Diabetes continues to grow in Canada and affects over eleven million Canadians. According to research presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Berlin, diabetes may begin more than a decade before official diagnosis. Although individuals suffering from diabetes may find their initial diagnosis stressful, scary, and an unpleasant surprise, resources are available to help lead a successful and generally healthy life. DP World celebrates organizations that contribute to the health and wellbeing of communities living with diabetes in British Columbia and Canada.
Who Is Diabetes Canada?
Diabetes Canada is a national health charity representing close to 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes Canada leads the fight against diabetes by helping those affected by diabetes live healthy lives, preventing the onset and consequences of diabetes, and discovering a cure. It has a heritage of excellence and leadership, and its co-founder, Dr. Charles Best, along with Dr. Frederick Banting, is credited with the co-discovery of insulin.
Diabetes Canada is supported in its efforts by a community-based network of volunteers, employees, health care professionals, researchers, and partners. By providing education and services, advocating on behalf of people living with diabetes, supporting research, and translating research into practical applications, Diabetes Canada is delivering on its mission.
Diabetes Canada at Work in the Community
Because the organization spans across all territories, Diabetes Canadas has implemented programmes in each region based on the community’s unique needs. Some of the noteworthy programmes available in BC include the following:
- D-camps help children living with type 1 diabetes have a fun, educational experience with other diagnosed children. For a safe experience, the children have access to medical professionals during their camp stay. Diabetes Canada also assists children from lower-income families to attend the camp and provides options for family camps for family members and caregivers in similar positions.
- Since the establishment of the Charles H. Best Research Fund in 1975, Diabetes Canada has funded thousands of successful Canadian scientists, scholars and clinicians in their quest for new and innovative developments in the prevention, treatment and management of diabetes.
- Diabetes Canada hosts a webinar series designed to educate individuals living with or impacted by diabetes and their caretakers.
- A large South Asian and Chinese population exists in the Vancouver area and diabetes rates are exceptionally high within these cultural communities. Diabetes Canada created a specific programme to meet their needs. The organization’s 2nd South Asian Healthy Banquet will take place this October in Surrey. This education event will feature a buffet style dinner with healthy South Asian dishes. Between each course, health care professionals will provide education sessions on healthy eating and share how small changes can have a positive impact on health.
- Every five years Diabetes Canada updates evidence-based guidelines for physicians to refer to when caring for individuals with diabetes. Since 1975, the organization has donated more than $135 million to diabetes research. Thanks to fundraising events such as an annual gala, a golf trip, and healthy-eating banquet series, Diabetes Canada can apply money towards research.
- Diabetes Canada Expos are events that educate the public about the management of diabetes. They include a tradeshow component featuring the newest products and services in diabetes prevention and care. Expos also feature presentations and/or panel discussions about topics related to diabetes and may be targeted to specific communities.
As an advocate, Diabetes Canada actively influences Canadian policy to benefit diabetic communities. Its success has resulted in government coverage for medications beyond childhood age, and considering the high cost of diabetes medication, this is a huge win. And individuals who have been denied disability tax credit (DTC) can now claim it.
Diabetes Canada understands that, because of high costs of living, donating money can be challenging, but time donated by individuals and businesses is as valuable as monetary contributions. The Diabetes Canada lemonade stand programme, Put A Squeeze on Diabetes, which focuses on kids with type 1 diabetes, is a great way for companies and individuals to help. All funds go to kids’ camp programmes. Diabetes Canada also holds several fundraising events throughout the year, including the Midsummer’s Eve Gala on June 18 and the annual Hecla Mining Company John Bowles Memorial Golf Tournament on July 16.
For more options on how you can participate in the campaign to raise awareness and cure diabetes, check Diabetes Canada’s involvement page. To keep tabs on the impact surrounding diabetes awareness in the Canadian community, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.