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Diabetes Facts

Preparing you for your role as a Put a Squeeze on Diabetes ambassador.

When you fundraise on behalf of Diabetes Canada and D-Camps, you are an extension of our representation in the community. It is helpful to familiarize yourself with diabetes and the work of Diabetes Canada and D-Camps so you can answer the questions you might receive. Below is some information to help you. If you encounter questions you can’t answer, please contact us at 1-800 BANTING (226-2464) and we will be happy to help you find the right response.

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


Click on the infographic to download the PDF.