Community News
July 31, 2017 By Denise Barnard
Make history with a personalized brick from Banting House

Eighteen hours – that’s how long it took Marie-Christine Gauvin (pictured above), and her boyfriend, Kevin, to drive from her home in Charlo, N.B., to London, Ont. – the home of Banting House National Historic Site (BHNS). But for Marie-Christine, 43, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 15, the trip was worth it. “I have such a deep connection with Sir Frederick Banting,” she says. That’s not surprising: Dr. Banting’s idea led to the discovery of insulin, which has changed the lives of millions, including Marie-Christine, who has no family history of the disease.

But Marie-Christine and many others are making history of their own at “the birthplace of insulin,” with the purchase of a brick that lines the walkway around the site. “I wanted a brick so I decided to fundraise for the biggest [one],” says Marie-Christine, who is self-employed and pays for her insulin, and diabetes supplies, including her insulin pump and CGM (continuous glucose monitor), out of her own pocket. For her fundraiser, she made and sold bracelets. When her brick was unveiled on World Diabetes Day (WDD) on November 14 last year, she hosted a walk and did a flash mob to raise awareness in her community, which also had some buildings lit up in blue in honour of WDD.

Marie-Christine’s brick says, “I am greater than my highs and my lows. I am greater than type one diabetes.” It’s a testament to her determination to live well with the disease: she recently celebrated her 25th diaversary and the fact that she has not experienced any long-term diabetes complications (“I feel I have to knock on wood!”). Determined in all that she does, she recalls how the power went out on her way upstairs to visit Dr. Banting’s bedroom. “For me, in my mind, Dr. Banting was saying hello,” she says. And then she began her tour using the flashlight on her phone. 

Would you like to buy a brick of your own or for someone special? Call 1-800-BANTING (226-8464) or e-mail to learn more.

Have you visited Banting House National Historic Site? Tell us about your visit now.

Do you have a personal story of how your diabetes diagnosis has affected you or someone you know? Fill in our easy personal story submission form, and you and your story could appear in myDC community content.  

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