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The International Diabetes Youth Ambassador (IDYA) group of CWD received a very exciting invitation to travel to Italy in March! The group that is participating - 18 IDYAs and their parents - is planning to spend several days in Cremona and Milan with host families, then travel to Montecatini, which is the site of the 2004 International Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association conference. The IDYA teens have been invited to play a series of soccer matches with Italian IDYA teens, culminating in an international match during the DESA conference.

Dr. Andrea Scaramuzza, a member of the CWD DTeam, spearheaded this effort to bring the IDYAs from different countries together. He emphasizes the cultural sharing aspect of the gathering as much as the focus on exercise and soccer. Dr. Scaramuzza hosts frequent gatherings (camps) of teens in Italy, and he brings his expertise to our spring event! The IDYAs traveling to Italy come from the United States, Canada, and Colombia.

The following is a rough itinerary of our trip. We plan to post lots of photos as well as a day by day diary and comments from our teen and family participants after the trip. Follow along with us!

Many thanks to IDYA corporate sponsor, Novo Nordisk, for sponsoring the uniforms for this event. Our thanks also to Lloyd's Soccer Sports for providing assistance with uniforms, t-shirts, and coach's gear!


March 24, 2004
The IDYA group will arrive in Milan after an overnight flight. We will travel to Cremona, about an hour and a half away, and meet with our new Italian friends. We will spend the afternoon getting to know our host families and relaxing a bit. In the evening, we will have Welcome Party!

March 25, 2004
Today will be spent in Cremona, exploring this city which was founded as a Roman colony in 218 B.C. We will visit the monuments of Cremona, including the Duomo (Cathedral), Battistero, Loggia dei Militi, palazzo Comunale, Hall of Violins, and Piazza del Comune. We will also visit a violin maker shop, as Cremona is considered the city which gave birth to the greatest violin-makers of all time (Stradivari worked from Cremona). We'll all lunch together, then spend the afternoon at an art exhibit entitled "Pittori della realta" (Painters of the Reality). This is an exhibition that will be at the Metropolitan Museum of New York in May. It features paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio. After the exhibit, we will take some 'down time' to go shopping and perhaps find a cappuccino! That evening, the IDYAs will be received officially by the Mayor of Cremona. This will be followed by a classical concert of piano and violin played by Italian youngsters ages 7-15).

March 26, 2004
We will spend the day in Milan! In the morning, we will visit the most prominent monuments, including the cathedral and castle. We will lunch together, and then spend the afternoon playing soccer with a group from Milan. Also in the afternoon, Jeff Hitchcock, Laura Billetdeaux, and Dr. Scaramuzza will be guests on Radio 24, which is a news radio program covering all of Italy. We will then be formally welcomed by the Mayor of Milan and several other dignitaries. In the evening, we will travel back to Cremona, dine with our host families, and get to bed early!

March 27, 2004
Today, we will move by bus to Montecatini, which is the site of the international DESA conference. We will stop in Florence for a quick visit to some of the more famous monuments. After lunch, we will head to Montecatini, which is in Tuscany. Some of our teens will also participate in a relay race from Florence to Montecatini - this coincides with the opening of the DESA conference. That evening, we will attend the first session of the conference (which will be translated simultaneously in English), and we will have the opportunity to meet some famous athletes with diabetes.

March 28, 2004
This is a training day for our teens, with lots of opportunities to play soccer, swim, bicycle, play tennis… whatever piques your interest and helps your training! CWD will have Coach Jim Stroud and Athletic Trainer Rick Philbin on hand to help all of the teens work on their soccer skills and discuss how best to manage their diabetes during the rigorous sports activities!

March 29, 2004
In the morning, we will go sight-seeing in some very famous, historical areas of Tuscany, Siena and/or Pistoia. In the afternoon, we will play our official soccer match of the conference! Many thanks to Novo Nordisk for sponsoring our very cool team uniforms! In the evening, we will attend the official gala dinner of the conference, which will include a medieval show, as well as the Athlete of the Year award presentation sponsored by LifeScan and DESA.

March 30, 2004
We will attend Dr. Scaramuzza's conference session about diabetes and exercise in young people. Then we will head to Rome for a day of sight-seeing! We will spend the night in Rome

March 31, 2004
Our trip is over and we will have some extraordinary memories (and photos) to share with all of you! Stay tuned!

From CWD
Jeff Hitchcock
CWD Founder
Laura Billetdeaux
CWD Events Coordinator
Rick Philbin
Athletic Trainer, Animas Corp.
Jim Stroud
Coach of the US Team

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Last Updated: Friday January 07, 2005 16:54:50
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