Every July, the Children with Diabetes organization hosts their Friends for Life Conference in Orlando, Florida, which brings together children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes with their families. They are given the chance to connect, share their stories, and hear from experts in hopes they can find a positive outlook on the diagnosis.
Envoy First Officer Pietro Marsala was invited to speak to the 600-plus attendees about his experience living with the diagnosis. Pietro is a great example of perseverance and pursuing one’s dreams — he is the first type-1 diabetic to be certified by the FAA to fly commercially and carry a first-class medical certificate.
Pietro shared his journey of helping change FAA regulations around pilots taking insulin, therefore creating opportunities for future aviators who share his diagnosis.
“It wasn’t my goal to be the first,” Pietro said. “I just wanted a change in regulations so that kids growing up with diabetes today aren’t denied the opportunity to fly.”
The gift of hope
Pietro said his goal at the event was to inspire and reassure that, while type 1 diabetes can be scary, it doesn’t have to put limits on a child’s future.
“I want to give them hope that their lives aren’t limited to what they can do,” Pietro said.
Way to be an inspiration, Pietro!
Cover photo: First Officer Pietro Marsala poses for a photo with an aspiring pilot at the Children with Diabetes event. (Photo courtesy of Pietro Marsala)