Sidney’s Nicola Politano holds a poster for her upcoming Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes fundraiser on May 26. She hopes the annual event will raise a lot of money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

Sidney fundraiser helping kids fight diabetes

Nicola Politano organizing May 26 dance at the air cadet hall

Technology and research into juvenile diabetes is always improving, helping make people’s lives better.

Yet, Nicola Politano knows that not everyone can afford the latest advances that make its easier for children to live with the condition. Her own daughter, Sammie, 10, has juvenile diabetes. She was diagnosed two years ago and even in that short space of time, her mother says she’s gone from manual injections of much-needed insulin, to an all but automatic system that can read Sammie’s blood sugar, inject the insulin — or even send alerts to her phone (and her parents’ phones) if more action is needed.

However, not everyone has the luxury of access to that technology. And that’s why Nicola has been part of a team hosting an annual fundraiser to help support juvenile diabetes research and supplies.

This year’s event is set for Sat., May 26 at the Kittyhawk Air Cadets hall near the airport in North Saanich. Nicola said it has been held in the past at Mary Bleue Moon restaurant on Canora Road — but they were finding that the space was no longer large enough to accommodate all the people who wanted to come. So, she reached out toe the local air cadets, who she said were more than happy to donate the space.

Last year’s fundraiser collected more than $5,000 and Nicola said they hope to collect at last that much again — or surpass it. After the event, they will donate the money to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, during the organization’s annual walk in Langford.

“It’s amazing to go there and see people’s amazing ideas (how they raised money),” she said. “One family last year, raised $10,000 from just clearing out their clutter and holding a neighbourhood garage sale.”

Nicola said the goal is to help improve kids’ lives as they try to live better with juvenile diabetes. She said it’s Type 1 diabetes, which means it’s a life-long conditions that will require treatment. Type 2, she said, can be controlled, even potentially reversed through things like exercise and diet.

She added diabetes is still a condition that can be misdiagnosed. People even still die from it.

“If you don’t know you have it, or don’t treat it, you can fall into a coma. It’s scary.”

On May 26, doors open at the air cadet hall (1979 De Havilland Way) at 5:30 p.m. It’s an all-ages event and tickets can be purchased at Mary’s Bleue Moon restaurant. The band Decades of Rock will be performing music from the 1960s to the ’80s and food will be provided by the Grilled to the Mac food truck. There will be 50/50 draws, a silent auction and fun and games for the whole family.

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