On Saturday evening, March 11, a few community members got together to share their journey with diabetes.
Local resident and nurse Kaitlin Volk spearheaded the initiative to raise more awareness about the disease, inviting Stettler’s Victor Manderville to speak about his battle.
Volk has been a type-one diabetic for close to a decade, which led her to become a licensed practical nurse who specializes in diabetes.
“Being a diabetic and nurse has let me watch people go through the ups and downs of diabetes and all the stages of grief in between,” Volk said. “Through all of that I have realized the importance of education and never feeling like you’re alone, which is why I hope to continue my career by educating people and spreading knowledge and compassion.”
Volk started volunteering for Diabetes Canada approximately a year ago, with her coordinator Jackie Morrison offering her the chance to arrange and direct diabetic support groups.”
“As terrified as I was to start these groups from scratch, I was also thrilled,” Volk added. “I can tell you one of the most exciting moments for me was meeting other people with diabetes and being able to support them. That feeling that you’re not alone is truly life changing.”
Volk now runs diabetic support groups from 6 to 7 p.m. at the hospital, on the last Thursday of every month.
“I believe these groups not only give us the ability to learn as a team, but to also share our experience and support each other,” Volk explained. “This includes individuals that may not have diabetes, but are wanting to learn about the disease. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate these people.”
According to Volk, Diabetes Canada recognizes people’s need for diabetic supplies and is prepared to set a client up with the resources needed to help make them successful.
“I have seen this first hand and I have watched Diabetes Canada central zone lend out a meter and strips to a person in need, so they could still test before their next paycheck,” Volk said. “It makes me proud to say that I am part of this compassionate team.”
Volk said that all those present at the Saturday event were greatly inspired by Manderville’s story.
“His journey through the medical system and all of its shortcomings have not been great, but through all of this he has stayed positive with his faith and his family’s support,” Volk stated. “He wants to go out and educate people in the dangers of uncontrolled diabetes and the system.”