Help us Fight Diabetes and help your youthful patients.

Why should you do that and how can we help each other Fight Diabetes?

How you can help us Fight Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented. The starting focus for prevention needs to be on Type 2 diabetes in youth but with equal attention to preventing diabetes-related complications for youth living with either type of diabetes.

  1. Encourage your youthful patients (age 8 to 18) to take our online, self-scoring T2 diabetes risk test, to discuss the results with their family members and to seek further testing from a healthcare professional if the results suggest the need. [Some clinicians advise they have used this tool to save time and inject objectivity into initial discussions].
  2. Encourage your patients to take our free, self-paced e-Learning course, Understanding Diabetes.
  3. Help patients to understand the importance of ‘healthy eating’ and regular exercise.
  4. Advise your patients of our School Tours program and the scholarships and bursaries available as part of our Annual Awards program.

..and,  if your patients are living with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, then the added focus is to:

  1. Help patients reduce their risk of developing diabetes-related complications.
  2. Help patients to understand the implications of ‘Transition’ from the pediatric to adult healthcare system and help them to ‘get ready’ well in advance.
  3. Understand, and advocate for, essential ‘in school support’ processes for youth living with diabetes and your participation to ensure a safe and fully engaged daily school experience for the patient.

and, for your own professional development, consider:

  1. Participating in our Annual Transition Symposium
  2. Taking our self-paced, narrated Mental Health & Diabetes in Youth e-Learning course
  3. Reviewing the tutorials available on our website.

How SFBLF can help you Fight Diabetes

We provide help for your patients:

  • Online risk assessment tools and access to e-Learning courses for youth designed to raise awareness, understand diabetes and encourage early detection. Tutorials explaining transition and the challenges for youth living with diabetes at school are also available. Please explore the links to our programs and tutorials on this website.
  • School Tours – for grades 4 to 12, a free, educational, inspirational visit to the historic birthplace of Sir Frederick Banting to learn about diabetes and related risk, how to protect oneself against developing Type 2 diabetes and complications for both Type 1 and Type 2, the discovery of insulin and the medical heroes who made that discovery, and the related Canadian history and heritage. Transportation subsidies are available.
  • Our content is adjusted to be age-appropriate and designed to complement the expected outcomes of the Ontario school system for health, science, history and heritage.
  • Annual awards that include scholarships and bursaries for youth living with diabetes.

    1. Awards Program Includes a ‘50+ years on insulin award’. We welcome nominations.
    2. Student applicants for scholarship & bursary awards need a letter of recommendation from their HCP. Please help if asked by an applicant.
  • Diabetes Classes for Adults who are living with, or trying to prevent, diabetes.

We provide help for you:

  • Annual Transition Symposium for healthcare providers, teachers, parents and other foundations, held in November, involves international experts and group discussions.
  • Mental Health & Diabetes in Youth – a self-paced, narrated e-Learning course for healthcare providers and teachers to broaden understanding of this growing combination in youth.
  • Tutorials and reference papers are available on this web site for topics such as Diabetes Risk, Diabetes Impact on HCPs, Diabetes at School, Understanding Transition, Surveillance Data Availability, Comparative Factors Analysis (T1, T2, Mental Health) and other emerging research of interest for HCPs involved in providing diabetes care.
  • Group Tours – present an opportunity for an educational, inspirational ‘team building’ event at the historic birthplace of Sir Frederick Banting, co-discoverer of insulin and Canada’s first Nobel Laureate.
    Organizations have used the program for full- and half-day ‘retreats’ including meals. BBQ facilities are available and SFBLF will assist with establishing catering services to meet your needs. The restored, historic octagonal Drive Shed provides a unique shelter and support for presentations, discussion and meals. Picnic tables are available on the grounds.
    The Banting Legacy Trail and related outdoor exercise equipment provide an opportunity for a relaxing break. There is no charge for use of the facilities or for the presentations and guided tour provided by SFBLF. Donations are welcome.
  • Public Open Hours are available every Tuesday and the 1st & 3rd weekends of each month.

For more information, please explore the details on this web site or contact us at

 Why should you help Fight Diabetes?

“Type 2 diabetes in childhood has the potential to become a global public health issue leading to serious health outcomes. More information ….  is needed urgently”
IDF World Diabetes Atlas, 8th edition, Nov 2017 (p 60)

Prevention or delay of Type 2 diabetes is possible.
Early detection of Type 2 diabetes is essential.

Raising awareness, helping youth and their families to understand their risks and how to reduce them and urging them to ‘get tested’ early are the available practical actions.

  1. The scale of the Diabetes Pandemic
  • As of November 2017, there are over 425 million adults (20 – 79) living with diabetes worldwide and the number is increasing at a rate of at least 5 million per year. Another 352 million adults are living with pre-diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.
  • Diabetes prevalence varies widely by country. In Canada, it is estimated there are 3.5 million adults living with diabetes and another 8 million with prediabetes. The number of diagnosed cases in Canada is estimated to rise 41% by 2026
  • It is estimated also that there are over 30,000 Canadian youth age 18 and under living with Type 1 diabetes.
  • The number of children and youth living with Type 2 diabetes is not known but there is broad agreement the numbers are rising as is the case in many other countries. The rise in Type 2 diabetes in youth is strongly correlated with being over-weight or obese and an inactive life-style.
  1. The nature and severity of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Approximately 90% of diabetes cases in adults are Type 2.
  • It is estimated that 70% of Type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or at least delayed by healthy eating, modest daily exercise, maintaining an appropriate body weight and not smoking.
  • 40% of those living with Type 2 diabetes do not know they have it
  • Type 2 diabetes is insidious and progressive and can remain invisible for years. At time of diagnosis, cell damage can be in progress thus hastening the onset of serious diabetes-related complications. Such complications include heart disease, eye disease, kidney disease, depression and nerve damage that can lead to amputations. There is an increased risk of early mortality the younger the age of onset of Type 2.
  • Some youth with Type 2 diabetes are not responsive to oral medication and require insulin soon after diagnosis.
  • Comorbidity of diabetes and mental illness: Living with diabetes is not easy and the ever-present need to manage the condition well can lead to anxiety, eating disorders, degrees of depression and diabetes ‘burnout’. There are bi-directional relationships among obesity, diabetes and mental disorders in youth. One condition can ‘mask’ the other and lead to delayed, ‘missed’ or mis-diagnosis.
  • Continuity of care: Ensuring continuity of care is a major challenge in most healthcare systems. If comorbid conditions such as mental health issues exist, the challenge is greater. Those who care for youth living with diabetes are not the same as those who care for youth with mental illness. Multi-disciplinary teams are needed for proper transition; not an easy requirement for rural communities.
  1. The cost of diabetes
  • The general diabetes pandemic impacts not just the patients and their families but also school systems, healthcare systems, employers, countries and medical education curricula.
  • From 2006 to 2017, the estimated annual diabetes healthcare expenditure worldwide has grown from USD 232 billion to USD 727 billion.
  • The cost of diabetes to the Canadian economy is estimated at $14 billion annually and is expected to reach at least $17 billion by 2020.