp from the organization named DYF(diabetes youth foundation) in Fresno. 

In 2012 she also became part of Icing Sugar. A project set up by Katarina Braune. A medical student from Germany and also Young Leader in Diabetes. Icing Sugar is a skiing camp for young adults with diabetes. 

Marjore: A dream to educate

Marjore®: A dream to educate

Setting up

Marjore® is an educational game invented by Margot Vanfleteren. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 2½ years old and was bullied as a child because of her diabetes.  She believes that the reason she was bullied was because her peers didn’t understand what diabetes was and its impact on her daily life. 

Type 1 diabetes has a major impact on the life of young patients.They are ussualy diagnosed on a young age and it's a truly life changing experience for the parents and the child. The medical staff can provide adequate information to the parents, explaining the implications to a child is another matter. To assure that a young patient is well adjusted to its environment, at home and at school, he and his playmates should be educated about the different aspects of the disease. Without understanding of their environment, 
isolation can become part of their daily struggle. 

Marjore®, adjusted education

Margot decided to tackle the issue from its roots and designed Marjore®, an educational board game for children to teach them about diabetes and  the practical day to day challenges for a child with diabetes. The game’s participants have to solve multiple-choice questions and in this way become aware about issues associated with diabetes. The questions are divided in 3 levels.  Level 1 is composed of general questions regarding diabetes such as “How many people have diabetes worldwide?”.  All questions and answers are reviewed by several educators and by the Flemish Diabetes Association. 

The game can be played with a small board, but the game package also includes carpet-style board which can be placed on the floor. On the carpet young participants can move around and act like their own pawn while playing the game, which adds an active element to the game.  The game can be used in schools, hospitals and any other center where education is provided.