St. Joseph’s honours lifetime of perseverance

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Nov. 08, 2016

The Diabetes Half Century Awards for patients who have reached 50 years living with diabetes will be presented on Nov. 9 as part of National Diabetes Month

It was Christmas 1965 when Ann Imrie’s uncle took one look at her and knew she had diabetes. Living with diabetes himself he recognized the signs, but he didn’t have the heart to tell Imrie’s mother during the holidays.

She was diagnosed a few days later. Imrie remembers the date – Jan. 4, 1966. “I was 10. I had dropped 20 pounds in two weeks. I remember being so thirsty I ate an entire box of mandarins all at once, one after another.”

Today, Imrie, 61, is proud to be among the 2016 recipients of the Diabetes Half Century Awards being presented on Nov. 9 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, having lived well with diabetes for 50 years.

The awards are presented annually by St. Joseph’s Health Care London and Novo Nordisk Canada Inc. Patients with insulin-dependent diabetes who reach 50 years since their diagnosis are nominated by their endocrinologist. They are honoured for their personal commitment and diligence in looking after their health, and for acting as a role model to all those living with the condition. Each recipient receives a print of London’s Banting House and a special medal to commemorate their achievement.

Imrie describes an over protected childhood being “watched like a hawk” by her worried parents who limited her to more sedentary activities. She was the only student with diabetes in her school, which inspired so much awe and intrigue among her classmates that one boy chose diabetes as the subject of his Grade 6 speech. Fifty years later, it’s a very different world for those living with type 1 diabetes, and few are as struck by the stark contrast as Imrie. Read her full story.

St. Joseph’s has honoured more than 130 patients over the past 13 years for reaching the half century mark with diabetes. This year there are four recipients. Media are invited to attend and hear their stories:

What: Diabetes Half Century Awards, Nov. 9 at 11:00 am

Where: Diabetes Education Centre, St. Joseph’s Hospital, 268 Grosvenor St. London, Zone B, Level 5, Room B5-638 (North Classroom)

For more information contact:
Dahlia Reich, Communication & Public Affairs
St. Joseph’s Health Care London
519 646-6100 ext. 65294, pager 10117
About St. Joseph’s Health Care London

Renowned for compassionate care, St. Joseph’s Health Care London is a leading academic health care centre in Canada dedicated to helping people live to their fullest by minimizing the effects of injury, disease and disability through excellence in care, teaching and research. Through partnership with Lawson Health Research Institute and our collaborative engagement with other health care and academic partners, St. Joseph’s has become an international leader in the areas of: chronic disease management; medical imaging; specialized mental health care; rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics; and surgery. St. Joseph’s operates through a wide range of hospital, clinic and long-term and community-based settings, including: St. Joseph’s Hospital; Parkwood Institute; Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care; and Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care.

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