Jun 20, 2017

Medtronic Foundation To Honor Patients Who 'Live On, Give On, Dream On'

Nominations are now open to recognize outstanding volunteers who have overcome health challenges with the help of medical technology.

Roberta Alves Silva of Belo Horizonte, Brazil was only 14 years old when doctors diagnosed her with type 1 diabetes. She spent years trying to understand and control her disease before using an insulin pump. Then she attended a camp for kids with diabetes and it transformed her life.

“Being a part of the Colonia Diabetes Weekend made me realize I could use the extra life I’ve been given through medical technology to reach children, teens and adults living with diabetes in Brazil and give them support to conquer their health,” said Silva, a 2016 Bakken Invitation Award honoree. “I now actively volunteer for the program and teach patients with diabetes the importance of managing the disease and sharing experiences to help others.” 

The Bakken Invitation Award, funded by the Medtronic Foundation, promotes access to healthcare by recognizing and connecting people who, with the help of medical technology, have overcome health challenges and are now making a difference in communities around the world (view video). Silva was one of 15 honorees in 2016 from eight countries (United States, Brazil, China, Italy, South Africa, Ukraine, Sweden and Spain) to receive the Bakken Invitation Award for her volunteer work. 

'I came back home with tools and inspiration to increase my impact and elevate my voice to continue to help others.'

Roberta Alves Silva

Applications Now Open through July 24, 2017

Each year, the Medtronic Foundation selects a new group of Bakken Invitation Award honorees and invites them to Hawaii (USA) for a unique experience where they acquire skills to: inspire and empower others to manage their own health condition; mobilize other patients to give on; and to learn how to use their voices to make a broader impact. Each honoree is also invited to select a charity of their choice to receive a grant from the Medtronic Foundation.

Since 2013, the Medtronic Foundation has recognized 47 Bakken Invitation Award honorees and given $940,000 USD to nonprofit organizations through the program. 

“The experience I had in Hawaii as a Bakken honoree was life changing,” said Silva. “I came back home with tools and inspiration to increase my impact and elevate my voice to continue to help others.”

The Medtronic Foundation created the Bakken Invitation Award to further the community-minded vision of Medtronic co-founder Earl Bakken, who has devoted his life to helping others.  Bakken has a pacemaker, insulin pump and several heart stents, all of which he says have given him ten years of “extra life” to sustain substantial community involvement. He regularly asks medical device recipients “What are you doing with your extra life?”

All applicants 14 years of age or older who are managing a chronic condition with eligible medical technology are welcome to apply, regardless of device manufacturer. Medical technology includes medical device therapies and surgical procedures. For a complete list of application requirements, visit liveongiveon.org to apply before July 24, 2017.