November Is Diabetes Awareness Month – by C. Scott Holland

It’s one of the most prevalent diseases in all of Canada and yet one would hardly be aware of the seriousness of the disease.

November is deemed Diabetes Awareness month yet gets overshadowed by so many other fundraisers.

Things are so low-key that even this writer missed the fact that November 14 was World Diabetes Awareness Day.

Unknown to thousands of Canadians is that their lifestyles are putting them at a high risk to develop Type 2 (T2D) diabetes – or as it commonly referred to as “adult-onset” diabetes. Canada has the second-highest rates of Type 1 (T1D) diabetes among children (14 and under) in comparable companies according to the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and research has indicated that T1D is increasing dramatically.

It has doubled every 20 years and at its current rate, the prime age for developing the disease has dropped to where its peak is now between ages 1 to 5.

For the first time humanity this generation will live shorter lives than their parents.  It is estimated that by the year 2050, one out of every three Americans will have diabetes.

But just because a person has either type of the disease doesn’t mean that they can’t live meaningful, healthy lives. Forty years ago, a young man with T1D named Bobby Clarke made it to the NHL. What a breakthrough that was! Almost single-handedly he proved that with having the disease and by taking the proper care of oneself, a person could do anything.

Like Clarke, I know all too well. I was diagnosed with the disease at the age of five (some 55 years ago). Although I didn’t playing sports too much, I realized staying healthy would not be an easy quest. But having maintained a fairly healthy diet by eating as nutritionally as possible, exercising and keeping a proper weight, I have managed to curtail many of its devastating effects which have beset those with T1D later in life.

The eyes and kidneys are often affected by the disease and with good control the effects can be minimized. I recall a second cousin of mine who developed the disease about the same time as I did. He simply ignored taking care of himself and passed away far too young from kidney disease. Of course not everybody’s body is the same but by adhering to a healthy lifestyle there is no reason T1D diabetics or anyone with T2D can’t live a longer, healthier life.

Research to cure, or lessen the disease’s effects is ongoing as new devices and therapies are being created to transform the way in which people diagnosed with T1D live with the disease.

So as this November passes us by, why not take the time o consider your chances at getting the disease as an adult and help eradicate it in the children who are our future.

Athletes and Sports Figures that have Diabetes

Walt Arnold (former football player, K.C. Chiefs)
Walter Barnes (former football player, Phila. Eagles)
Doug Burns (Mr California ’97, subsequent Mr. Universe)
Bill Carlson (Ironman triathlete)
Bobby Clark (former hockey player, Phila Flyers)
Ty Cobb (former baseball player)
Mallory Code (women’s Pro Golfer)
Tony Conigliaro (former baseball player, Boston Red Sox)
Jay Cutler (quarterback, Denver Broncos)
James “Buster” Douglas (professional boxer)
Kenny Duckett (football player, Dallas Cowboys)
Mike Echols (Cornererback, Tennessee Titans)
Darren Eliot (former hockey player, L.A. Kings)
Pamela Fernandes (Olympic Gold Medal cyclist)
Missy Foy (Olympic Ultra Marathoner)
Curt Fraser (former hockey player, Minnesota Northstars)
Smokin’ Joe Frazier (former boxer)
Kris Freeman (Olympic Skier, silver medalist)
Rich Gedman (baseball player, Boston Red Sox)
Bill Gullickson (former pitcher, Houston Astros)
Gary Hall, Jr. (Olympic swimmer/gold medalist)
Tom Hallion (Major League Umpire)
Jonathan Hayes (former football player, K.C. Chiefs)
Vance Heffner (pro golfer)
Chuck Heidenrich (professional skier)
Catfish Hunter (Hall of Fame baseball player)
Jason Johnson (pitcher, Baltimore Orioles)
Zippora Karz (ballerina, New York City Ballet)
Billy Jean King (tennis legend)
Ted Kluszewski (former baseball player, Cincinnati Reds)
Ed Kranepool (former baseball player, NY Mets)
Kelli Kuehue (LPGA two-time champion, pumper)
Jay Leeuwenburg (Guard/Center in NFL)
Mark Lyle (professional golfer)
Gary Mabult (UK soccer champion)
Adian Marples (Ironman triathlete)
Michele McGann (LPGA)
Corbin Mills (bike racer)
Minni Minosa (former baseball player, Chicago White Sox)
Adam Morrison (pro basketball player, LA Lakers)
Calvin Muhammed (former football player, Washington Redskins)
Fred Patek (former baseball player, K.C. Royals)
Mike Pyle (former football player, Chicago Bears)
Steve Redgrave (Olympic rowing gold medalist)
Dan Reichert (pitcher, Kansas City Royals)
Ham Richardson (tennis player)
Jackie Robinson (former baseball star)
Sugar Ray Robinson (former boxer)
Ron Santo (former baseball star, Chicago Cubs)
Art Shell (former football player, Oakland Raiders)
Mike Sinclair (former NFL defensive end)
Bill Talbert (tennis star)
Michael Treacey (sky jumper)
Sherri Turner (pro golfer)
Jerry Udjur (former baseball player, Detroit Tigers)
Scott Verplank (pro golfer)
Jersey Joe Walcott (boxing)
Joanne Washam (pro golfer)
Wade Wilson (former NFL quarterback)

C. Scott Holland is an accomplished author, a former Western Jr. B Hockey League statistician and is recognized as the West Conference’s and GOJHL’s historian. A lifelong resident of Leamington Scott was a journalist for the now defunct Leamington Post for 26 years and currently writes for the Southpoint Sun. Among the books he has authored are: 75 Years: A History of the Leamington and Erie Shores Golf Course; A Century In The Making – History of Heinz Canada 1909-2009; Leamington Flyers 1992/93-2011/12 Platinum Anniversary Special Program; the Western Jr. B Record Book 2003/04 and 2005/06 editions; as well as updates of both the West Conference and GOJHL Record Books. He was been a member of he Leamington Jr. Flyers hockey club for the last 27 years and served many years as a board member, statistician, press box announcer, and scorekeeper among other duties. He has been named the West Conference Volunteer of Year and a Windsor-Essex Sportsperson of Year award. He resides in Leamington with his wife Susan.
He can be contacted at

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