Canadians from all walks of life live well with diabetes

The key to living long and well with diabetes is practicing healthy habits, and Dan Hill, Alison Armstrong, and Barb Warenchuk have proven that life can go on happily and productively despite this disease.

“With more than nine million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes, chances are you or someone you know may be affected by it. Yet across this country and around the world, people with diabetes are making positive lifestyle choices to improve their overall quality of life,” said Michael Cloutier, president and CEO of the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Toronto-based Grammy and Juno Award-winning musician Dan Hill is well-known to most Canadians, but they may be surprised to learn that he’s had type 2 diabetes for a decade. It runs in his family:  his grandfather, father and brother were all diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Health conscious Hill now runs 15 to 20 kilometres every other day. “It’s no coincidence that I kicked up my running after my dad died. I saw dad lose his legs, which made me value mine all the more,” said Hill.

Last year Hill headlined a concert to benefit the Canadian Diabetes Association in Edmonton. “I was excited to collaborate with the Canadian Diabetes Association on this and other initiatives to raise greater awareness. Diabetes is a global epidemic and it is my hope to bring further attention to the disease by sharing my own experiences of living with it,” said Hill.

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 22 years ago, Alison Armstrong faced the challenge of managing her diabetes and daily insulin injections alongside her busy schedule as a university student when studying at odd hours was the norm. Now a married mother of two and full-time communications professional in Guelph, Armstrong uses an insulin pump and has brought her entire family on board in terms of practicing good nutrition and exercising regularly.

“If you commit to a healthy lifestyle, you can live a long and healthy life. Eat right, work with your healthcare team and access resources from the Canadian Diabetes Association. You may face overwhelming situations but you have to take it a moment at a time,” said Armstrong.

Edmonton’s Barb Warenchuk atypically developed type 2 diabetes at the tender age of 22. Now 40 years later, retiree Warenchuk continues to successfully manage her diabetes through healthy eating and regular exercise, including eating breakfast and better foods during the day.

“When I was first diagnosed, we didn’t have an awareness of what diabetes meant. I lost my sister because of complications with the disease and I think it had a lot to do with poor lifestyle choices. The more you know about something, the easier it is to deal with,” said Warenchuk.

About the Canadian Diabetes Association

Today, more than nine million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes. Across the country, the Canadian Diabetes Association is leading the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while we work to find a cure. Our community-based network of supporters help us provide education and services to people living with diabetes, advocate for our cause, break ground towards a cure and translate research into practical applications. For more information, please visit or call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464).

Courtesy of the Canadian Diabetes Association