Message From The Chair

Providing Hope Today to Build a
Brighter Future for Youth living with Diabetes

Dear Family and Friends,

As we approach the end of one of the most difficult and challenging years of our lives, I reflect on what has transpired at DHF and am truly grateful for the support we have received throughout the diabetes community and the HOPE that we have been able to continue to provide for today’s transitioning youth, their families and their diabetes healthcare professionals.

Beyond what anyone could have anticipated, 2020/2021 demanded innovation and change from all of us. Covid-19 hit fast and hard, and we at DHF responded by quickly and effectively transitioning to the realities of our new digital world. I am so proud of our team’s rapid transformation to a completely virtual platform where all of our events – from Wellness Wednesday Webinars, to Mentorship Networking, Transition 101 Workshops and the annual Scholarship Awards with Meet & Greet ceremonies – were presented digitally and have drawn record audiences throughout the year.

This transition to virtual programs allowed us to expand our reach and bring simultaneous participation from individuals across Canada, thereby furthering our mission to foster dialogue on how to support diabetic you who are navigating the physical and mental challenges of transitioning while living with a demanding illness.

Along with the collaboration of our alumni, we successfully completed the data research and collection required to update the 6th Edition of our “Guide for Successful Transition to College and University”. Further, we developed “TRANSITION IN THE KITCHEN”, a recipe guide to provide youth in transition with easy to prepare, healthy recipes and tips for managing their diabetes while living away from home and on campus.

In celebration of Diabetes Month and the 100th Anniversary of the Discovery of Insulin, our alumni will be participating in a social event for Diabetes Clubs across Ontario Universities to connect and share club missions, experiences, achievements and support networks. The “DON’T SUGAR COAT IT” virtual event will be held on World Diabetes Day on November 14, 2021.

While we were forced to cancel our annual Swing of Hope Golf Tournament in 2020, we were able to hold the event this past June – under a different and restricted mandate – but we were overwhelmed by the support and participation by all who attended. We are already looking forward to, and planning our 25th Anniversary Swing of Hope in June of 2022!

I am particularly proud of the work we’ve done and the milestones we have reached to date at DHF. As we look forward to 2022, we will be celebrating the 24th year of our Scholarship/Mentorship Program, which to date has awarded 813 scholarships to students across Canada and has matched over 550 mentor/mentee pairs. We look forward to building on this legacy of support in the year ahead.

As the year draws to a close, we look ahead with optimism and resolve. The challenges facing youth living with diabetes are numerous and profound. DHF is committed to doing our part in facilitating collaboration and dialogue to help youth connect, support and communicate. None of this would be possible without the support of our valuable donors, our Board of Directors, our Scholarship Advisory Committee, and most of all our wonderful alumni, who continually pay it forward for those who follow in their footsteps.

Our kids are our future and your help is needed now more than ever. I humbly ask you to please consider showing your support to further the work that we do. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER AND BETTER!

Wishing you all health and happiness in the coming year.

 

Barbara Pasternak
Founder & Chair
Diabetes Hope Foundation