Name: Jeffrey Bouvier
Hometown: Saskatoon, SK
“Team Diabetes newcomer inspired by family and community”
By: Michael Jacoby
Cole Bay, Saskatchewan’s Jeffrey Bouvier was raised by his mother and Kokum (the Cree word for grandmother), graduated from high school in 2009, and moved south to Saskatoon where he began his career as a police officer. Although Bouvier serves his community every day as a law enforcement officer, it’s his personal connection to diabetes that motivated him to run for Team Diabetes and the diabetes community.
“I run for the ones that have suffered and lost their battle to diabetes, and for the ones still suffering and fighting this terrible disease to this day,” Bouvier says.
As many know, diabetes is an undemocratic disease. It impacts all people and communities differently, and it’s never fair.
Bouvier’s family and community have been hit especially hard by the disease. Bouvier’s aunt Donna lives with diabetes, and his Kokum endured a series of diabetes-related complications, including having both her legs amputated.
The inspiration for Bouvier to serve the diabetes community and join Team Diabetes finally came when Bouvier’s aunt suggested he run in honor of his Kokum. It was an opportunity he couldn’t resist.
Running on behalf of his cherished grandmother, Bouvier completed his first half marathon in the Cayman Islands in 2012. She was the first person he wanted to celebrate the accomplishment with, and he even presented her with his medal. Bouvier says the look on his Kokum’s face when she received the medal was the proudest moment in his life.
Tragically, on April 26, 2015, Bouvier’s Kokum finally succumbed to complications from a diabetic coma.
In the days following his Kokum’s passing, Bouvier’s family began the difficult process of organizing all of her possessions. One such item was her carry-on bag. Bouvier’s Kokom travelled frequently, and this modest piece of luggage accompanied her everywhere she went. When he and his mother began sorting through the bag they discovered the medal that Jeffrey had brought back from the Cayman Islands. She had kept this medal with her the entire time.
It’s because of this personal connection to diabetes, and his tireless efforts on behalf of his community and family, that Jeffery Bouvier is a Team Diabetes champion.
You can make a difference by joining Team Diabetes – to learn more or register for an event in your area visit teamdiabetes.ca.