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Kelowna father, son living with diabetes, 100 years after discovery of insulin

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Kelowna father, son living with diabetes, 100 years after discovery of insulin – Nov 4, 2021

At the Lopes home in Kelowna, blood sugar level checks are a regular and frequent occurrence.

“I check it probably 10, 15 times a day,” said Lindsay Lopes, referring to her 12-year-old son, Linden, who lives with Type 1 diabetes.

But he’s not the only one in the house with the condition. His dad, Miguel, also lives with Type 1 diabetes.

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The two were diagnosed in the summer of 2017, just weeks apart.

“It’s tough,” Miguel Lopes told Global News. “We got a double whammy in our family.”

According to Diabetes Canada, about 11 million Canadians, or one in three, are living with diabetes or prediabetes.

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The organization says about 10 per cent have Type 1, which is the insulin-dependent kind.

That’s when a person can’t produce their own insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. If levels are too high or too low, it can be dangerous and deadly.

“It can be catastrophic,” Miguel Lopes said. “It’s something that you can’t just put on the back burner, that’s for sure.

“It’s always on your mind. Every time you put something in your mouth, honestly, like you’re thinking ‘What is it going do to your sugars?'”

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Both Miguel and Linden wear insulin pumps at all times and are constantly checking their blood sugar levels

“You’re always constantly checking his blood. You’re always wondering what his blood sugars are doing through the nights like ‘Is he is he going to go too low and pass out?'” Miguel Lopes said.

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The family is gearing up to take part in an upcoming fundraiser to raise both awareness and money for research for diabetes on what’s an important milestone.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of insulin, which was discovered Dr. Frederick Banting in Canada.

“We’re grateful that that discovery was here 100 years ago and it’s nice that it was in Canada,” said Lindsay Lopes.

Read more: With diabetes on the rise, Canadian doctor awarded for advancing treatment

The upcoming fundraiser, organized by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, is called Rockin’ For Research.

The normally in-person event is going virtual once again this year due to COVID-19.

Rockin’ For Research takes place Saturday, Nov. 6. Tickets are $50 per person. The fundraiser will feature all kinds of prizes, including a 50-50 draw.

Funds raised will go towards research, which the family hopes will one day lead to a cure.

“I feel like we’re so close,” Miguel Lopes said. “The doctors and the professionals that are on this leading-edge research, they know they’re close and we just need to get over that hump.”

Click here for more information on the Rockin’ For Research Fundraiser or to purchase a ticket.

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