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Four county residents honoured for 35 years of diabetes work

WATERLOO - The Central West Ontario Region of the Canadian Diabetes Association (C.D.A.) held its annual general meeting on May 4 here.

Regional Director Kerry Bruder honoured four members of the North Perth - North Wellington Branch for their 35 years of commitment to the people in that area who are affected by Diabetes. Irma Ternan, Alice Van Ankum, George Van Ankum, and Nancy Dietrich answered the call.

That group set out to receive a charter and establish its status as a branch. Inspired by stories of inconsistent readings, low blood glucose levels, and incredible high readings. Those four pursued meeting places and medical professionals, contacted informative speakers, and found people interested enough in diabetes to attend the meetings.

After 35 years, the four still manage the Diabetes Information Centre in Harriston. They received certificates of appreciation, as well as framed prints by Sir Frederick Banting, discoverer of life saving of insulin.

Guest speaker Dr. Daniel Hardy, of London, shared his views on the possibilities of identifying the diagnosis of diabetes while a child is still in its mother’s womb. Projected rates of the progression of diabetes is alarming, striking people earlier in life. It is so important to be checked early for diabetes and not wait for years until symptoms occur.

Encouraging youth, the next wave of scientists may ensure a healthy number of researchers to continue the all important work of finding the elusive cure for diabetes. Insulin is a treatment, not a cure, yet.

Highlights were discussed, including fundraisers, partnerships, public education initiatives, and the countless hours of volunteer support. Other volunteer awards were handed out during the evening.

Don Mann, chairman of the Canadian Diabetes Association, spoke on a Loblaws promotion to Get Checked for Diabetes. It is as painless as a quick poke from a pin, to pinch out a droplet of blood that is absorbed on a strip that is inserted into a glucose testing meter, that within a few seconds beeps, and reveals the blood glucose level.

A reading of three to seven is recommended, with a reading of 16 or more a cause for alarm. Mann spoke on the Canadian invention of insulin and the Edmonton Protocol and  Canadians leading the fight for a cure. He spoke about a new governance model for the CDA and welcomed others to highlight the value of the clothesline program, Team Diabetes, the Aboriginal focus, learning kitchens, advocacy strategies, and managing Diabetes to reduce complications.

The CDA is leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while working to find a cure.

For more information, contact the volunteers in Harriston at 519-338-3181 or visit



June 17, 2011


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