The Bakken Invitation Award recognizes outstanding contributions of service, volunteerism, and leadership. Each year, selected Honorees are invited to recommend a charity for a grant from Medtronic Foundation. They gather for four days in Hawaii and participate in capability building sessions in storytelling, social media, advocacy and human-centered design. The goal is to sharpen their individual skills and empower them to lead sustainable projects that drive change in communities worldwide.
Cicero, Illinois, United States
"CHOOSE HUMANITY. CHOOSE TO LOVE. CHOOSE TO UNDERSTAND ONE ANOTHER.”
When Karla was born, her mother, a single parent and survivor of gender-based violence, worked cleaning houses in the Chicago area, but spoke little English. Shortly after Karla’s birth, doctors operated to implant a shunt to treat a rare, serious, congenital heart defect.
Healing to Action
New York, United States
Type 1 diabetes
"DON’T JUST SURVIVE, THRIVE."
Jason Baker was becoming a doctor when he became the patient. While in medical school, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, a chronic condition requiring ongoing, reliable monitoring.
Type 1 diabetes
"NEVER EVER QUIT. BE A FIGHTER."
Mridula Kapil's parents did not dwell on her diabetes diagnosis, they helped her focus on what good might come of it. "They used to say, 'there is some purpose behind you having diabetes. God wants you to understand it thoroughly and then help others in need.'"
Diabetes Fighter's Trust
"IF YOU FEEL PASSIONATELY ENOUGH ABOUT SOMETHING, THEN CHANGE CAN AND WILL HAPPEN."
Five years ago, Claire Cahill’s three children, aged 4, 3, and 8 months, motivated her to recover from sudden cardiac arrest. Then her son, Darragh, went one step further.
Scoliosis Advocacy Network
New York, United States
"AS WE WORK TO CREATE LIGHT IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS, WE NATURALLY LIGHT OUR OWN WAY."
“There is nothing, not even my childhood dream of dance that I would ever trade for the life I’ve been able to live now.” Remarkable words from a woman diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy at age 17.
"DREAM BIG, FOCUS, OUTWORK YOURSELF, NEVER QUIT."
Ismael was looking forward to the birth of his first child when he started experiencing involuntary movements of his right hand. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a chronic, progressive disease of the central nervous system.
Fundacion Alberto Salame AC
"CONVERT YOUR SUFFERING INTO GOOD AND ACTING FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT ABLE TO COPE."
During her childhood, Magdalena Gajda rarely left home. She was afraid to speak and draw attention to herself because she already had too much unwanted attention — cruel taunts focused on her weight.
Havant, United Kingdom
"MY ILLNESS MAY DEFINE THE LENGTH OF MY LIFE, BUT IT WON’T DEFINE HOW I LIVE IT."
Lewis Hine knows firsthand the isolation, depression, and loneliness experienced by children with disabilities and chronic disease. He has epilepsy, a neurological disorder, characterized by seizures, fatigue, chronic leg and back pain, all of which necessitate round-the-clock support.
Binzhou City, China
"YOU CAN CLIMB TO THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN ONCE YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF."
Hui Li loves sports; for 30 years, he enjoyed football and was president of a football association in Binzhou City in China. Then, in 2009, he was diagnosed with coronary artery disease and was treated with three stents.
Bethune Charitable Foundation
São Paulo, Brazil
"YOU LIVE ONLY ONCE AND WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE MATTERS, WHEN YOU SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES AND KNOWLEDGE WITH OTHERS YOU REMAIN FOREVER. VOLUNTEERING GIVES YOU A PLACE IN THE WORLD THAT IS YOURS AND NOBODY ELSE, A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN BE THE KING OF THE WORLD."
Nathália Noschese found gratitude at an unexpected time — in the midst of chronic disease. At a young age, Nathália was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
ADJ Diabetes Brasil
Pretoria, South Africa
Type 1 Diabetes
"THAT BEAT IN YOUR CHEST, THAT MELODIC DRUM THAT PUMPS AND RINGS THROUGH YOUR BODY, THAT SLOW TANGO YOU FEEL BETWEEN YOUR LUNGS IS A REMINDER THAT YOU ARE STILL ALIVE AND STILL FILLED WITH SO MUCH LOVE AND POTENTIAL."
Austin Pinkerton quickly realized that physical challenges are only part of the challenge of living with chronic disease. “I was sent for brain scans and extra remedial lessons, I was sent to psychologists, and I was led to believe that I would always be less than my peers because of my diabetes … I had no friends for much of my schooling career because people thought my diabetes was contagious.”
Youth with Diabetes
"YOU LIVE ONLY ONCE AND WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE MATTERS."
Clarissa has no memory of life without diabetes. During her childhood in Uruguay, her diabetes was under control. But when she reached adolescence, she experienced more health issues.
Uruguayan Diabetes Association
Check out how these incredible individuals have used their extra lives with the help of medical technology.
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