A source of inspiration
Testimonial of Mathieu Lacasse
Diagnosed at 7 years old
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 7. When you are 7 years old, there is a before and an after. For the little boy I was, who loved candy, it was a shock at first. I had to learn at a very young age, along with my parents, how to manage my own diet.
The way one eats when one has T1D is the way everyone else should eat
Over time you realize that it doesn’t stop you from doing anything. Finally, type 1 diabetes doesn’t stop you from eating whatever you want as long as you control your carbs. It’s just a matter of being able to develop autonomy, to manage your own sugar levels. From then on, you are as free as a bird.
Being DT1 is all About Major Autonomy
I believe that children with diabetes are the most autonomous people I have ever met. You get to know yourself quickly because it affects your health, so you become independent faster than others.
A Shock for the Family but Also a Full Support
It was a shock for my family too. I have two older brothers and I am the only one with diabetes. It caused a big change in the family. Everyone’s diet was improved. It’s a matter of understanding how to manage your health for a lifetime.
Questions Rather than Judgments
As far as my friends were concerned, it initially raised a certain amount of misunderstanding. They didn’t really understand what was involved. You take the time to explain it to them and it quickly goes back to normal. My best friends have learned what to do when I’m feeling unwell.
Fred Changed my Life
When I first got diagnosed, it was the fear of the unknown. There were flyers going around the hospital. We heard about Fred, the resource foundation. We started going to one or two activities. One day I met a nurse who had been to the camp and she told me what it was like. I was 7 years old. I didn’t want to go, but I was pushed to go. And I found so much love at camp. That’s when Fred became a part of my life. Fred has given me so much that I now want to give back.
There are Definitely Moments of Discouragement
There are hard times. The diagnosis is one of them. Adolescence is a hard time too. When you get to a point where you’re questioning yourself, and you’ve got baggage to deal with. It’s hard to get to high school. You think to yourself, why am I diabetic and no one else is? But it’s a little downhill that goes back up so quickly. As long as you’re willing to explain it to others, to give them a chance to understand what type 1 diabetes is, it gets better and better.
What about sports?
Before my diagnosis, I played a lot of sports (soccer, snowboarding, skiing). It was a shock and I had to learn to manage it all. With time, you listen to advice, you learn to know yourself. And as soon as you get to know yourself, there are no more limits. You see the best examples in professional sports such as Max Domi who plays for the Canadiens. Tim Thibault of the NFL. There’s nothing stopping you. It’s a question of motivation, a question of persistence. I’m still a great athlete today. I have been running the Nova Scotia Challenge since I was 15 years old. It was my 5th edition this year. It is a family activity, I do it with my father, my mother and my brothers. I do it every year. We said to each other that we would raise money for Fred which is our cause, the cause that has given the most to each one of us, to me and to my parents. Fred took the initiative to make sure that if you raised a certain amount of money, you were able to offer a summer to a young person. That was a personal goal.
Camp is just two weeks when you’re young,
but two weeks that make all the difference.
I believe that the camp is something that every young person should experience. Often, it’s the best two weeks of your summer. When I arrived, I was a little introverted kid. I got to know myself, to develop my interests. Carowanis became a second family for me. The camp is a physical place but it goes beyond that. It becomes a reference point for us, the people who have been here, we are all a big family that will always stick together.
At Fred’s, we are inspired by the strength and resilience of our type 1 diabetic youth who share their stories and adventures with us. These young people inspire us to work towards a brighter future for all those living with type 1 diabetes. That’s why we are dedicated to supporting and advocating for our t1d youth through our foundation. We invite you to join us in this mission by making a donation and getting involved in our efforts to empower and support our t1d youth.
Together, we can make a difference in the lives of these amazing individuals.