Diabetes advocates represent the voice of 11 million Canadian children and adults living with diabetes or prediabetes and speak for those who cannot speak up for themselves.
Through grassroots advocacy initiatives, our national network of volunteer advocates help to:
Raise awareness about the seriousness of diabetes and its impact on individuals, our healthcare system and the economy
Sign and promote the Diabetes Charter for Canada
Heighten awareness of the need for equitable access to diabetes medications, supplies, devices and education
Increase understanding of the burden of living with diabetes by sharing their “stories” and personal experiences with the media, government officials and the public to influence public policy and advocate for change
Promote CDA’s advocacy priorities and public policy recommendations
Meet a few of our advocates:
Michelle is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator. Michelle is a member of the National Advocacy Council and advocated during the 2015 federal election for important public policy matters, including: A tax on sugar sweetened beverages; 2) Introduction of a National Pharmacare Program; and 3) Increased Access to the Disability Tax Credit. Michelle sees every day the impact that diabetes has on our country. “Working in healthcare and within my community, I have seen many people inspire others by living their dreams, sharing their stories, and advocating for awareness about diabetes.”
Jessica is a teenager living with diabetes who is a very busy advocate in her province. She has advocated for enhanced access to insulin pumps, diabetes medications and supplies as well as other important public policy matters in British Columbia.
Michelle MacPhee and her son, Max
Max lives with type 1 diabetes. Michelle together with many parents advocated for enhanced access to insulin pumps in Alberta. Alberta now has one of the most fulsome publicly funded insulin pump programs in the country. Michelle now advocates passionately for a provincial policy for students living with diabetes at school.
Alex is a member of the Ontario Advocacy Committee and has been living with type 1 diabetes since he was 8 years old. “Living with diabetes made me want to understand how it works. As a PhD student, I am studying the molecular mechanisms that lead to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but it’s the people affected by the disease that made me want to become an advocate. I wanted to help establish the Diabetes Charter and help Canadians with diabetes gain access to the best quality of care, especially with new technology like the CGM that can give a sense of freedom to people living with diabetes.”
Nothing can dampen the spirit of 29-year-old Windsor resident Celso Oliveira – certainly not diabetes. A university student when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 18, Oliveira kept studying for an upcoming exam from his hospital bed. Later that year, he began fundraising for CDA and has never looked back. Today, Celso is Regional Chair for Southwestern Ontario and a member of the CDA’s Ontario Advocacy Committee. As an experienced advocate, he has participated in a number of e-advocacy campaigns, played a key role at various advocacy events at the Ontario legislature, and met with countless elected officials to raise awareness about the needs of people with diabetes. He also helped develop the first-ever Diabetes Charter for Canada. What keeps him going? “I have many friends with diabetes. Some are managing very well, others not so much. To me, it’s about making a difference in their lives.”