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Outliving a child is a parent’s worse nightmare. For 98-year-old Daljit Dhillon and his late wife, Pritam Kaur, it became a reality in 1997 when their son, Kam died at age 50 from diabetes-related complications. Diagnosed with type 1 in his twenties, Kam experienced various complications, including blindness, kidney failure, and a stroke, before his death.

Kam’s sister, Pj, says, “Diabetes took away so much. Kam had an incredible sense of humour, enjoyed golf and bowling but most importantly, he loved family time spent with his wife and two sons.

“Losing him at such an early age means that he missed out on seeing his sons get married and to revel in the joy of his grandchildren.”

Turning tragedy into an opportunity to share

Daljit understands the challenges of managing diabetes, not just as a parent but as someone who lives with the condition himself. He has type 2, as did his mother, who required insulin to manage her diabetes.

With 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, Daljit wanted to take bold action for future generations, and to make ending diabetes part of his family’s legacy. The Dhillons—Daljit, Pj, and son, Amarjit—decided to not only go public and share their story, but to match donations to Diabetes Canada.

“All gifts are big gifts when you give from the heart,” says Daljit.

The more people know about managing diabetes, the more lives can be saved. And with so many improvements made possible by research over the years, there truly is hope for a cure one day.

Diabetes Canada president and CEO, Laura Syron, who also lives with type 2 diabetes, agrees. “No one should suffer the pain of complications—or the devastating loss of a loved one because of diabetes. In memory of Kam, and the 20 Canadians we lose to diabetes-related complications every day, we can’t wait another 100 years to find a cure.”

Pj adds, “Kam was a beloved son. An amazing older brother. A caring father of two boys. And a wonderful uncle. Honouring his memory with our matching gift challenge means we can all make a bigger impact, together. Every gift adds up to fund more life-changing research.”

Did you know?

Your support makes research breakthroughs that can help End Diabetes and its complications possible. Donate before April 30, and your gift will be matched by the Dhillon family.

Author: Denise Barnard

Category Tags: Research, Impact Stories;

Region: National

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