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These are a few of the resources that have been valuable to our family throughout our journey with the diabetes dragon. We hope this information helps you on your family's journey!


Diabetes Canada [formerly known as the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA)]

What: Diabetes Canada/CDA leads the fight against diabetes by helping those affected live healthy lives, by funding research for the prevention, treatment and cure of diabetes, and by advocating for the rights of those living with diabetes (through initiatives such as: the Diabetes Charter which outlines the rights and responsibilities of those with diabetes and other stakeholders; Kids in School focuses on advocacy for students with diabetes, including an excellent written resource for parents and educators, called "Kids with Diabetes in Your Care"; workplace rights of those with diabetes; financial coverage of diabetes supplies, including establishing pump funding programs in various provinces). Diabetes Canada also runs D-Camps (summer sleep away camps for those with diabetes and their families), and is the source for Clinical Best Practice Guidelines for professionals.
Who: For anyone affected by or interested in learning more about all forms of diabetes (type 1, type 2, gestational..)
Where: Canada – Diabetes Canada is a national advocacy, awareness-building, research-supporting organization with local offices in many major cities, serving all provinces and territories.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Canada

What: JDRF is an international organization primarily engaged in research and advocacy: research into cure, preventative, and treatment therapies which will allow individuals with diabetes to live well (for example, they are centrally involved in research into the “artificial pancreas” project); advocacy regarding the challenges of type 1 diabetes, the need for a cure, and the rights and responsibilities of students with diabetes. JDRF’s School Advisory Toolkit for Families is a valuable resource for diabetes care at school. For more information or to get involved with JDRF’s efforts (including an annual Walk for the Cure, Ride for Diabetes Research, Hope Gala, and other projects), great opportunities to connect with other individuals with diabetes while contributing to a great cause, visit www.jdrf.ca
Who: for anyone affected by type 1 diabetes (formerly called juvenile diabetes)
Where: JDRF is an international organization, with a Canadian arm, and local chapters in many major cities.

Alberta Diabetes Foundation (ADF)

What: The Alberta Diabetes Foundation rapidly and strategically funds innovative research for the prevention, treatment, and cure of all forms of diabetes. It is aligned with the Alberta Diabetes Institute in Edmonton, one of the world’s finest diabetes research facilities, and progress is being made. Funding is disbursed when and where it’s needed most, moving projects along that may otherwise be stalled, facilitating measurable results. For more information on the research projects they support, or how you can get involved by volunteering, donating, or participating in one of their awareness campaigns, visit the ADF website.
Who: for anyone interested in research into prevention, treatment and cure of all types of diabetes
Where: Alberta (Edmonton)

International Diabetes Federation (IDF)

What: The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organization of over 230 national diabetes associations in 170 countries and territories. It represents the interests of the growing number of people with diabetes and those at risk. The Federation’s activities aim to influence policy, increase public awareness and encourage health improvement, promote the exchange of high-quality information about diabetes, and provide education for people with diabetes and their healthcare providers. IDF is associated with the Department of Public Information of the United Nations and is in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). IDF is the go-to resource for global World Diabetes Day information and activities (November 14, annually).
WhoFor anyone affected by or interested in learning more about all forms of diabetes 
Where: international

Alberta Children’s Hospital Diabetes Clinic website

What: The ACH Diabetes Clinic promotes healthy lifestyles for children and adolescents with diabetes through state-of-the-art clinical management, family focused education and psychosocial support. Their website is a resource for families living with childhood diabetes, allowing current patients to download the forms for your child's clinic visit, read about research projects at the University of Calgary (including participant eligibility), and link to the Transitioning Youth with Diabetes program. All web visitors can read and download informational handouts on a variety of diabetes topics, including: adjusting insulin, managing diabetes when a child is sick, traveling with diabetes, preventing DKA in a child using an insulin pump... and many more.
Who: anyone with diabetes (especially those who use insulin) may benefit from the online information, though the resource is focused on children/teens/families
Where: Calgary, Alberta (Canada); their online resource is available anywhere

BC Children’s Hospital Diabetes Clinic website

What: The Endocrinology & Diabetes Unit at BC Children's is a diagnostic, treatment and education centre for children and families affected with diabetes and other endocrine conditions. Their excellent online resource is available to anyone, and includes detailed information and practice exercises in an self-learning program (a series of modules which take you through the principles and process of Insulin Dose Adjustment). 
Who: anyone with diabetes (especially those who use insulin) may benefit from the online information, though the resource is focused on children/teens/families.
Where: Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada); their online resource is available anywhere


What: An informational website developed by the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS), the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) and the Canadian Pediatric Endocrine Group (CPEG), Diabetes At School features bilingual training resources for use by educators, school boards, and parents of children with diabetes. Topics include understanding blood sugars, food and insulin, physical activity, and communication between home and school. My personal favourite features include: printable posters for Lows and Highs; a Diabetes Care Plan Template in printable PDF, fillable PDF, or Word doc; a section on how to prevent D-emergencies; links to existing policies in the provinces that have them; a role for our children and what we can expect from them at different ages; concise, bullet-point info on how teachers can help; info on glucagon, what it is, how to use it; all in a Canadian context.
Who: For parents of a student with diabetes, or educators with a student with diabetes under their care
Where: Canada

Welcome to Type 1

What: Via video and the web, Welcome to Type 1 promotes a proactive outlook and provides the important information needed by those newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Who: those newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes
Where: online


Connected In Motion   Breathing Fresh Air into Diabetes Education.

What: physical activity and social events, for a group who “share a vision: to create a culture of support & engagement in diabetes self-management through peer-based experiential diabetes education, sport, and outdoor adventure.”
Who: for young adults with type 1 diabetes
Where: select locations across Canada (at time of publishing, events are scheduled for ON, AB, BC, QC, NS, NB), and into the United States.

Riding On Insulin

What: ski & snowboard camps; mountain bike camps. “Riding On Insulin empowers, activates and connects the global diabetes community through shared experience and action sports. In addition to establishing a comfortable environment, we strive to help families explore new passions, challenge T1D, and celebrate each other’s successes.”
Who: for kids and teens with type 1 diabetes
: select locations in Canada (Alberta; Ontario) and across the USA

I Challenge Diabetes   Connect. Challenge. Explore.  

What: events and programs that, through physical activity (ex. skating, skiing, hiking, biking, swimming), “focus on experiential education and creative problem solving; goal is to build confidence and help people to overcome the fears and frustration that come with managing diabetes.” ICD was founded by Chris Jarvis, Canadian Olympian in the sport of rowing. The mission of I Challenge Diabetes (ICD) is to “support, empower, and connect people living with diabetes, by providing challenging programs to test the limits of living with the disease, and high-quality services to help them grow and take accountability for their own health.”

Who: for kids, teens, adults with T1D

Where: select locations across Canada, including ON, QC, AB and BC

C-PaK (Connecting - Parents and Kids) 

What: recreational, support and information group: kids “connect at fun activities such as laser tag, pottery painting, swimming, gymnastics and wall climbing.  They will be given the opportunity to meet and play with other children who are dealing with type 1 diabetes and will realize that they are not different. Likewise, parents can meet other parents in a casual, non-threatening environment.”

Who: for families who have a child diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (parents and kids, including siblings)

Where: Calgary and area (Alberta, Canada)

SALTS (Sail and Life Training Society)   Training, By the Sea, for Life.

What: summer sailing voyages. Each year, SALTS mentors young people from all walks of life as they learn to sail a tall ship.

Who: for young people ages 13-25 (as well as Day Sails for all ages)

Where: the west coast of British Columbia (Canada). Past offshore voyages have traveled to the South Pacific, Far East, Australia, and Europe.


Joe Solowiejczyk, RN, MSW, CDE - Diabetes Nurse Educator, Family Therapist, and T1D for 50+ years

What: Joe provides individualized guidance on the physical and/or psychosocial aspects of T1D. He specializes in assessing how family dynamics affect the management of diabetes and in designing interventions that result in more effective coping and optimal glycemic control. 

Who: for anyone affected by diabetes

Where: any location, via video chat



Integrated Diabetes Services (founded by Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, author of Think Like a Pancreas)

What: individualized diabetes education and management services, with specialties in technology (insulin pumps and CGM), and managing diabetes within exercise/athletic activities.

Who: for anyone living with diabetes

Where: any location, via video chat (physically located in Pennsylvania, USA)

Further Details:

Looking for Individualized Help on Your Dragon-Taming Journey?
Joe Solowiejczyk type 1 diabetes counselling service 
Joe Solowiejczyk, RN, MSW is a world-renowned Diabetes Nurse Educator and Family Therapist who has lived with type 1 diabetes for more than 50 years. As a result, he is able to translate his personal experiences into unique and creative patient care programs and services. He specializes in assessing how family dynamics affect the management of diabetes, and in designing interventions that result in more effective coping and optimal glycemic control. If your family could benefit from a session with him (from any location, via Skype), please contact Joe at jsolowiejczyk@gmail.com.

Joe is also the author of A Type 1 Diabetes Guide to the Universe, a book that integrates the psychological and emotional aspects of dealing with diabetes into the core of its approach, to provide information that will help you and your family.

“Through one of his public presentations, Joe was instrumental in my own healing as a parent of a child with diabetes: his insights and humour helped me make the shift from grief to coping; the fact that he knows what it’s like to wrestle with this dragon is a huge bonus.”  ~Michelle

Note: You may want to check with your private health insurance provider to see if you may be covered for this service. If you live in Alberta, note that Joe is registered as a nurse in your province, and depending on your plan, sessions may be covered under professional services as chronic disease management education and training, or as family therapy. Additionally, if your family has a personal spending / taxable wellness account, you may be able to claim these services under caregiver support services, or training / tutoring, or even under stress management programs. For more information, contact your private health insurance company.

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