Regina grandpa with diabetes teams up with grandson to hit the runway

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Regina grandpa with diabetes teams up with grandson to hit the runway
WATCH: Bob Gawley and his grandson Nate both deal with type 1 diabetes. This weekend, the duo teamed up for a fashion show to raise money for kids dealing with diabetes – May 11, 2024

“I’m the first in the family to be diagnosed… It was hard to take because our son has diabetes, and now my grandson has diabetes.”

Those are the words of Bob Gawley, who has been living with Type 1 diabetes for 62 years. Both his son, and his grandson Nate Gawley also battle the same disease.

And while it is something that has been a continues battle, it is also something that has helped create an inseparable bond between the two over the last 40 years.

“One of the hardest things was the day you were truly diagnosed,” Bob said to his grandson. “You were walking up our driveway and told us, pops, I have diabetes, and that was tough.”

Bob Gawley has been dealing with type 1 diabetes for the last 62 years. Moosa Imran / Global News

According to Diabetes Canada, one in three Canadians will be affected by the disease in their lifetime. The Gawley family has three generations currently dealing with Type 1 diabetes.

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But it isn’t slowing them down one bit. In fact, they argue what better way to live than on the runway.

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In their latest adventure together, both Bob and Nate were models in the Pump Couture Fashion Show.

The fashion show, put on by Diabetes Canada, aims to normalize the use of wearable diabetic medical devices and raise money to send children to D-Camp.

“I was excited about the whole affair because of the purpose,” Bob said. “We’re raising funds to send diabetic kids to camp. It’s a little bit of independence and shows them they can survive without mom or dad.”

Nate Gawley also hit the runway to raise awareness of diabetes. Moosa Imran / Global News

Organizers of the fashion show say events like these go a long way in battling the stigma and raising funds for charity.

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“People don’t really understand diabetes, so I really hope that people take the time to learn,” Diabetes Canada special events team director Lindsay Wig said.

Questions like ‘can you eat that?’ still follow Nate around to this day, even after almost 30 years of managing his diabetes.

Being a physical education teacher, he tells his students the disease may be life-altering, but it doesn’t have to be limiting.

“I would say there’s tons of obstacles in life and it’s just about pushing through adversity,” Nate said. “If you want something, or if you want to try something out, go for it.

“Anyone out there that has diabetes can do anything. You just have to be aware and manage your condition.”

It’s a lesson he learned from his grandpa.

“My advice to anyone who is diagnosed is get your team together,” Bob said. “Your spouse, a nurse, your dietician, a doctor and you listen to what they have to say. But you have to take charge and keep going.”

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