Banting House to celebrate World Diabetes Day, Banting’s 130th birthday Sunday

A statue of Sir Frederick Banting outside Banting House in London, Ont. (Nov. 14, 2019). Kelly Wang/980 CFPL

Sunday marks World Diabetes Day, a day dedicated to remembering the importance of the discovery of insulin and raising awareness for diabetes.

World Diabetes Day is also the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who awoke in the night from a restless sleep in the bedroom of his London, Ont., house and scribbled down on a piece of paper an idea that, within three years, would lead to the discovery and widespread use of insulin.

London’s Banting House, dubbed the birthplace of insulin, is hosting an event on Sunday to celebrate 100 years since the discovery, which happened in 1920 but is celebrated once again this year due to COVID-19‘s impact in 2020.

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“World Diabetes Day is a time to remember … Dr. Banting’s legacy, the history of diabetes and raise awareness for diabetes,” read a statement on Banting House’s website. “It also serves as a reminder that, while insulin has been an incredibly significant and important treatment, we are still on the search for a cure.”

Click to play video: 'Insulin Breakthrough: A Canadian medical breakthrough'
Insulin Breakthrough: A Canadian medical breakthrough

Londoner Rebecca Redmond says World Diabetes Day is an important day for her.

She lives with multiple chronic illnesses and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 17.

Redmond, who happens to be Banting’s cousin, is raising awareness about the struggles that come with having diabetes.

“The average person with Type 1 diabetes makes up to 180 extra decisions every day, whether that’s checking your blood glucose levels (to) counting carbs and taking insulin.”

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“I’m tremendously grateful to be on this side of history,” she added. “I wouldn’t be here, my son wouldn’t be here without the discovery of insulin.”

Banting House is inviting Londoners to celebrate World Diabetes Day and Banting’s 130th birthday with the unveiling of the commemorative bricks, touring the museum and a new exhibition opening from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Registration is available online for both the in-person event and the online event.

—with files from 980 CFPL’s Devon Peacock and Matthew Trevithick 

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