Grassroots diabetes group brings “Superb Race” to Legislature

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The grassroots group, Emergency Diabetes Support for Manitobans, hosted “The Amazing Race for Diabetes Coverage” during the lunch break on the Thursday before legislature, with teams facing challenges that highlight the difficulties insulin dependent diabetics face when they don’t Have access to the necessary diabetes supplies.

Activities included modified golf, trivia, weight carrying, carbohydrate counting, and insulin dose calculations.

“Treating type 1 diabetes without access to tools like insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors is like trying to win the Amazing Race blindfolded without knowing where you are at any point in time,” said the health worker and Type 1 diabetic Ally Amedick issued a press release.

All MLAs were invited to participate and team up with a patient with insulin dependent diabetes, in which MLAs from all three parties participated.

Participant Elizabeth Miller pointed to the psychological distress of the chronic illness and found that patients make an average of 180 decisions a day to manage their diabetes. Miller currently has private health insurance for their devices, though many in Manitoba aren’t so lucky. Without the CGM and the insulin pump, “there would be a lot of guesswork that would lead to below-average results,” she said.

The trivia portion of the event focused on cost – both the cost of caring for diabetes and the cost of Manitoba’s healthcare system when diabetes deviates from course.

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