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With school back in session (sorry kids!), you probably already have the new clothes, school supplies, and other things you need to get the year off to a great start.

If you live with diabetes, there’s something else that will help: support, and knowing that you’re not alone, even if you’re the only T1D kid in your school and no one else gets what it’s like to live with this condition.

To provide inspiration, we talked to a group of people who live with type 1 and who are defying the stigma of diabetes. They are loud and proud about living with T1D and took to the catwalk in Diabetes Canada’s first-ever Pump Couture Fashion Show fundraiser to show off their “stuff,” aka their diabetes devices.

“I started a type 1 program at my [elementary] school to bring awareness about the signs and symptoms of diabetes. Through the program, another student in my class was diagnosed. I also provide support for other kids recently diagnosed.”— Chloe Pow, diagnosed at four years old

“Going to Diabetes Canada D-Camps showed me that being imperfect is perfectly fine. At camp I met people who were not letting diabetes define them and celebrating the opportunities it brought them.”— Heather Choi, diagnosed at seven years old

“I make the choice every day to be a positive influence for my family, and never let diabetes dictate what I can and can’t do.” — Carmen Deacitis, diagnosed at 22 years old

“Camp showed me that I have power and great responsibility in being a Black woman with type 1 diabetes. I have a voice that needs to be heard.” — Jenika Myers-Jennings, diagnosed at two years old

“D-Camps showed me that I am not alone, which many T1D kids sometimes feel. Through camp, I realized how important physical activity is to my health and growth.”— Ryan Hooey, diagnosed at seven years old

“I am a proud T1Der, Ph.D. holder, and longtime dance enthusiast! I approach my diagnosis with type 1 diabetes as an opportunity rather than an obstacle. I aim to live a life leading by example.” — Deanna Paolantonio, diagnosed at 25 years old

“I have had more than 100,000 needles so far in my life! It’s important for kids to know that they are not ‘outsiders’ or burdens, and that they feel the sense of belonging that I felt at D-Camps.” — Emma Cloutier, diagnosed at 22 months old

“Type 1 diabetes doesn’t have to define who you are as long as you take care of your health.”Mark Woolley, diagnosed at 12 years old

Did you know?

Diabetes Canada is hosting its free virtual 2022 No Limits with T1D Virtual Conference this October. With 20+ expert speakers and an exhibitor tradeshow, you’ll get trusted information, and also have the chance to connect with others. Plus, enjoy a resource lounge, virtual games, prizes and more. And if you can’t attend, you can always watch on demand later. Register now!

Photo by Heather Hogan Photography.

Author: Denise Barnard

Category Tags: Healthy Living, Community Spotlight, Impact Stories, Camps;

Region: National

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