Ambassador Stories

Meet some of our Walk ambassadors; they have worked diligently to encourage Walk participants to raise much-needed funds for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. 

Samir - Age 14 (diagnosed age 8)  Image

Samir - Age 14 (diagnosed age 8)

“I will never forget the help I received from my community and JDRF when I was diagnosed with T1D in 2011 at the age of eight. Now I am not only an avid fundraiser, but also a JDRF youth ambassador.”

“I am a frequent JDRF spokesperson, and I have twice served as a delegate at the Kids for a Cure Lobby Day in Ottawa where I met with members of parliament and the media to share the daily challenges of living with T1D. I’ve also appeared on Breakfast Television, as well as on a promotional video to raise funds for JDRF. I am proud that I have raised $40,000 from my participation in the Walk. I enjoy participating in a variety of sports, and I am a firm believer in owning the disease and enjoying life to the fullest.”

Jessica - Age 30 (diagnosed age 18) Image

Jessica - Age 30 (diagnosed age 18)

“Currently, I’m a manager at a financial institution in Toronto, and I know first-hand the challenges of dealing with T1D in the workplace. I occasionally have situations where my blood sugar is low at work, which can happen at any time, including right before an important meeting. It’s not a feeling I relish.”

“If my blood sugar gets low enough, I feel like I’m not in control. My heart races, I can’t focus, and I might not be speaking properly.”

“Fortunately, my colleagues know about my T1D and are very helpful. I think it’s great that people in my workplace are supporting others like me with T1D. It’s a great cause.”

“I Walk for myself and for all of the other people who have type 1 – especially children.”

Kenadie - Age 11 (diagnosed age 7)  Image

Kenadie - Age 11 (diagnosed age 7)

“When I was first diagnosed - just before starting second grade - I was at the theatre with my Mom and had to go to the bathroom many times. My Mom has T1D and after using her blood glucose tester on me, it showed that I likely had the disease as well. I later went to the doctor and it was confirmed. I was scared at the beginning, but I felt better after my Mom and the doctors at the diabetes clinic taught me how to manage my diabetes.”

“T1D is hard to live with, but I would tell people with it to never give up. You have a difficult disease, but you can get through it if you take care of yourself each day.”

Aryssah - Age 26 (diagnosed age 19)  Image

Aryssah - Age 26 (diagnosed age 19)

“I was diagnosed with T1D when I was 19 years old. This was at the end of my first year of university. While most people are diagnosed as children, I was already an adult. I already had a set lifestyle, and things changed overnight. I had to keep an eye on what I was eating, think of my blood sugar levels prior to playing sports, and be careful when going out for food with friends.”

“Being in university, I had other stresses like studying for exams, so the addition of a new health concern was difficult. For those with T1D diagnosed at a young age, it is not until you become an adult that you understand the repercussions of not taking care of yourself. You need to start as early as you can after diagnosis. Take care of your health and make this a priority both for you and those you love.”

Olivia - Age 12 (diagnosed age 4)  Image

Olivia - Age 12 (diagnosed age 4)

“No matter what life throws at you, there is always a way to make the best of it.”

“Let yourself feel, because it’s healthy to share your feelings. When you’re discouraged, do something you enjoy, like listening to your favourite music, exercising or writing in a journal. Yes, there will be good days and there will be bad days, but you can get through them, especially with support.”