Diabetes is a chronic disease whose numbers continue to rise: 3 million Canadians now live with the disease. All the more reason to support the United Nations World Diabetes Day, a campaign that raises awareness of the seriousness of diabetes.

For the third consecutive year, the Canadian Diabetes Association, JDRF, with founding sponsor Novo Nordisk, partnered to support people who live with diabetes.

World Diabetes Day was celebrated on November 14th, the birthday of Canadian Sir Frederick Banting and co-discoverer of insulin. Throughout November, Diabetes Awareness Month, people were encouraged to share their diabetes stories at www.worlddiabetes.ca Diabetes Champions included people of all ages and backgrounds with a common goal of supporting the global diabetes community.

The campaign’s dedicated web site includes a gallery of champions from coast to coast. People who live with diabetes, care-givers, educators, health professionals, community leaders and more shared stories, words of inspiration, photos and videos. It offered a unique and personal way for people to rally together to lead the fight against diabetes.

Halifax resident Rob Beck was nominated as a diabetes champion. “I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2004 so I know first-hand about the importance of self-care and good diabetes management. I am a diabetes champion because I volunteer and help raise awareness and funds for diabetes research and education. I also do my best to live a healthy and active lifestyle,” says Beck.

Diabetes Champions helped spread awareness about the campaign throughout the month of November. Their ongoing support and commitment to World Diabetes Day 2009 events and activities helped Canadians embrace the campaign, joining the millions of people worldwide who made a special effort to participate.

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