Community News
September 25, 2017 By Denise Barnard
Happy diaversary, Tyler!

Every year, Tyler Keller (pictured above) receives a diaversary gift (to mark the anniversary of his type 1 diabetes diagnosis) from his parents, Dena and Chris. This year, they decided to surprise the 14-year-old with a trip to Banting House National Historic Site of Canada to see the personalized brick they’d purchased for him. A surprised Tyler thought it was “very cool” to see his brick.

So, how did Kellers who live in Virginia find themselves in London, Ont.? It started when Tyler was diagnosed at the age of 11. After his misdiagnosis at the hospital emergency room, it was the nurse at his school who recognized his symptoms – constant thirst, weight loss and  frequent urination. Says Dena, “We have no family history of diabetes, so we were very naive when it came to Tyler’s diagnosis.”

Thanks to the school nurse, and Tyler’s teacher, who’d had another student with diabetes in her class, going to school was a positive experience. Classmates and friends were also supportive, learning the signs that could mean Tyler was experiencing high or low blood sugars. Says Dena, “They enjoyed walking him to the nurse’s office if he needed to check a blood sugar, or get a juice or snack.”

While researching a class project on type 1 diabetes, Tyler and his mom learned about Dr. Banting and the discovery that led to the birth of insulin. Says Dena, “It was very eye opening to make the realization that less than a hundred years ago, a type 1 diabetes diagnosis was a death sentence for children like Tyler.” Through Facebook friends, Dena starting following Banting House, and when she read about the personalized bricks in honour of the 95th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, she was in. “I wanted to honour Dr. Banting in our message to Tyler. We are grateful to Dr. Banting for his discovery, and we were humbled by the experience of seeing the location where his inspiration for research began.”

Would you like to buy a brick of your own or for someone special? Visit now.

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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