World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day, organized by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) is the most important diabetes awareness campaign worldwide. It is celebrated in more than a hundred countries each year on November 14th, in honour of Frederick Banting’s birthday who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea that led to the discovery of insulin.

2015 World Diabetes Day official website

2014 World Diabetes Day: Demystifing diabetes

During the month of November 2014, as part of World Diabetes Day 2014, the IDF invited the global population to mobilize and make healthy eating a focal point of diabetes awareness.

On November 14, 2014, The Diabetic Children’s Foundation was in the lobby of the Tour de la Bourse of Montreal in order to meet the public and to shed light on some common myths about diabetes. Hundreds of people were greeted onsite by nurses, by members of the Foundation staff and even by a stilt walker! Close to one hundred brave souls volunteered to take a blood glucose test. We look forward to seeing you again next year!

A word from Danielle Brien, Executive Director, Diabetic Children’s Foundation

November 14th, 2014

November 14 marks the birthday of Dr. Frederick G. Banting, a reminder of how much we owe this researcher and his colleagues, C. Best, J. Collip and J.J.R. Macleod, who despite the intellectual-property squabbles, budget constraints and red tape associated with scientific research, gave us INSULIN!

Their efforts have ensured the survival of our diabetic children and all people living with Type 1 diabetes since 1921.

Michael Bliss’s excellent book (1), supported by striking images, recounts the events that led to the discovery of something we may take for granted today: insulin. No one with Type 1 (insulin-dependent, juvenile) diabetes can survive without insulin.

Foremost in our thoughts are the parents, children, teens and adults diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  It is a day no one could ever forget: the date, the details, who said what, who did what and how.

“Our daughter was 20 months old when she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  I must have cried every morning over the next 200 days or so, until I finally realized how lucky we were – as parents – to be able to keep our daughter alive.  To have full access (unlike many people in the world, by the way) to this ‘medication’ that not only brought her out of a semi-coma, but would also allow her to grow up, learn, laugh, love and LIVE. “

Let’s face it, diabetes is a daily obstacle course. Depending on one’s income, on the day, on the stage of life, it is more or less difficult, tiresome or downright unbearable.  It is forever present, always demanding and relentless.  The illness of a child, a teen or any loved one is always hard to accept.  But we have the opportunity to act, to learn to control it as best we as can.  The dazzling breakthroughs in high technology have given us tools that would have been unthinkable twenty years ago.  Billions of dollars have been invested in research: hope has its reasons.

Today, between two injections or boluses, let us take moment and give thanks to this team of tenacious visionaries, without whom our children, our teens and all people with Type 1 diabetes would not be here to share their lives with us and amaze us with their resilience, accomplishments and discipline.

Danielle D. Brien

Executive Director 
of the Diabetic Children’s Foundation

(1) Michael Bliss, The Discovery of Insulin, University of Toronto Press, 1982 (reedited in 2007)