Angelia Strugnell, 22, is living with type 1 diabetes in Port Hope Simpson, Nfld.

Angelia Strugnell

What the Diabetes Charter for Canada means to me

I am from a small Métis town on the south coast of Labrador. Having access to affordable supplies and diabetes education is the most important part of managing the disease. I contributed to the development of The Diabetes Charter for Canada, and I believe the Charter would mean that people living with diabetes could be better informed about their own health and manage the disease better, and have fewer complications, which would create a healthy Canada.

My diabetes story

When I was first diagnosed at 11, I did not even know what diabetes was and did not really understand what being diagnosed with the disease meant. I was very sick at the time so I was just happy to be feeling better. I started with insulin injections and monitored my blood glucose (sugar) several times a day. I was very scared about administering my first injections and it took me a while to master the task. It was a challenge to keep my A1C levels (my blood glucose levels over the past three to four months) in a normal range until I went on an insulin pump.

Going on the pump at 16 gave me so much freedom. It was also a vital part of my success during university. I felt much better and was able to participate in more activities without the worry of keeping on schedule with my injections and meals. The insulin pump is a phenomenal advancement in diabetes technology; however, the cost of the pump and supplies is high and I know many people cannot afford them.

Living with diabetes and spending time in health care sparked my interest in nursing. Certified diabetes nurse educators play a major role in the successful management of diabetes. My successful management would not have been possible without help from my diabetes team. My career goal is to become a certified diabetes educator and work with others who have diabetes. I am also a volunteer advocate with the CDA, and feel that I have a lot to offer as someone living with the disease.

Join Angelia and say YES to a Diabetes Charter for Canada today.