JDRF Ride for Diabetes Research: How Far Would You Go?

These fundraising events are a great excuse to get off early, push back the paperwork and all the while make your company look good. After all, fundraisers are fundraisers right?

Well no. Actually that’s complete bull. Maybe you don’t know much about type 1 diabetes or maybe you do. If you chose to participate in this year’s JDRF Ride for Diabetes Research in Canada I’m going to have to tell you that what you did in one afternoon created great potential.

It gives people like me hope. I see people who often don’t have any affiliation with the cause, listen with the ears open and understand and hear first hand what it’s like to live with this disease day in and out. You sweated and pedalled with hundreds of others. And in that process of moving each pedal forward, it has brought hope to so many like me.

After so many years, my doctor confirmed to me recently that I do, indeed have Type 1 diabetes (not any other kind, there are many!). And when I saw all the action that took place at the Metro Convention Centre, I got damn emotional.

It just goes to show that people have good in them. They want to help. Physical activity breeds power and positivity. Thank you to all who participated.

Recently I have been feeling so defeated. So tired. So mentally at the end of my rope. Being able to witness events like these gives me that push to keep going. To not give up. To remember that there are people out there who are willing to give their time (their most precious commodity) to help people they don’t even know.

It means so much to me that you rode your heart out.

XO,
J

Are you going to sign the Diabetes Charter for Canada?

What can a charter do for a nation?

The Canadian Diabetes Association‘s Diabetes Charter for Canada was unveiled on Monday. It also happened to be World Health Day.

Let’s face it. Charters aren’t exactly a fun read. And as I went line by line through it, I found myself doing eye rolls to the whole thing. Everything in this charter SHOULD be common sense.

I guess I’m a little sad that a document of this sort has to exist as a guideline at all, but it does.

Equality is not a given.

There are still acts of discrimination in our own backyard. Some Canadians struggle on a daily basis to get the care they need.

The Canadian Diabetes Association is inviting residents to sign the charter.

Get informed. Read more here.

 

 

 

Canadian competitive speed skater Mallory Zorman starts new blog about type 1 diabetes

The name of her new blog?

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Q&A with Calgary’s Mallory Zorman

 Motto: “Diabetics can reach a high level in sports despite having the disease.”

photo 1-1.PNGWhy blog? “I hope that I am able to reach out and help other diabetics. I hope they can see how I’ve led an active life and know that they can do the same. From the few blogs I’ve recently read (including yours) I’ve learned a lot and been inspired – which is saying something considering I’ve had diabetes for 12 years.” Thanks Mallory for the lovely compliment! 

photo 1What’s the hardest part of diabetes? “There is no break. I work hard at school for 5 days, then it’s the weekend and I can take a break. Diabetes isn’t like that. It’s a 24/7 job and some days I don’t feel like putting in the effort.”

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What has diabetes taught you? “T1d has taught me so much. If I had to choose one thing, I’d probably say that it has taught me so much about my body. I can estimate my blood sugar very accurately based on how I feel. I know what foods make me feel good (brown rice) and which make me feel really bad (cake), even if I do insulin accordingly.”

What have you learned on the ice that you take off the ice? “From the ice, I’ve learned discipline. This has also helped my approach to diabetes. Whether it’s listening to my coach, going to bed early or eating right, this is what is meant by discipline in sport. I’ve made sacrifices in order to become a better skater, but at the end of the day I don’t regret anything.”

Always on the move

Mallory is currently studying biological sciences at University of Calgary.

Recently she retired from competitive skating to focus on medical school. However, the 19-year-old will continue to lace up recreationally and coach.

This summer she is running her first half marathon and continues to enjoy road biking, hiking and inline skating. She’s active in every season and encourages others to do the same.

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Mallory has become involved with her local JDRF chapter and works for Medtronic on occasion attending infosiums and pump sessions.

Click on any of the photos and browse

Mallory Zorman’s Insulin on Ice blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Find out what she uses for diabetes management here.
Mallory, we look forward to your blogs. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Canada and the world.
J
All photos courtesy of Mallory Zorman

Sebastien Sasseville hits 1,000 km mark on run across Canada

It was a BIG weekend for Canada’s cross country runner (<- literally, across the country!).

Sebastien Sasseville is Outrun Diabetes. 180 back to back marathons. St. John’s to Vancouver. All in 9 months.

Diabetes should never hold you back, and he’s proving it.

On Friday he hit a major milestone.

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According to the Outrun Diabetes Instagram map tag, the 1,000km mark was hit in the rural community of Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia.

How far is 1,000km? Let’s put it into perspective

  • CN Tower, Toronto to Times Square, New York is around 760-800 km via I-81/I-90
  • Downtown Vancouver to Calgary, Alberta is around 970 km via Trans Canada Highway
  • Prince Albert, Saskatchewan to Winnipeg, Manitoba is around 890 km via Trans Canada Highway

All estimates are through Google Maps

Another fun way to look at it from my eyes. Running 1,000km is one of my 10-MONTH Nike Challenge goals.

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During the end of last week, Sebastien also wiped off 115 km in 3 days.

Lesson in partying: When there's hardly anyone there to celebrate, you just wear more decorations. Logistics man Patrick St-Martin & Sebastien.  (Photo courtesy of Outrun Diabetes)

Lesson in partying: When there’s hardly anyone there to celebrate, you just wear more decorations. Logistics man Patrick St-Martin & Sebastien.
(Photo courtesy of Outrun Diabetes)

Outrun Diabetes | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Youtube |

Let’s continue to cheer on Sebastien and every other athlete who is getting out there, giving it their all.

Jessica

Sebastien Sasseville on T1dactiveliving

Sebastien Sasseville confesses before his run across Canada: I suck

Outrun Diabetes update: crazy photos of Sebastien Sasseville’s run across Canada

Sebastien’s profile on T1dactiveliving under Canadian Type 1 resources

Outrun Diabetes update: Crazy photos of Sebastien Sasseville’s run across Canada

I now present to you the most ridiculous run-freeze-face I have ever seen. Can you beat it?

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Didn’t think so.

In case you don’t know, this is Sebastien Sasseville. Type 1 diabetic athlete. Currently running across the country to inspire Canadians no matter what challenges they face. This back to back 180 marathon run from coast to coast is called Outrun Diabetes.

I’m sorry Sebastien. I don’t know why, but when I look at your picture above, I just feel like I need to say, “I’m sorry”.

Doesn’t he look so incredibly annoyed at whoever is taking his photo?

If a large steak, glass of wine, and supermodels came along at the time of that photo, Sebastien’s face would have probably looked the same. It was COMPLETELY frozen.

“I was speaking like I had plastic surgery,” he told me via e-mail.

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All photos courtesy of Outrun Diabetes.

Click here for my interview with Sebastien right before the start of his cross-country journey.

Mother Nature has been incredibly cruel. In Newfoundland where he started, the weather hasn’t been that bad in over a decade.

The wind slowed him down. Terrible conditions have made what is already an unbelievable feat, that much more difficult.

This 40-second video is worth watching. It will also make you feel terribly guilty for complaining about the cold.

Check out Sebastien’s latest update:

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Congrats!

Visit Shawn Shepheard’s Diabetes Champion Network, providing regular updates on the run. Here’s the latest video interview:

Cheer on Sebastien, Canada! And make sure to connect:

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To all you winter runners out there, think of Sebastien’s frozen face as a response to your excuses.

Suck it up and get outside.

Now, in a complete act of cruelty, I will show Sebastien my running attire from Monday.

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Safe travels!

J

Terrence Teixeira: Canadian triathlete, adventure-seeker and all round type 1 super star

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Terrence’s adventures around the world. In no particular order. 

“Do you know Terrence Teixeira?”

I’ve had a handful of people ask me that question the past few months.

I understand why.

We both have a passion for fitness and were both diagnosed as adults within the last two years.

During the Animas Type 1 Diabetes Update at Mount Sinai Hospital this weekend, I finally met the double T (I just made that up. Do people already call him this? Verdict unknown on whether he will think that is funny or lame. Will update later.)

He was the last speaker of the day and had me in stitches.

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Terrence is one of those people that just make you feel happy. I didn’t spend much time chatting with him but I believe in that statement.

As he talked about his diagnosis, it became apparent that from the very start, he BELIEVED and knew diabetes wouldn’t stop him from anything he wanted to achieve.

He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world in 2012. And what did he do when he got to the top? Snap a shot of his bg’s of course! This pic makes me happy.

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Terrence shared with the crowd many sentiments that I also believe. Living with type 1 diabetes gives you mental focus. It makes you a better athlete because you’re more aware of your body.

“Diabetes doesn’t prevent you from doing anything.”

Here are 5 things the triathlete, marathoner and all-round athlete shared:

Master the transition. For those who don’t know, a triathlon is a race where you 1. swim 2. bike 3. run. The transition in between these activities is considered the fourth sport.

Terrence says diabetes is a bit of the same as that triathlon transition or fourth sport. Managing your diabetes is what you are doing in between (testing your bg’s, giving insulin, making adjustments) but incredibly important for you to reach your goal.

Knowledge is power. “In a race you need to know all the twists and turns.” Terrence told us he went on a pump just three weeks ago and is learning this new way of delivering insulin.

Become educated. Life with diabetes can’t be perfect but he says we can arm ourselves with more information to help us navigate through the race.

Expect the unexpected. Strive for excellence. Change your attitude. It’s all about how you approach things.

Teamwork. Gather support from those around you. Like me, Terrence points to Connected in Motion as part of his support team. Ask questions from others and help each other.

Setting priorities. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Set your own priorities. You choose what you want to do every day.

“Everyone has their own marathon to run.”

Thanks for sharing your story Terrence. Another example of a Canadian athlete smashing personal records and going for gold with type 1 diabetes.

Visit Terrence’s website here.

J

My first time pump shopping: Animas & OmniPod

Current insulin: 1U of Humalog for every 20gr of carbs (No Lantus) via pen

My endocrinologist said I won’t have much use for a pump right now because I’m not on any long-lasting insulin. However, I’ve been slowly trying to wrap my brain around the world of insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring devices (CGM’s).

It was a very overwhelming morning. I was in the hospital from 9-11:30 a.m. and by the time I got out, I was toast. I love my endocrinologist as well as my diabetes team, so I do count myself lucky, however sometimes the process is draining (another post soon on what happened at the endo yesterday).

So first thought: don’t cram a whole bunch of diabetes-related events into one day. I had my hospital visit all morning and then booked my pump meeting in the afternoon. Spread it out.

Background: I have researched pumps online for the past half year or so. If you’re interested in pumps, call/e-mail the various companies (even if you don’t feel you like a particular type of pump) and set up a meeting. Write down every question ahead of time. Ask for demo ones to try out. Then ask for more.

It’s a big commitment. For me in Ontario, it’s 5 years (through government funding). So I better choose wisely.

The companies I have and will set up meetings with here in Ontario are: OmniPod, Animas, Metronic &  Accuchek. Am I missing any?

In August I met a rep from OmniPod and yesterday, I met up with the folks at Animas.

I don’t know when the time will come when I will be eligible for a pump, but I’m pretty sure that I will probably get one to try it out either way. That being said I don’t take issue with the multiple injections. In 95% of instances, I inject with my pen in public without even thinking about it.

It took me a while to get to this point mind you, but now I am pretty comfortable with it.

So if that’s not a problem, why even think about a pump? Why have something attached to you?

I’m all about experimentation. I think when it comes to my diabetes care, I want to try out all the technology that’s available to me. If it gives me better control, I am all for it. I also really respect those who choose not to pump. To each their own! Whatever works for you and you are most comfortable I say.

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Here’s what I learned (and please feel free to correct me if I’ve got it wrong):

  • the pump slowly gives out insulin through the tubing (or pod) every few minutes (I thought it was every hour)
  • you can suspend the dosage at any time
  • pumps can calculate insulin stacking (measuring all the insulin in your body)

Thoughts on wireless vs. tubing: 

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The picture above is of the old Omnipod. Apparently the new ones are 30 per cent smaller. I asked for 10 demo pods after my meeting with Lucy in August. Since I’m highly active, I wanted to bang them up as much as possible. I took baths, I ran, swam, rode. They felt fine, but I have nothing to compare it to.

In my pump shopping venture I have learned the following and hope this helps you when you decide to pump shop:

  • learning about pumps can be overwhelming. Give yourself ample time. Start early. Yes, by the time you get a pump the technology may be different, but it’s best to start now and slowly build your knowledge base
  • don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions and follow up with reps with more questions after your meeting
  • demo demo demo
  • take reviews with a grain of salt. People are quick to complain and as we all know, being online is where people come to vent. Look at who is writing the review. Do they have any credibility?

Do you have any cool links about pumps in Canada or in general? I’m looking to build a resource page and if you see something good out there in the online universe, send it my way!

Jessica