5th Annual Diabetes Research Symposium & Dinner in Moncton

jdrf-colour-english This year marks Moncton’s 5th annual Diabetes Research Symposium & Dinner organized by the Moncton Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Chapter. This informative and inspirational event includes a three-course dinner, a presentation on the latest updates from JDRF, special guest speakers, testimonials of some of our local diabetes champions, product displays and information kiosks, and an evening of fraternizing and camaraderie. There is no cost to attend this event, however donations are accepted.

“I am inspired every year, not only by the world-class speakers and engaging topics, but from the feedback of all our participants who leave the Symposium so grateful that they attended and encouraged by the new findings and progress in diabetes research,” says Sara Robinson, Manager of Fundraising & Development for JDRF.

Invited to this Symposium and Dinner are individuals who have a personal interest in some of the latest research in Diabetes therapies such as adults living with type 1 diabetes (T1D), family members who have a loved one with T1D, members of the medical community, and JDRF supporters and sponsors who have an interest in finding out how their generous donations are funding diabetes research.

The JDRF Diabetes Research Symposium & Dinner happens Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1005 Main Street, in Moncton, NB. There will be a cocktail reception from 6-6:30 pm followed by the dinner and symposium from 6:30 until 9:45 pm.

Type 1 Diabetes can hit anyone at any age, with no warning. Nothing can be done to prevent it. It is an auto-immune disease where the body destroys the beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells produce insulin, which is an essential hormone needed by the body to obtain energy from food. T1D strikes suddenly, causing a lifelong dependence on injected or pumped insulin.

In 2013, the average age of the children in our area who live with diabetes is 14. Teenage years are difficult for anyone, without the added pressure and frustration of living with diabetes.

JDRFCrowne Plaza “It’s so very common to hear parents voice concern about their teenage son or daughter who is not taking his or her diabetes care seriously,” says Gerry Allain, co-chair of the Moncton Outreach Support Group. “As a parent with a child with T1D who has fainted due to low blood sugar and has been rushed to the hospital on more than one occasion, I know the fear that comes along with the years when teenagers decide they can take a break from managing their diabetes. It’s a risky game they play.”

To address the topic of diabetes psychology, one of this year’s speakers is Dr. Michael Vallis with his Keynote presentation “So You Think You Can Dance? Fitting Diabetes into Your Life!”

Over the past 40 years, the progress of diabetes research, funded by JDRF, has been dramatic. While the ultimate goal of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes, the improvement in diabetes management is obvious, from the days of boiling large needles and following a very strict regimented diet until today, where diabetes management is made easier with sophisticated equipment and insulin pumps which even children can understand and operate.

Dr. Greg Korbutt will be attending the Diabetes Symposium as a guest speaker to present his Keynote address “Islet Transplantation. Past, Present and Future Directions”. Dr. Korbutt, visits us from his lab, one of the World-Leading diabetes research clinics, located in Alberta.

A presentation of the latest equipment for diabetes management offered by various Pharmaceutical companies will also be on display and representatives will be available for questions.

National Sponsors of the Diabetes Research Symposium are Bayer and Medtronic. The dinner is sponsored and provided by Crowne Plaza Moncton Downtown.

For information or a free invitation, please call JDRF at (506)857-4255 or email lgriffin@jdrf.ca.

About the Speakers

Dr. Greg Korbutt, Ph.D., is a Professor in the department of Surgery at the University of Alberta. Part of his research has been funded by JDRF since 1994. The main objectives of Dr. Korbutt’s research are to develop a more accessible source of insulin producing tissue for transplantation into patients with type 1 diabetes. The title of his talk is “Islet Transplantation. Past, Present and Future Directions.” It has been shown that human islet allografts can achieve insulin-independence in a reproducible manner, thereby significantly improving the quality of life of brittle diabetic patients. However, to treat all diabetic patients, an unlimited source of tissue is needed and the transplant needs to be carried out without continuous immunosuppression.

Dr. Michael Vallis, Ph.D., R. Psych., is a registered health psychologist practising at the Capital Health, Halifax. His main area of expertise is in adult health psychology, with a clinical emphasis on diabetes. The title of his talk is “So You Think You Can Dance? Fitting Diabetes into Your Life!” He has developed the Behaviour Change Institute, a training program for lifestyle counselling skills for physicians, nurses, dieticians and other healthcare providers. He regularly supervises clinical and academic students at Dalhousie University and is active in research on motivation, behavioural change and adaptation to chronic disease.

Andrea Marshall was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 27 years ago and has not looked back since. Andrea champions life with diabetes, standing strong to overcome any barriers that it tries to build. While living with T1D is not easy, she introduced the insulin pump and CGMS to her bag of tricks. She has spent the past 11 years running in marathons and adventure races while living a very active lifestyle with her diabetes. Andrea currently works in Halifax, NS, with Emergency Health Services and shares her story on working shift work while living a full and very active life with T1D and an insulin pump with CGMS.