“At the time, my parents bought me a subscription to Survivre, a magazine published by Diabetes Québec and which today has the much more positive name of Plein Soleil. It helped me see my situation as less alarming, cope with it and break out of my isolation.”
- Ginette Labelle
Ginette Labelle was just a little girl when she found out she had Type 1 diabetes. It was June 1961. “I fell into a deep coma one night, but I survived. When I woke up, I was taught how to give myself insulin injections, check my urine glucose levels and told I couldn’t eat sugar…I was only allowed to have a one cubic inch piece of angel food cake per week,” recounts Ginette.
Unlike today, where sugar levels are measured with a blood sample, back then it was done through urine tests, meaning the results were not in real time. “Every second Saturday, so that I wouldn’t miss school, my father would take me to a lab in downtown Montreal for a glucose test so that my endocrinologist could adjust my treatment if necessary. It was a rollercoaster ride, both for me and my doctor,” continues Ginette.
Over time, physical exercise became an integral part of Ginette’s treatment. “Now, I bicycle, walk and ski. It’s great for both your body and your soul!”
In the ensuing years, treatment methods became more sophisticated and multiple injections became possible. For Ginette, this meant five insulin injections a day.
In 2000, as a result of an unexpected inheritance – a gift from heaven, as Ginette puts it – she was able to buy an insulin pump to further optimize her therapy and provide a more comfortable method of delivery. “I’m living, feeling and pushing ahead; that’s my mantra, now and for the rest of my life. I would like to thank Diabetes Québec for its support and encouragement and for teaching me about my disease. My name is Ginette Labelle and I am living proof that donating to Health Partners - Quebec works.”