Chris and Michelle Delicata’s first-born Jack was only one year old when they discovered he had diabetes in 1999.
“Having your only child, at the time, being diagnosed with a long-term chronic condition like diabetes, leaves you devastated because you obviously don’t know what it will bring about, what his life will be,” explained Delicata, “From a parent’s perspective, I must admit that I did endure an initial stage of denial, and both Michelle and I asked the question ‘why us?’ But as time went by, we realised that this situation could happen to any parent and unless you accept it, the situation will not improve.”
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects more than 463 million adults worldwide – including an estimated 40,500 people in Malta aged 20 to 79 years.
Now 22 years old, Jack is studying law at University and he has no problem letting people know that he has diabetes.
“A lot of people have a stigma about diabetes, and they tend to hide the condition. I believe that by being open and by not feeling ashamed that your son has diabetes, it has helped Jack,” says Delicata, “It’s much better and more important to be honest with yourself and be transparent and say that you have diabetes… it’s not the end of the world after all.”
Chris J. Delicata is actively involved in advocating for the diabetes cause. He was a founding member of the European Coalition for Diabetes since 2009 and still serves as Chairman. In 2019 he was appointed as a trustee of the Alliance for European Diabetes Research. He is also Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Diabetes Global Network and a Trustee of the Foundation of European Nurses in Diabetes. He has been actively involved in the Maltese Diabetes Association since 2001 and is currently President of the association. He was involved in the International Diabetes Federation, including four years as President of the European Region and three years as Vice President of the global organisation.
In 2011, Delicata was awarded the CIVI Europaeo Praemium – European Citizens Prize by the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek in recognition of his work to further promote the diabetes cause in Europe.
World Diabetes Day
World Diabetes Day was created in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organisation in response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes.
It is marked every year on the 14th November, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.