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Ulla Tang

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PhD Ulla Hellstrand Tang has a passion for saving feet. On the 29th of April 2017 she will climb on her bike and ride 2 000 kilometer through Sweden. “Check my feet” is the call for Bike4Diab.

We ask Ulla

Interview translated by Björn Ehlin.

Why do feet need to be examined?
- It is known that many people with diabetes aren’t getting their feet examined, and that can lead to feet problems not being detected and treatments are being delayed. Foot care, appropriate shoes and insoles, and early contact with competent healthcare professionals can save feet from ulcers and amputation.

Why a bicycle tour through Sweden?
- I have just finished my PhD dissertation about feet at Sahlgrenska Academy. In my research I have studied how feet are being examined and what types of shoes give good protection for foot injuries. During 35 years I have examined more than 500 000 toes in my profession as a certified prosthetist/orthotist and podiatrist. I have for a long time dreamt about a long bike ride. Now I will take a break from my work at Ortopedteknik at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and ride out in the country, spread knowledge, meet people and on site get a sense about the foot health in Sweden. During Bike4Diab there will be a survey focusing on if people with diabetes get the level of help they need with their feet.

What is the goal of Bike4Diab?
- All people with diabetes shall get foot examinations and get the help they need.

Why put a spotlight on feet?
- Feet and foot care have for a long time been shoved under a rug. Simple actions in the right time can save feet. Every time I meet a patient who has gotten a foot ulcer due to negligence in healthcare I’m saddened. With Bike4Diab I want to, in cooperation with the patient organizations, work towards everyone getting a thorough foot examination and the help thay need.