Kids with Diabetes Need Mentors Like These

[twitter]The hardest part about going back to school is fitting in.

33 000 kids across Canada are back at school this fall with Type 1 diabetes. It makes them different. The rules for them in the classroom will be different. And when you’re different, it’s harder to fit in.

T1D kids have to constantly check their blood glucose, they might need snacks outside of snack time, they might need help injecting insulin and doing the math to see exactly how much they need. It can put a stress on schools who no longer have nurses, and teachers and staff who have classrooms of kids with allergies, autism, etc.

Different isn’t always easy. Which is why I support Team Diabetes and raise money to send kids to Camp Jean Nelson. It’s a place where, for a week, they are surrounded by kids with diabetes who ‘get’ their issues, understand their challenges, and make them feel ‘normal.’

In addition to peers, kids with diabetes also need mentors; people who have similar challenges and have risen above them to succeed. Bring in Max Domi. His story of living with Type 1 diabetes and making it to the NHL will be a key talking point as he visits every city in the league. When the Phoenix Coyotes come to town, reporters will write his story about living with diabetes, managing it, and how he doesn’t let a disease that can be very difficult to manage for an athlete, slow him down.

And that’s awesome.

Media messaging is so key in forming our personal biases.

When we see ads that show gay couples shopping at Ikea, we learn to think it’s okay. When we see dads as equal parents instead of do-nothing meatheads, we respect their role in the family.

When we see people with diabetes portrayed as powerful, athletic, and successful, we break down the Willy Wonka-esque stereotypes around the disease.

More than 3 Million Canadians have diabetes.[i] One in 3 Canadians will be affected by diabetes by 2020 and despite diabetes being omnipresent in our society, there are still misconceptions around the disease and how to properly manage it.[ii]

Almost half of Canadians don’t think diabetes is a difficult disease to manage.[ii]

Bayer Diabetes Care Canada’s Powered by Accuracy campaign showcases the extraordinary achievements of Canadians with diabetes, and how accuracy and determination enabled them to achieve great things.
  • The Powered by Accuracy campaign features three videos of high-profile Canadians with diabetes. For every video share, Bayer Diabetes Care Canada will donate $1 to diabetes research and advocacy with a fundraising goal of $30,000.
  • The funds raised will be distributed among three leading organizations –  JDRF, Connected in Motion, and Diabetes Hope Foundation.
  • Visit to learn more about the campaign and to enter the Powered by Accuracy contest to win great prizes.
I’ve got a contest too.

Max Domi signed hat and puckI need you to share the videos above. Share them all, share your favorite, just share them. I’ve got a signed Max Domi Team Canada hat and puck to give away to inspire someone with diabetes, or just to hang on your wall and add to your collection.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions: Residents of Canada with a Canadian mailing address are eligible. Void where prohibited. Prize has a value of $150, must be accepted as awarded. A random entry will be selected and notified via email provided. Prize will be mailed directly to winner by the client. Entries done via Twitter or Facebook accounts used only for contesting will be disqualified at judge’s discretion.

Disclosure: This branded content appears in exchange for a donation to Team Diabetes Canada.

[i] Diabetes: Canada at the tipping point Charting a New Path. Diabetes Foundation of Canada. Web. 16 July 2015; Diabetes. Canadian Diabetes Association. Web. 05 August 2015.

[ii] Bayer Canada Omnibus Survey Conducted by Vision Critical, July 2015. SURVEY METHODOLOGY – From July 6 to July 7, 2015 an online survey was conducted among 1,508 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

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