Rodnie today had a wonderful visit at the school. His grade 5 class at Saint Teresa of Calcutta in Hamilton was able to have a wonderful presentation done by Chris Jarvis. His team from I Challenge Diabetes Crew have been hitting the schools doing presentations themed "diabuddies". What a great way to explain diabetes to a class/peers, teachers and staff at the school. Rod was able to demonstrate what he has on, his pump and cgm, and what he has to do stay healthy. Kids always ask "why do you have to do that"? And he never has the courage to try to explain. Here he was with a diabuddy, the coolest diabuddy you could have, standing in front of his peers saying WE do this and this is why WE do it. How cool is that!!!! Rod your NEVER ALONE in this. I hope that they learned lots about diabetes but even better I hope they learned about resilience and dedication to yourself, you can do anything! Rods grade 5 class is amazing and things like this bring them closer together as a group and let's them learn empathy for each other. Thank you Chris Jarvis and I Challenge Diabetes for a great start to the school year.
Author: Rodnie's Mom (Kris-Anne Huybens)
Marley Greenberg, recent Valedictorian of Tanenbaum CHAT and Governor General's Medal recipient spoke at Paul Penna Jewish Day School in downtown Toronto, for her Diabuddy Santiago, in Grade 1. Santi and Marley met at a T1D adventure race last year and the two of them did an amazing job in their class with demonstrations. The principal, Mrs. Platt, said, "I was quite engrossed in the presentation, so much that I lost track of time! I'm proud of all of us for doing this and for finding away for Santi to be his true self at school each day." Santiago's mother said, "I think having Marley there was as helpful to me as for Santi. Sometimes I am overcome by fear and seeing Marely and all that she has done and what a beautiful spirit she has was so wonderful." - Truth be told, that is why we are doing this. It is a challenging and scary disease that can leave you feeling on your own at times.
This talk is not just about two people with diabetes connecting, it is the importance of friends, family, teachers, school administration all working together to overcome a challenge. - Mrs. Platt, we too are proud and hope to make it easier for every school to follow suit as Ontario fulfills its promise to roll out a policy to keep all kids in school living with diabetes safe.
The Diabuddies tour continues, with 7 cities and 7 schools visited in the last week. We have seen schools with Board Driven Policy that guides the family through each step of the way in keeping their child safe and those who have no policy, and rely on parent advocacy and execution to get training in place for staff who agree in good will.
Our first Diabuddy was Noah, a grade 4 at St. Francis of Assisi in Mississauga, where Mrs. Seimons hosted us and neighboring classes for Noah. Chris Preece, with Chris Jarvis there to introduce him, talked about the challenges faced with T1D growing up, and his parents' go-getter attitude that started him on the path to success. Not only a national bronze medalist in the Track and Field event called the Hammer, Chris P has excelled in school too. He won a scholarship from the Diabetes Hope Foundation for his undergrad and is now a masters student doing research in forestry. His words spoke limitless potential for the young children and emphasized the simple things we can do in consideration for each other.
Our Back To School "Diabuddies" Tour continues! Today, Dessi Zaharieva, World Championship bronze medalist in Taekwondo joined in to speak at Bialik Hebrew Day School. They greeted us with open arms and show a tremendous amount of support to their students to ensure they have a quality education, including how they live with challenges.
Dessi's Diabuddy, Jojo, is in grade 3 and he got to meet Dessi at York U Diabetes Sports camp with our team and take a tour of her lab where she studies how to prevent low blood sugars in exercise. Her view on kids in school started all the way back in grade 4 when she remembers being diagnosed and going back to class to an onslaught of questions about the disease she was still not sure how to live with for the rest of her life.
Dessi's message was about team work, perseverance, and positivity, along with the details of diabetes that can help keep Jojo safe. The questions from the students were excellent and helped remove misconceptions and Jojo was very brave, standing up to show his technology and explain some of his symptoms to help his classmates understand. It was touching that another two children in his school, who have other medical conditions, made a special point of expressing their appreciation and connection with the message.
All the kids also loved seeing Dessi's massive bronze medal. A big thank you goes out to Dessi for her commitment to this cause! Would you want to have Dessi come out to your school? Do you have a good relationship with your school about your child's diabetes care?
If you don't have a good relationship or don't know how to start one, this project is for you! Thanks to our action plan committee members and to schools like Bialik who are leading the way until Ontario implements a policy for these kids.
-Author Chris Jarvis
Yesterday we Kicked off the Kids In School (KIS) Awareness Campaign at my Daughters school. This is only the beginning of Elite Athletes and Volunteers visiting schools across Ontario to keep kids with diabetes safe in school.
I am so excited this vision is becoming reality.
Chris Jarvis visited one of his diabuddies, Anna (my daughter), at her School, Our Lady of Sorrows, in Etobicoke.
Greeted by the new Principal, Mr. Morsillo and a welcoming staff team, Anna and Chris presented to the entire grade 6 class! (75 students) They learned about becoming an Olympic athlete, diabetes and the way a good team/friend/classmate should treat each other, including important safety information to protect Anna. She did an awesome job demonstrating her diabetes technology and what a blood check looks like in front of her peers and all her teachers!
We are excited to have the principal already inviting us back to speak to the whole school in November for Diabetes Awareness Month.
This is part of a community outreach and awareness campaign to bring attention to the circumstances all kids and their families are in across Ontario.
Here are of couple pics from today. I will post a video clip once we shorten it:
Here are a couple of clips from our kick off