My Story – Why Diabetes.

My story & why I’m fundraising for Diabetes:

In, 2012, I was diagnosed with Diabetes, later in life at the age of 45. How quickly it changed my world, I had to learn to manage my sugars and insulin, something a pancreas does naturally for a healthy person. Diabetes became a daily mental game with each meal taken, exercise, daily stresses and how I took care of myself was a game changer. If I didn’t manage it, there was big risk of complexations. Diabetes was never going away.

If Diabetes is not managed there are severe deadly complexations; heartaches, strokes, poor circulation that could led to amputation, blindness, kidney failures, or if  hypoglycemia is not dealt with immediately one can fall into a diabetic coma and not recover.

Diabetes runs in my family. My uncle also became a diabetic later in life, and at the age of 49 fell into coma during a hypoglycemia low. Unfortunately, he came through in a vegetative state and didn’t live long after that having complexations. It saddens me, and when I too became a diabetic I knew I had to bring awareness to all living with diabetes on how to manage their diabetes and give hope!

Diabetes doesn’t have to manage you. You can manage it. Together we can all managed Diabetes.

Most of my life I enjoyed being active and running, participating in 10k run events and half marathons. I learned about Team Diabetes in a magazine while waiting to see my endocrinologist and that day joined Team Diabetes. I began my quest to Make a Difference for Diabetes in 2015 and formed  MAD Dashers – Making a Difference for Diabetes to raise funds to help young children attend D-Camp; a Diabetes camp where they learn to manage their diabetes at a young age, be around other children with diabetes, gain confidence, feel acceptance that diabetes can be managed, take away leadership skills to make a difference for themselves & others with diabetes and to give their parents and family a much needed break, as Diabetes is around the clock disease. The funds raised also helps bring awareness, education to diabetics – 80,000 people attend Diabetic programs and events, and 2.5 million visit websites for diabetic information, advice, recipes and where to get help. The funds are providing much needed research, and the fight against diabetes has come a long way. When I was diagnosed I’d prick my finger numerous times throughout the day to get a blood reading. Today in 2020 wearing a Libre patch takes readings from an iPhone. WOW, it’s super convenient and much more comfortable to get a quick reading, even when I’m out running! I love it!

Since joining Team Diabetes, I did my first marathon in Lisbon, Portugal in 2017, followed by my second marathon with the Team in Vancouver in 2018, and to-date completed four marathons. I am not stopping yet, I will continue running and fundraising with Team Diabetes. My passion for running was an inspiration to start MAD Dashers-Dash for Diabetes to get people more actively involved while walking or running & raise funds.

You can make a difference in the lives of more than 11 million people living with diabetes or prediabetes. By donating to my event It’s A Virtual Thing, Running Gone MAD 5k & 10K run/walk

Why It’s A Virtual Thing? Covid change the way we are doing things and since we can’t do a live fundraising event let’s all stay safe, stay active and make a difference virtually.

By donating you are supporting Diabetes Canada in its mission to help people with diabetes and those at risk of diabetes lead healthier lives while working to find a cure.

A cure is urgently needed now more than ever, as diabetes is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing health epidemics in the world, and every hour of every day more than 20 people are diagnosed with this devastating disease.

Your support is greatly appreciated,

Neli Avila

MAD Dashers – Making A Difference for Diabetes


Diabetes Facts

About the Canadian Diabetes Association, The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) is a registered charity that helps the 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. We lead the fight against diabetes by helping those affected by diabetes to live healthy lives, preventing the onset and consequences of diabetes, and discovering a cure.

About Diabetes

Diabetes is a complex disease with multiple causes and no known cure. The three main types are:

  • Type 1 diabetes is found in 5 to 10 per cent of Canadians with diabetes and occurs when the body is unable to produce insulin, a hormone that controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. The cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown, and it is not preventable.
  • Type 2 diabetes is the most common, where the pancreas either cannot effectively use or produce enough insulin. It is found in approximately 90 per cent of Canadians living with diabetes. The causes of type 2 diabetes can be genetic, behavioural and/or environmental. It usually develops in adulthood, although more children and adolescents are being diagnosed.
  • Prediabetes occurs when an individual’s blood glucose levels are elevated, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Approximately 50 per cent of those with prediabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that develops during pregnancy. Blood glucose levels usually return to normal following delivery, however both mother and child are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

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