Danielle McVicar

Canada

Year of diabetes diagnosis: 2000.

Member of YLD since: 2015 (YLD Candidate).

At a very young age, I was competitively involved in various sports, such as cross country skiing, swimming, track and soccer. At the age of 10, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. A few months after my diagnosis I had the opportunity to attend my local diabetes camp.  Camp helped build my diabetes support system, life-long friendships and my self-confidence. This allowed me to understand that with hard work and time, diabetes would not limit my potential in sport and success. During my high school years I continued to competitively cross country ski race at national and international events. I then was awarded a full athletic scholarship at a NCAA Division 1 school, the University of New Hampshire. I skied for UNH for four years and earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Marketing with honors.

Having volunteered and worked in a seasonal capacity for my member association, Diabetes Canada, for ten years, I recognized the tremendous joy I got out of building, improving and inspiring my local diabetes community.  I currently work full time for Diabetes Canada running their camp and youth programs for all of Western Canada.  I am very passionate towards increasing access to education, and medication for everyone living with this disease around the work and also, creating and building community to enable everyone’s personal success.

My project: through my project, young adults with type 1 who lack support physically and mentally to successfully manage their diabetes will benefit from meeting others with the same chronic condition allowing participants to feel a sense of community belonging, development of tools that participants will be motivated to use for advocacy and empowerment.

The key objectives are to change policies regarding health care in Canada for Type 1s (i.e. Universal pump coverage), as well as increasing the  advocacy base for Diabetes Canada via target University Diabetes Groups and piloting with 2 universities in 2016-2017 before  growing in to a national program.