With the announcement of the 2006-07 budget by the Ontario Government, JDRF Nipissing’s Speakers Bureau is ecstatic with the news that they will provide $12 million in 2006-07, growing to $30 million by 2008-09. The JDRF Nipissing Speakers Bureau’s Co- Chairs, Bob Goulais, Laura Levesque and Daniel Godfrey thank the government for recognizing a critical need of children with Type 1 diabetes. “On behalf of Laura, Bob and all the people affected by this, we say thanks for realizing what is really needed. This is a giant step in the right direction” said Godfrey.
Goulais states “I am ecstatic over this announcement and what it will mean for those living with Type 1 diabetes. These insulin pumps and this decision by the government will give many youngsters a new lease on life.”
Goulais is a type 2 diabetic, Godfrey has had type 1 diabetes for over 10 years and Levesque, 18 years old was diagnosed at the age of 2. Levesque, Goulais and Godfrey have been lobbying with other organizations to make members of parliament aware of the impact of diabetes related health complications on people living with type 1 Diabetes.
Goulais stated, “We worked long a hard to support this initiative and it’s wonderful to see an idea come to fruition. We pounded the payment and the hallways of Queens Park. I want to thank our local MPP Monique Smith (Nipissing) for her support, as well as MPP Michael Gravelle (Thunder Bay – Superior North) who championed this since 2004. I also want to thank Susan Schouwstra and her son Daniel Godfrey for their vision in supporting this initiative. I hope to see Daniel benefiting from the use of his long abandoned insulin pump very soon.”
The insulin pump is a revolutionary piece of equipment that allows a person with type 1 diabetes to live and function a relatively active life with a substantial decrease in the number of injections. A person on insulin injections could see upwards of 4 injections a day; on a pump it is once every 2 days depending on the system and the health concerns. The pump continuously feeds the body with insulin acting similar to how a pancreas would function improving the quality of life as well as preventing the severe complications that a person with diabetes must suffer.
One child with insulin dependent diabetes costs the Ontario Health Care System over $200,000 due to the complications related to this disease. This announcement by the Ontario Government will reduce not only this number but the number of children suffering from this devastating disease.
Levesque, Goulais and Godfrey, believe this is an incredible step in the right direction, “however we will continue our lobby to ensure that all insulin related supplies receive the same attention and funding because although the pump is a fantastic tool to manage diabetes, it is not a cure. And not all insulin dependent people can use the pump.”

For more information, please contact Susan Schouwstra:

Tel: (705) 744-0160
E-mail: northbay@jdrf.ca