October 25, 2014 6:59 pm
Updated: October 25, 2014 7:04 pm

Thousands attend diabetes conference in Winnipeg

Thousands of people gathered together to get informed and motivated to fight diabetes Saturday.

Riley McDermid/ Global News

WINNIPEG – For the first time, Winnipeg was host to the Canadian Diabetes Association’s National Conference.

Thousands of people from across Canada, the United States and Europe attended the 17th annual conference which was held to give people living with the disease information and motivation to keep going.

“There are 20 people diagnosed with diabetes every hour in Canada,” said Paul Kilbertus, senior manager of strategic communications. “Those people need to learn how to adjust their lives and that’s not easy.”

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Manitoba has one of the highest rates of diabetes in Canada and Saturday was a chance to change that. Everyone at the conference received a worldwide education from guests speakers including Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Jones, who talked about the importance of teamwork in healthcare.

“What people with diabetes should understand is that we’re all on the same page,” said Lori Berard, national conference coach.”We follow evidence based practice and we’re all working together to make sure that we make a difference in their lives.”

The conference comes at a time when the health care system is experiencing a high number of type one and two diabetes among residents.

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, there are 6,241 estimated type 1 diabetes prevalence in Manitoba. The cases are expected to grow to 7,955 by 2024. The estimated cost of diabetes in the province is currently $562,000,000 and is projected to grow to $678,000,000 by 2024.

“You can live well,” said Kilbertus. “Today was very motivational.”



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