It may have been last week, but the message remains the same. The Half Century Diabetes Awards took place at St. Joseph’s hospital on the
9th. There were four recipients this year, honoured after living with diabetes for 50 years.
The annual award ceremony is now in its 13th year and it is a celebration of life and how the disease doesn’t have to hinder your lifestyle. The idea for the award ceremony came from Dr. Irene Hramiak who has worked with patients living with diabetes for over thirty years.
Dr. Hramiak says the awards are important for the people dealing with diabetes every day.
“These people show you can do anything you want in life even with diabetes. Except be a Snowbird (pilot). Don’t be a Snowbird.”
This year the hospital awarded Ann Imrie, Caroline Gibson, Dennis Miskie, and Ollie Wolanski.
The four were awarded a medal, a letter, a bronze sculpture, and a painting of Sir Fredrick Banting’s home. Banting was a London man largely credited for the invention of insulin. Hundreds of people attended his home last night in celebration of his birthday.
Anne Imire remembers the day she was diagnosed with diabetes.
“January 11th, 1966. I remember the date because it was the day when my life changed forever.”
Imrie has had to inject herself with insulin everyday since.
It wasn’t even a doctor who diagnosed her with diabetes- her uncle saw it first.
“My uncle had diabetes, and over the Christmas break that year he saw the signs. I didn’t go to the hospital right away but a couple weeks later I went in and two hours later I came out and sure enough, I had diabetes.”
Ann Imrie says there is a degree of genetics involved with diabetes in her family.
“My uncle had it, it skipped my mom, I have it, and now my daughter has it. I’m showing her the ropes on how to live with it.”
Imire says there is one thing she would tell new diabetics.
“Stay informed. Do your research, remain positive. It doesn’t have to define your life.”