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.
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 email@example.com