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Diabetes Awareness Month Kicks Off at Martensville Pharmasave

by Shanine Sealey

Photo Caption: Martensville Mayor Kent Muench purchases the first Blue Circle at the Martensville Pharmasave on November 1st with the help from Miriam (RIGHT) and Maggie (LEFT), both of whom are living with Type I Diabetes. 

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and with that comes the annual Blue Circle Campaign that will be taking place at Pharmasave locations throughout Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Western Ontario. The campaign kicked off at the Martensville Pharmasave on November 1st with the first blue circle being purchased by Martensville Mayor Kent Muench. Customers shopping at participating locations are offered the option to purchase a blue circle for $2, with all proceeds going to Diabetes Canada. “Raising awareness about an illness like diabetes is important and I really appreciate that the funds are going to families for support. Through awareness like this, it can help build support to live with this illness and hopefully find a cure,” Muench stated.

Jeff Grant, who was in attendance to kick-off the Blue Circle campaign on behalf of Pharmasave, explained that the Pharmasave locations look forward to getting involved in this fundraiser, adding that the Martensville location is one of the top fundraising stores.

Money raised from the Blue Circle campaign will go towards helping fund D-Camps for children with diabetes and their families. “Diabetes is a very expensive medical condition, so we try to keep our registration fees as low as possible and we do that through the generous corporate support of the business community. We are so thankful that Pharmasave realizes just how vital this campaign is,” Faith Rowland, Account Manager & Community Development for Diabetes Canada stated.

D-Camps, which are operated by Diabetes Canada, consist of a typical summer camp setting with activities such as canoeing, swimming, archery and more, but also the opportunity to learn independence and skills to effectively manage their diabetes. “Those that attend can take part in all of the traditional fun things at regular camps but what makes it different is that all of the children have Type I diabetes and the majority of counselors have diabetes. The camp is also attended by a full medical team so parents can rest assured that their child’s medical needs are being met,” said Rowland. D-Camps are held at Camp Quest located at Christopher Lake and can accommodate 80 children each year at summer camp and 17 families at Family Camp.

Part of Diabetes Awareness month is to help educate people with information about the disease.  Although many people are familiar with the term diabetes, they are not familiar with everything that goes on behind the scenes of those living with diabetes. Erin Kluthe is far too familiar with the struggles that come with diabetes. Kluthe, who is a mother to four children, has two daughters; Miriam (11) and Maggie (7) that have both been diagnosed with Type I Diabetes.

Last year Kluthe’s family took part in the Family D-Camp and saw firsthand just how beneficial they can be. “Diabetes can be really isolating, so it was great to meet other families going through the same struggles and learn from each other. These camps really do make a big difference in the lives of the kids that attend because regular camp just isn’t an option. Here, they are able to go off and do their own activities and knowing that there is a trained staff on hand, as a parent, you don’t have to worry about their blood sugar constantly,” Kluthe said. “It is so wonderful that this is an option and I know that a lot of hard work goes into providing these camps for children with diabetes. It can be such a struggle for them feeling like they are different from other kids, so this gives them a sense of self confidence and independence, all the while being able to enjoy being a kid and making new friends that understand their struggles.”

Rowland explained that throughout the month of November, there will be numerous initiatives taking place to help spread awareness. One of these events will be taking place on November 3rd with an event that will be geared towards Type I diabetes and for families that have a child living with diabetes. They will also be hosting an advocacy day on November 26th, where they will be speaking with members of the government about making this issue prominent on their agenda. “Our country is looking at a financial risk from diabetes alone with 1 in 4 people being impacted by diabetes or prediabetes.”

According to Diabetes Canada, there are currently 314,000 people in Saskatchewan living with diabetes or prediabetes and by 2029 that number will grow to 382,000. Additionally, diabetes will cost Saskatchewan $101 million this year alone.

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