For a few weeks this spring, the CWD team had the honor and pleasure of working with the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative Fellowship Program. Through that program, we were able to connect with a Chilean advocate and graphic designer named Macarena Zapata, who is the creator and designer behind Dido. Check out our interview with Macarena and learn more about the Dido project!
CWD: Thanks for joining us for today’s interview, Macarena! Can you please introduce yourself to the CWD community, and tell us a little about yourself?
MACARENA ZAPATA: Hello everyone! Thank you for giving me the opportunity of being here. My name is Macarena Zapata, I am 27 years old, and I live in Santiago, Chile. I am a graphic designer and an entrepreneur co-founder of Dido. What I most like of design is that I am able to give people tools to solve their needs and the gratitude of being able to see that this helps them. For me, design is much more than aesthetics; it is a contribution to society, and I want to spread this knowledge in all the areas that I can to part of the change. In my free time, I love to do sports, take photographs, travel, and learn about the different cultures that make up the richness of our world.
CWD: What is your personal connection to diabetes? What made you want to be involved with the diabetes community?
MZ: My personal connection to diabetes is my grandmother. She is 92 years old, and she has type 2 diabetes. She is my best friend and when I was studying for my thesis degree, one of my motivations was to develop tools to support her. I could observe how difficult was to manage her diabetes at her 92 years. On my research I found information about type 1 diabetes and I felt the duty of doing something from my knowledge on design to help all those kids. I started assisting to hospitals and foundations related to diabetes and I realized this was a reality that not many people know about. My main motivation, regardless of the type of diabetes, is to raise awareness of the condition and promote habits starting at a young age and creating superheroes capable of managing their diabetes. Kids are the future, and they can teach good habits to future generations!
CWD: Who is Dido?
MZ: Dido is a friendly dog that has type 1 diabetes and give kids a playful way to remember to inject their insulin and to do so safely, empowering kids to become Superheroes. Dido has many personality traits (explorer, cook, scientific, athlete, artist) to empower all the kids.
Dido empowers children with diabetes to manage their health and avoid health crisis, gives them independence to do so on their own, and inspires good habits starting at a young age. With Dido, we’ve created a fun, child-friendly training and educational tool that supports children with type 1 diabetes to inject themselves in a responsible, simple, and friendly way, and to learn more about diabetes – from food to recreation – so they can better manage their diabetes and live a vibrant life.
CWD: What do kids – and families – like most about Dido?
MZ: They love the friendly way in which Dido approaches to type 1 diabetes and how they can learn in such a friendly way a condition that is so painful and sometimes come so suddenly. We aim to improve the well-being and quality of life of these children and their families. Also, Dido has multiple personalities (explorer, cook, scientific, athlete, artist) and kids can feel identified with each of them and empower themselves with their qualities.
CWD: How does Dido help provide support – and education – to families living with diabetes?
MZ: Dido offers an improvement for patient wellness, his family group and medical team through products and services that allow a proper and personalized induction for kids with diabetes and his family providing integral and timely information. A good habit generation in the kid that allows him a correct auto administration based on an educational kit.
We promote autonomy in the kids and provide wellness and security to their family circle creating “superheroes” capable of handle confidently his type 1 diabetes.
CWD: Who are the Superheroes on your website?
MZ: Superheroes that have been using Dido tools to empower themselves and learn more about their Diabetes. They are constantly giving peer support to their community. If you want to be a Superhero you can write us to: [email protected]
CWD: What tools and resources has your team developed to help kids with diabetes?
MZ: On our webpage you can find useful and friendly information when you are diagnosed with diabetes. Currently, we have an educational kit that helps to lose the fear to inject insulin and also a playful way to remember to inject their insulin and to do so safely.
CWD: What are your future plans for Dido and your team?
MZ: This year, we are launching a collaboration with Novo Nordisk to the release of our first tool. We hope on May-June, we will have them available in our webpage so you can have your own Dido and tattoos to practice at home. We want to provide globally support and also continue developing partnerships with the type 1 diabetes ecosystem like as health providers, organizations like as CWD, support teams (educators, nurses and medical team) to continue helping and adding value to children and their family group.
We are developing more tools to provide well-being and quality of life for all the kids with type 1 diabetes related to this new virtual era.
CWD: Where can CWD readers find out more about Dido, and about your projects?
MZ: You can find more information about us and subscribe to our news on www.didodm1.com, follow us on Instagram @didodm1 and write us to: [email protected] if you want to know more information we can provide you all the information in English. Also, we can tell you more about Dido and how to be part of our superheroes and have your own educational kit.
Thanks for joining us today, Macarena! We’re excited to see where Dido goes next!