‘Celebrities’ for diabetes challenge set

Eleven local “celebrities” have been lined up to take part in the Canadian Diabetes Association’s annual challenge, which runs Sept.
This year’s celebrities include Dawn Booth, co-ordinator of the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club president Mark Jones (also of Holmlund Financial), Capt. Angel Sandoval of the Fort Frances Salvation Army, and Dana-Rae Bergner of the Royal Bank.
They’re being joined by Bridget Dobransky (Lions Club), Fort Frances Museum curator Pam Hawley, Linda Blanc (La Place Rendez- Vous), Dick Bird (Lions Club), tax collector Ed Katona, new Canada Safeway manager Dave McBride, and the Times’ own Duane Hicks.
Ala Dulas, station manager at B93-FM, originally was slated to participate, but recently declined due to other obligations.
The challenge—in which the participants keep track of what they eat and drink for seven days, record their blood sugar, give regular insulin “shots” to the teddy bears they carry around with them for the week, and be physically active—will be preceded by two information sessions.
The first of these is slated for Monday, Sept. 8 from 6-8 p.m. If that is inconvenient for some participants, they can catch a second one Wednesday, Sept. 10 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Both will be held in the boardroom on the second floor of the administrative wing at La Verendrye hospital.
At these sessions, Jodis McCaine, a registered dietitian with the Valley Diabetes Education Centre who is organizing the event along with long-time volunteer George Bartlett and Cindy Gauthier, a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator, said participants will learn the definitions of Type I, II, and gestational diabetes, the signs and symptoms of the disease, risk factors in developing it, and preventative measures such as diet, exercise, foot care, and stress management.
McCaine also will provide the participants with meal plans based on quantities in line with their normal diets.
And participants will get their teddy bears at this time. They will be required to carry them around for the five days of the challenge, not only as a representation of the disease but to bring attention to the participant and spark interest from the public.
The event, which aims to raise awareness of diabetes in the community, initially was slated to take place last fall.
It then was planned for this past spring, but with McCaine being new to the job, as well as a hectic schedule revolving around the town’s centennial celebrations, meant it had to be delayed again until now.
A wrap-up banquet, during which the winner of the challenge will be announced, is slated for Wednesday, Sept. 24 at La Place Rendez-Vous.