100 years since the discovery of life-saving insulin

·2 min read

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin by Sir Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best.

While the discovery of insulin has saved the lives of millions of people afflicted with diabetes, it is not a cure.

Diabetes continues to take the lives of Canadi-ans and the rate of dia-betes is alarming.

One in three Canadians are living with, or are at risk of developing diabetes.

Currently, youth around 20 years-old have a 50 per cent chance of being diagnose with Type 2 dia-betes in their lifetime.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is hindering care for some people with diabetes and placing people with the disease at three-times higher risk of dying from the virus if contracted.

Diabetes Canada is launching a new fund-raising and awareness campaign called, “We Can’t Wait Another 100 Years to End Diabetes.”“

The discovery of insu-lin in Canada ranks among the leading achievements of medical research,” said Laura Syron, President and CEO of Diabetes Canada. “Although insulin has enabled an incredible change in life expectancy and quality of life for millions of people around the world, it isn’t a cure. It is a treatment. More than ever, the millions of Canadians with or at risk of diabetes need our support. We can’t wait another 100 years and we hope Canadians will support us and help to end diabetes.”

Beginning in January 2021, the year long campaign will recognize the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize-winning scientific achievement by Sir Frederick Banting, Charles Best, and fellow scientists and co-discoveres of insulin, JJR Macleod and James Collip.

While celebrating the milestone, the campaign aims to remind Canadians about the serious and sometimes deadly consequences of the disease which can lead to other chronic illnesses includ-ing blindness, heart attack and stroke, amputation and kidney failure.

Through the campaign, Diabetes Canada will engage in a national conversation about the disease.

Although this is the anniversary of an incredible discovery, Diabetes Canada says “insulin is not enough. It is the starting line, not the finish line for diabetes.”

New Tecumseth has a special connection to Sir Frederick Banting. He was born on a farm in Alliston in 1891 and attended high school in the Town before leaving to attend school at the University of Toronto.T

he Banting Homestead Heritage Park preserves this historic site.

Diabetes Canada was started by Charles Best in 1940, and is dedicated to supporting people living with diabetes.

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Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times