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Speaker details advances in diabetes treatment at meeting

Information meeting - Local diabetes association chair George Van Ankum, of Drayton, thanked Nancy Dietrich (left) and Lindsay Wagg (right) for speaking at the diabetes information meeting held recently in Listowel.  photo by Bonnie Whitehead

Speaker details advances in diabetes treatment at meeting

by Bonnie Whitehead


Chair George Van Ankum welcomed close to 30 people to a diabetes information meeting recently at Knox Presbyterian Church in Listowel.

Reports were given regarding membership, assistance programs, save-a-tape programs, upcoming luncheon, and annual appeal.

The first guest speaker Lindsay Wagg, Co-ordinator of Wellness VON Perth Huron Site shared tips on healthy eating and exercise. She encouraged everyone to achieve 150 minutes of moderate to vigourous exercise a week as it could significantly impact their ability to manage blood glucose levels. Even 10 minutes of exercise a day, is better than sitting on the couch thinking about going for a walk.

Using a thera band for strength resistance, she demonstrated a bicep curl. Then showed how easy it could be to perform five wall push ups while waiting for the kettle to whistle.

Wagg also highlighted sugar in its many forms. The imagery of eating eight teaspoons of sugar out of a bowl was a compelling argument not to drink even one glass of pop. Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon.

Portion sizing using your hand can lead to wiser decisions when consuming carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables, she noted.

She also recommends keeping water handy and adding a splash of fruit or twist of lemon for variety.

Nancy Dietrich, a volunteer from the Diabetes Information Centre in Harriston was the second guest speaker. She told of her vision loss due to a skin affliction and not from having Type 1 Diabetes for 42 years. Magnifiers helped her continue her work into the 1990s, but having to give up driving and reading was a real blow. The Low Vision Clinic in Kitchener has helped her greatly with gadgets and care to help her cope over the years, as has the CNIB.

Dietrich talked about the progression from the days of urine testing and 24-gauge insulin needles to today’s talking glucose metres and insulin pumps. She showed different types of glasses and binoculars, talking scales, talking alarm clock, talking calculator, colour monitor, large dice, and her lighted magnifier she finds essential for shopping. She told the group about her talking computer and large print church bulletins that help.

Due to Dietrich’s insistence, better accessibility in Harriston was achieved when yellow lines were painted outlining steps and audio cross walk sensors were installed at the traffic lights.

At 20/400, Dietrich is considered legally blind. She investigated the latest tool for improved vision, but with a price tag of $10,000.00, she may just have to do without the device.

 Dietrich carries a collapsible cane to use on unfamiliar ground, but prefers to use her confidence and sense of balance to navigate familiar surroundings, especially the dance floor. She has a love of music and volunteering and continues to be a terrific asset to the Diabetes Branch.

The door prize of The Everyday Diabetes Cookbook was won by Eleanor Gordon. Wagg offered three prizes as well. Two fanny packs with thera bands were won by Jean Keirs and Helen Perkin and a hat and thera band were won by Eldon Quanz.

The North Perth - North Wellington Branch of the Canadian Diabetes Association is located at 94B Elora St. S. in Harriston.

Volunteers can be reached Tuesday and Friday afternoons, at 519-338-3181, or

Vol 46 Issue 42

October 18, 2013



Wellington County

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