Scholarship, Diabetes Scholarship, Diabetes Scholarships, DHF Scholarship, Scholarships Canada, Canadian Diabetes Scholarships

DIABETES HOPE SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

This program highlights the personal triumphs of young adults who face the many responsibilities associated with diabetes management significantly enriching their lives through community and extra-curricular activities and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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HOPE CONNECTS PEER SUPPORT PROGRAM

Recognizing the impact T1D has on students’ mental health and well-being, DHF created the Hope Connects Program to support students as they balance their T1D during their transition to post-secondary school.

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PEP Talks Program, Diabetes Caregiver Program, Caregiver Program

CAREGIVER PROGRAM

PEP TALKS: Parents Empowering Parents workshops give parents and caregivers of adolescents with T1D the opportunity to find a community of voices to collaborate with as they prepare for their child’s transition to post-secondary education and from pediatric to adult diabetes care.

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Transition Resources, Online Transition Guide

TRANSITION GUIDE

DHF’s Transition Guide features a searchable database for students with T1D to find their closest on and off campus diabetes supports, accommodations and more. Make more informed choices about where to go next year based on the resources available at college and university campuses across the country.LEARN MOREACCESS THE GUIDE

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TRANSITION WEBINARS

The specialized resources compiled from our webinar series focus on mental health, transition, exercise, nutrition and more. With such a broad range of resources available, they are an invaluable tool for anyone seeking to improve their overall health and wellness through transition and beyond.
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RESOURCE HUB

Diabetes Hope Foundation has compiled a variety of important and helpful tools and resources for youth, their families and caregivers, and diabetes educators to support a healthy and successful transition to post-secondary. Our Hub contains many links and downloadable resources – all free to use!

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Our Story

Our Story

PROVIDING HOPE & SUPPORT SINCE 1999

Diabetes Hope Foundation grew out of a commitment to provide hope and support to youth living with type 1 diabetes and their families, founded by Barbara Pasternak, who shares her story below.

My own story is similar to that of many families whose lives have been touched by diabetes. Before diabetes moved into my family’s home and our lives, we were an everyday, run of the mill hockey family. In 1994 we were knocked off course by an unrelenting, silent foe – type 1 diabetes. My husband, Joe, and I were blindsided when our two youngest sons were both diagnosed with diabetes within three years of each other. We knew nothing about the disease other than that our lives were about to change dramatically. Our heads were spinning as we realized we had a new, uninvited houseguest who would never leave.

Our Story, DHF story, Diabetes Hope Foundation
Our Story

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

Once we stopped trying to understand ‘why did this happen to us?’, Joe and I made the decision to make sure that, no matter what, we would let our kids be kids. We wanted them to know that they could not only live with diabetes, but thrive with it and could grow up to be healthy and strong and to become whoever it was they wanted to be. This journey was not one that we could do on our own, and I realized early on that while it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village plus a team of dedicated health care professionals to raise a child living with a chronic illness. It was through this team that I found out about diabetes camps, magical places for kids living with diabetes to feel normal.

After both my boys attended camp, I knew I had found my life’s calling – I wanted to help my children and other children and their families, cope with living with diabetes. This work started 27 years ago when Joe and I recruited our dear friends and business associates and held our first golf tournament to raise funds to support the camp our son’s attended. In the first two years we raised enough money to build a new dock and in the subsequent 10 years, we helped build the nurses and doctors cabins, and assisted rebuilding the infirmary. During this time, one of my friends said that we were giving hope to so many kids. And it stuck with me.

RECOGNIZING & REWARDING YOUTH WITH T1D

As my kids grew up, diabetes was with us through each stage of life, and I saw first hand how important the stage of transitioning from adolescence to adulthood was for them. Through research and conversation with clinics across Canada, I recognized how important successful transition is, because it helps ensure continued management to prevent complications from happening. 25 years ago, there wasn’t much support available for young adults as they left the holistic care of the pediatric health care system, but more importantly, there was no recognition available for these kids for their hard work and the vigilance that they had to have to be healthy with diabetes.

And so the Diabetes Hope Foundation was launched as a call to arms. I started the hard work of reaching out to donors through my networks and across the diabetes community to bring people together to celebrate these amazing students through scholarships. The Scholarship Program was designed to not only provide much needed financial support to students as they start post-secondary school, but it was also the perfect opportunity to motivate, applaud and reward the hard work it takes for our youth to stay healthy.

Our Story, Diabetes Hope Foundation Story, DHF Story
Our Story, Diabetes Hope Foundation Story, DHF Story

SUPPORTING A SUCCESSFUL & HEALTHY TRANSITION

Today, while technological advancements have made diabetes management easier, the mental toll of living with a chronic illness persists. Recognizing this, Diabetes Hope Foundation has worked over the last ten years to broaden our impact by designing resources and programming to support the mental health of youth living with diabetes. Powered by our alumni community, who I am forever thankful to for their commitment to paying it forward, we have developed our HOPE Connects peer mentorship program and our Transition Webinars in response to the effects of Covid-19. These programs provide youth across the country with valuable information and support to help them navigate their transitions and build a strong foundation for living a happy and healthy tomorrow.
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CONTINUING TO MAKE AN IMPACT IN THE FUTURE

As we look to the future, we are excited about the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead, and we are confident that, with the continued support of the broader diabetes community, we can make an even greater impact on the lives of those affected by type 1 diabetes.

The one thing that I always wanted my kids to believe was that just because they had diabetes, it shouldn’t hold them back from anything. I’m very proud of my kids for achieving so much in their personal and professional lives, and I am excited to give that same hope to youth living with diabetes across Canada.

Our Story, Diabetes Hope Foundation Story, DHF Story

Our History & Timeline

ACHIEVEMENTS & HIGHLIGHTS