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Diabetes Facts

When you fundraise on behalf of Diabetes Canada, you are an extension of our representation in the community.  To ensure you’re able to answer general questions about the work of Diabetes Canada and diabetes, below is some helpful information you can use as a resource. If you encounter questions you are unable to answer, your Fundraising Coordinator will be happy to assist you.

About Diabetes Canada

Diabetes Canada is a registered national charity that helps the 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes.  The mission of Diabetes Canada is to lead the fight against diabetes by helping those affected by diabetes live healthy lives, preventing the onset and consequences of diabetes, and discovering a cure. In communities across Canada, Diabetes Canada:


  • offers educational programs and support services;
  • develops resources for health-care professionals on best practices to care for people with diabetes;
  • advocates with those affected by diabetes to governments, schools and workplaces; and
  • funds research to improve treatments and find a cure.


About D-Camps

Diabetes Canada's camping tradition began when Camp Banting in Ontario first opened its doors in 1953. Since then, our camp program has grown extensively and Diabetes Canada now operates 12 overnight camps across Canada, more than 10 family camps and a growing offering of camp connections all year-round.  

Our D-Camps programs provide children and youth living with type 1 diabetes the opportunity to connect with others who truly understand them, build self-confidence, develop life-long skills and learn to manage their diabetes independently. All this support happens in a fun, nurturing and medically supported environment that gives parents peace of mind.

Today, Diabetes Canada is proud to be the only national provider of a summer camp program for children and youth living with type 1 diabetes. Our camps offer a true camping experience while accommodating the needs of our campers. Each camp offers an array of activities that make use of the facilities and natural environment available at each location.

About type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a complex chronic disease with no known cure.


  • Type 1 diabetes affects approximately 5 to 10 per cent of Canadians with diabetes, and occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin, a hormone that controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown and it is not preventable.
  • To survive, people with type 1 diabetes must take synthetic insulin (by multiple daily injections or through an insulin pump) to measure and adjusti their blood sugar levels.
  • For someone without type 1 diabetes, the average blood glucose level is 5 and will automatically remain within a percentage point of that throughout the day.  For a person with type 1 diabetes, these numbers will fluctuate constantly. 
    • Low blood sugar levels lead to sweating, nervousness, weakness, hunger, anxiety, blurred vision, dizziness, confusion and in extreme cases unconsciousness and death.
    • High blood sugar levels lead to increased thirst, headaches, difficulty concentrating, frequent urination, fatigue and in extreme cases, diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition caused by prolonged,elevated and untreated blood sugar levels.

Type 1 diabetes is relatively rare, which can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness and decreased self-esteem.

  • An estimated 300,000 Canadians live with type 1 diabetes, where roughly 30,000 are “camp age” kids.
  • On average, there are only two children/youth with type 1 diabetes per school, nationally.

Type 1 diabetes is difficult to manage well, because:

  • kids on an insulin pump must do more than 120 pump site insertions a year;
  • kids taking insulin by injection must take more than 1,095 injections each year;
  • 2,920 blood sugar tests are done each  year (eight recommended tests per day); and
  • there are things that affect blood sugar levels such as carbohydrates, insulin, physical activity, stress, emotions, puberty, illness, and weather.

Impact of D-Camps:

  • 94 per cent of campers formed a bond with others living with diabetes
  • 88 per cent of campers gained self-esteem related to living with diabetes
  • 66 per cent of campers learned techniques to manage feelings/cope with challenges around living with diabetes
  • 49 per cent of campers learned more about carb counting at camp than at their diabetes clinic
  • 38 per cent of campers learned more about insulin dose adjustments at camp than at their diabetes clinic
  • 55 per cent of campers did their first solo injection or pump site insertion at camp
  • 90 per cent of parents felt camp provided their child with the tools to live day-to-day with diabetes


For more information about D-Camps please visit our website www.dcamps.ca