Diagnosed with T1D on Christmas Day. Shawn Shepheard shares his story at JDRF conference in Regina

IMG_0613   Imagine being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on Christmas Day. Can I get a refund on this not-so-sweet gift? That’s what happened to Shawn Shepheard. At that time he was 30 years old, engaged to be married. If you’re looking for inspiration on living well with diabetes, this is it. He recently shared his story and how he turned it all  around at the JDRF conference in Regina. Read the full story by The Star Phoenix here. Xo, J

Outrun Diabetes update: Montreal will welcome Sebastien Sasseville, cross-Canada run nearly 1/3 complete

Fun. Grounding. Too short.

Those are the words Sebastien Sasseville uses to describe what it’s like to be back home in Quebec.

He’s reuniting with friends, family and home-cookin’.

I asked him what it’s like to finally have meals made by mom.

“Filling. Like combo bolus filling.”

Sebastien began his run across the country in February, starting the journey in St. John’s Newfoundland. Two weeks ago he crossed the border into Quebec and this Sunday, he’s scheduled to be in Montreal.

MTL should mark 2,500km completed, that’s 1/3 of his trek. Roughly 200 people are expected to join the Outrun Diabetes frontman for a 5km run to celebrate the occasion. More info on the run below. 

Here are some Instagram photos of Sebastien’s time in Quebec. All photos courtesy of Outrun Diabetes.

And now…a random fact about Sebastien.

The latest from the video world…

Type 1 speaker and author Shawn Shepheard continues to do video updates with Sebastien. Here we find out why disco balls are given to each Fan of the Week.



Cute alert. 8-year-old type 1 diabetes superstar Anwar interviews Sebastien in French.


If you’re interested in joining Sebastien in Montreal, here are the details:

Distance: 5 km run

Location: Centennial Esplanade along the historic Lachine Canal

Time: Sunday May 11, 9:30 a.m.


Outrun Diabetes | Website | Twitter Facebook Instagram |

Sebastien Sasseville | Website | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn |

Shawn Shepheard | Website Twitter | Facebook |

Make sure to follow Patrick’s Instagram account too.

Read more.

Sebastien Sasseville runs home to Quebec celebrations, passes 2,000km mark

Just hold on we’re going home: Sebastien Sasseville nears Quebec

Sebastien Sasseville out of Nova Scotia and into New Brunswick

Sebastien Sasseville #MCM t-shirts hit the market, Outrun Diabetes fans go crazy

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

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

Sebastien Sasseville confesses before his run across Canada: I suck.



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Sebastien Sasseville #MCM t-shirts hit the market, Outrun Diabetes fans go crazy

#MCM? That’s the popular hashtag which stands for Man Crush Monday.

For those who don’t know, a trend every Monday on social media, especially Instagram, is to post a picture of a favourite guy celebrity, random stranger or boyfriend/husband.

Hashtag it #MCM and that means he’s your “Man crush Monday”.


This hashtag is all the rage and now, Canada’s own Sebastien Sasseville is “trending” as a #MCM.

*trending defined as myself and two of Sebastien’s friends, but just pretend it’s a lot of people k? 

He is, after all, RUNNING ACROSS Canada. The extreme athlete who lives with type 1 diabetes is calling his trek Outrun Diabetes. Goal: to inspire others and spread awareness about the disease. That’s hot right?

Since I’m following Sebastien’s progress and trying to give you guys timely updates (that’s my mission, to support t1d athletes in Canada!), people have been flooding my inbox with the most ridiculous questions.

Hi Jess,

OMG I can’t believe you got to talk to Sebastien! He’s so dreamy, even though he must smell so terrible at the end of his runs. I bet you get VIP access to everything Seb right? Are you going to interview him in person one day!? Can I come?! I won’t bother you and will stay out of the way.


Hey t1dactiveliving,

Can you get me Seb’s used shoes from his run? I’ll pay you. I’m serious.


Do I really need to go on here? And those were the two most tame comments I got.

Sebastien and I have a few friends in common and so together, we decided to take advantage of the craze and actually make some money. After all, we’re all type 1 diabetics and well we need to buy test strips.

Introducing the official Sebastien Sasseville #MCM shirt (click to enlarge and browse):

Watch the fashion show below


Sending lots of support and hopefully a few laughs to you Sebastien,

Shawn Shepheard, Anne Marie Hospod & Jessica

Disclaimer: This post is all in good fun. Please don’t take it seriously… unless you are offering me a lot of money for the shirt. If so, let’s talk. 

Read more

Sebastien Sasseville confesses before his run across Canada: I suck

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

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

Find more articles on Sebastien and Outrun Diabetes here.

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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?


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.



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:



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:


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.


Safe travels!


Animas Annual Type 1 Diabetes Update Event at Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto

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Attending the Annual Type 1 Diabetes Update last year marked many firsts.

It was the first…

  • diabetes-related event I attended outside of my own hospital
  • hang out with my very first type 1 diabetic friend
  • chance meeting members of Connected in Motion
  • face to face encounter with a pump
  • hearing other type 1’s speak about their experiences
  • time eating lunch with other t1d’s (all-round checking bg’s and giving insulin? yes please!)

I was nervous, terrified actually. But when the day came to an end, I walked away feeling more confident, excited about new friendships and armed with more information about how to live well with t1d.

What a difference a year makes.

Last year’s speaker Shawn Shepheard was a stranger. Now he’s a friend and was this year’s master of ceremonies.

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Connected in Motion was an organization I looked at from afar, not sure I’d have the guts to actually attend an event. Now I’ve completed my first half-marathon proudly wearing their logo as I crossed the finish line. I also attended my first d-meetup with them playing trampoline dodgeball.

At the end of the Annual Type One Diabetes Update last year, I won a raffle to CIM’s Slipstream in the City event. Slipstream in the City was my first t1d outing with my parents and friend, another big step.

CIM’s Jen Hanson took to the mic this year to speak about traveling with diabetes.

Read Jen’s tips about exploring the world with type 1 diabetes here. 

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Before, during break and after the presentations I looked around the exhibit room floor and saw many familiar faces. Thinking back to last year, it has been an amazing journey to now.


Getting out there and connecting with others has made a huge difference. For me, much of that started here.


You can access all the informative tweets about the event via Connected in Motion’s Storify (a collection of tweets and photos). I’ll have another blog post on triathlete Terrence Teixeira’s presentation about being an athlete with t1d later on.

Hitting the gym with Shawn Shepheard, author of the new book Life is Sweet

“Instead of our usual coffee meet-up, do you want to hit the gym instead?”

That was the question I asked Shawn Shepheard aka. Sugar Free Shawn earlier this month and as the photo above proves, he was game!

Shawn is a friend, international speaker, motivator and diabetes advocate. Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the launch of his new book, Life is Sweet.

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During the event a few of Shawn’s friends went up to speak, and I was so happy to hear stories about how he has motivated others to reach their fitness goals.

His book is a collection of life stories that range from funny to heartfelt.

Running his first marathon? It’s in there. This guy is a 3 time marathoner, 7 time half-marathoner and a 5km/10km race pro.

Fitness Q&A with Shawn Shepheard

What is your current workout routine?

I currently play hockey twice a week and hit the gym 3 or 4 times a week.

What have you found to be helpful when exercising and managing your bg levels?
It’s really important to test your blood before working out and adjust accordingly.  I also always have juice or Dex 4 with me.
What is your favourite way to workout?
Hockey, hockey, hockey 🙂
How do you stay motivated to keep up your fitness routine?
I know I always feel better on days that I am exercising.
Do you have any fitness goals? 
Although I am active, I am nowhere near where I want to be with my health right now.  I am committed to making better choices with diet and exercise everyday and have a goal of dropping 50 pounds over the next 6 months.

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Congrats Shawn on a successful book launch. You have quickly become such a great friend and supporter of mine. I’ve been very blessed to have met so many wonderful people along this journey, you being one of them.

Thanks for sharing your fitness story with us and see you at the gym!