Diabetes Week is Diabetes UK's annual UK-wide awareness and fundraising week.
Belfast Giant shares his story for Diabetes Week
Belfast Giant Calvin Elfring kicked off Diabetes Week at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, as he shared his story about being recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and how he successfully manages the condition to continue on in his professional ice hockey career.
The theme of Diabetes Week this year is ‘I can’ to highlight that people living with diabetes can overcome the challenges that a lifelong condition like diabetes can entail. Diabetes UK Northern Ireland is encouraging people to come forward and share their own story and experiences of the condition.
Calvin Elfring said: “As a professional ice hockey player it came as a complete shock when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I knew there was something wrong but just didn’t know what it was. I lost a lot of weight very quickly, I was drinking fluids nonstop as I couldn’t quench my thirst and I was having some blurred vision.
Initially my doctor thought I had a detached retina. This would be common as ice hockey is such a high impact sport but I knew there was something more to it than that. After pushing for more tests and getting my blood glucose tested it then came to light that I had Type 1 diabetes.
After a short spell in hospital and receiving education about insulin treatment, all I wanted to know was ‘when can I play hockey?’ I was determined not to let this condition stop me, I would respect it and manage it but I wouldn’t stop doing what I love because of it. This Diabetes Week I wanted to share my story and let others know that I can be a professional ice hockey player and be part of a winning team. Diabetes doesn’t have to be the game changer.”
Diabetes UK Northern Ireland National Care Advisor Florence Findlay White said: “There are currently over 80,000 people living with diabetes in Northern Ireland and this number continues to increase. At Diabetes UK we want people to know that whilst there are challenges with diabetes, it doesn’t have to be what defines you. We are encouraging people to talk about their diabetes and help raise awareness. Calvin Elfring highlighted the symptoms which we have presented in our 4Ts campaign: Toilet, Thirsty, Tired, Thinner. Knowing these symptoms and acting upon them are hugely important, if you are in doubt then contact your healthcare provider or visit our website for further information: www.diabetes.org.uk.”
Whether you are living with diabetes, know someone who has diabetes, are a relative, friend, researcher or healthcare provider - we want to hear from you. For this Diabetes Week we are inviting you to 'Share Your Story' - send us an email, a photograph, even a short video! We will be using the #iCan so get active on social media and let's see how many voices start talking about diabetes! Email Shakheera.Ross@diabetes.org.uk to see how you can get involved.
To end the week we are taking part in what will hopefully be yet another successful Big Collection weekend with our national partner, Tesco. If you missed it last year then this is your chance - helps us make this Big Collection even bigger than 2013! Northern Ireland did so well last year and raised a whopping £37,000 during the weekend so let us do it all over again and join our team at a Tesco store near you.
Find out more here: http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Tesco/Big-Collection/
Let's make Diabetes Week 2014 the best yet!
Diabetes Week took place from 9 to 15 June 2013 and the theme was research. We’ve been making breakthroughs in diabetes research for more than 75 years, and we never stop working towards a future without diabetes. With your support and donations we can do so much more.
As well as showcasing some of the current diabetes research projects in Northern Ireland, we encouraged you to become part of the research story. Whether you've benefitted from a research project or are holding a fundraising event for us during Diabetes Week, we'll be sharing your stories on our website and social media pages.
To find out more about Diabetes Week and to order your pack and other materials, visit http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Get_involved/Diabetes-Week/ .