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 Diabetes Association’s exercise & type 1 talk in Toronto


I am one lucky duck and I know it.

Exercise to me is heaven. The sweating, lungs burning, legs aching…I just love it.

Running, swimming, biking, dancing, yoga… I’ll take two of each!

When I head back to the change room after a great workout, I feel like a movie star who is slow motion walking as something big and bad explodes in the background.

But I understand there are those who don’t feel this way. To remind myself, I ask, “What if in order to stay healthy I had to watch medieval-themed movies for 30 minutes every day?”


And that’s what it might feel like for those who cringe at the idea of sweat session.


Exercise was the hot topic at the Canadian Diabetes Type 1 talk on Tuesday evening in Toronto.

Guest speaker Michael Jacoby is an accomplished t1d athlete and acts as the operations co-ordinator for Team Diabetes. He shared the group’s fundraising efforts for the Canadian Diabetes Association and gave the audience a whirlwind tour of all the races the group participates in around the world.


Athens, Bermuda, Prague, Reykjavik, Kauai, they are all on the list of places to travel and race for the 2014/2015 season.

Denial, acceptance and living right

Mark Kerwin provided tips on how to be successful with type 1 diabetes.

Read his suggestions and all my live tweeting from the event here

The marathoner, triathlete and Tough Mudder man admitted to being in complete denial of his disease. He confessed to the audience that he tried to starve himself (going from 190 pounds to 120), doing whatever he could to get rid of type 1 diabetes.

Acceptance was one of the keys for Mark moving forward and it is also the key to success when approaching exercise.

Say it with me?

This is how I feel about t1d and training:

I accept that it will take time and I must experiment with many different methods to find out what works for me.

I accept that no matter what I do, things may go wrong and I may not be able to perform my best.

I accept the highs and lows that sometimes come with training.

And most important of all,

I accept all the glory, pride, and feeling of awesome when I cross the finish line.

Up next

This event has inspired me to blog more about what to expect when exercising with t1d. Perhaps by educating and sharing experiences we can help others transition to an active lifestyle with more ease.

More like that action movie. Less like a medieval movie.


Team Diabetes | Website | Twitter | Facebook |

Canadian Diabetes Association | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | YouTube |

Mark Kerwin | Twitter | LinkedIn |

Michael Jacoby | Connected in Motion blog profile | LinkedIn |

Canadian Diabetes Association’s Stress, Depression and Type 1 Diabetes Talk

Hey, I know you!

Towards the end of Leah Drazek’s presentation on mental health and type 1 diabetes, I happened to spot someone I had met at the JDRF type 1 adult support group in November.

I don’t know about you, but when I see someone and know they are type 1 as well, I get this surge of excitement and happiness. My face changes. I smile. And I feel 100 times better. Does that feeling ever go away?

We updated each other on how we were doing with our diabetes management, what’s been happening since we last saw each other and offered words of support. It was short and sweet, and although I didn’t know it at the time, it was something I really needed.

It’s just like being in a room filled with other type 1’s out there. The room was packed at the ING Direct Cafe in downtown Toronto, and I saw people of all ages and cultures. It was the first time I saw such diversity. If you read my previous post titled What it’s like to be the only Chinese type 1 diabetic you know, I think you’d understand how much this meant to me.

And from the audience to the speaker, that feeling continued on. As Drazek went through her slides listing stats and symptoms of mental health and type 1 diabetes, I started giving myself internal head nods and inside saying, “Yes! I’ve felt that. Oh! I can relate completely. I’ve been there!”

My note highlights

  • People with type 1 diabetes are over 3x risk of developing depression
  • Risk factors for developing depression with type 1 diabetes: female, poverty, few social support, stressful event, longer duration of diabetes, poor glycemic control, presence long term complications, physical inactivity
  • Symptoms: sadness, lack of pleasure in almost all activities, significant weight loss/gain, sleeping longer than normal, loss of energy, agitation, impaired concentration
  • How to deal: use supports such as family/friends, counselors, family doctors
  • Drink more water, less coffee, listen to music, exercise, spend time with people you like, positive self talk, antidepressant/anxiety medications, drink more h20
  • Be open and honest with your diabetes health care provider, they can better guide and provide resources

My live tweets: Canadian Diabetes Association’s Stress, Depression and Type 1 diabetes

Drazek shared personal stories about having a panic attack, how family changes impacted her stress levels and even what her blood glucose levels were before and after a recent car accident.

What made the experience worthwhile was having a fellow type 1 diabetic speaking right in front of me, being vulnerable and sharing her life in a very raw and honest way.

I walked away with more confidence, feeling less alone, and after exchanging numbers with my support group buddy, possibly a new friend.



Canadian Diabetes Association

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Contact List

American Diabetes Association Depression Information