Animas Heroes

To us, being a hero is about how you live your life, and what kind of an example you set for others. It's not about being perfect, but about doing your very best. It's about attitude and action.

Our sincere hope is that you find some inspiration from the stories below to help you on your own journey with Type 1 diabetes

  • DEBORAH WILLOWS: LIVING BEYOND DIABETES AND CEREBRAL PALSY

    Using her lips, Deborah Willows presses the buttons on the meter-remote for her OneTouch Ping® insulin pump. Her support worker just tested Deborah’s blood glucose and prepared one of her favorite meals—salmon quiche. ....

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  • GRAND SLAM DREAMS FOR LEENA BENNETTO

    She started playing tennis at age 9, and now 13-year-old Leena Bennetto aims to be the best tennis player in the world.

    Although having Type 1 diabetes means Leena has more on her plate than other athletes her age, she’s making no excuses on her way to the top. She speaks with confidence, and she’s got the talent to back it up.

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  • KEVIN KELLERMAN: LOVE AT FIRST FIGHT

    It was love at first fight. Kevin Kellerman was hooked on Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) from his first training session, and doesn’t plan on stopping until he’s had a successful pro career. It’s a lofty goal for any 21 year old, but while Kevin fights his way to the top, he’s also dealing with Type 1 diabetes.

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  • SARAH MONTES: MAKING A SPLASH

    When Sarah Montes was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, she had one question for her doctor, “Can I still swim?”

    At age 14, Sarah was swimming competitively, training 6 days a week, and didn’t want anything to stop her from her dream of representing Canada in Olympic swimming. And she hasn’t allowed it to stop her. Diabetes hasn’t......

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  • KISS AND TELL: NATALIE IRISH PAINTS WITH HER LIPS AND TALKS ABOUT DIABETES

    For someone who doesn’t wear lipstick often, Natalie Irish’s makeup collection is extensive. The artist’s claim to fame is lipstick painting, and she’s using her unique talent to connect with others who live with Type 1 diabetes...

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  • STEPHEN STEELE: FLYING ON INSULIN

    In 1986, airline pilot Stephen Steele had his medical certificate revoked when he was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. It would be 16 years before he could fly again. Today, Stephen is showing pilots around the world that insulin-dependence is not necessarily an end to their flying careers...

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  • THE KANE FAMILY: FINDING THE BEST CARE FOR THEIR BABY GIRL

    When their 8 month old daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, Brad and Nicole Kane were told an insulin pump wasn't an option...

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  • CARLEY BARKER: RESPONDING TO A CALL FROM NEPAL

    When a 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated Nepal in April 2015, Carley Barker was among the brave medical workers who responded to a global call for help. The conditions in Nepal were risky for anyone, but living with Type 1 diabetes meant Carley needed to be prepared for the worst...

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  • WHEN A PARENT AND CHILD BOTH HAVE TYPE 1 DIABETES

    Cora Henderson has long taken a quiet approach to life with Type 1 diabetes. Diagnosed at the age of four, she’s never known life without the disease. “I was one of the very few people in town who had diabetes in Canora in the 1980’s,” says Cora, who grew up in the tiny Saskatchewan town of 2,200. “My mother was a nurse, and we learned to take care of things ourselves.”...

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  • SÉBASTIEN SASSEVILLE COMPLETES THE EPIC JOURNEY TO RUN ACROSS CANADA!

    He arrived amid cheers, high-fives, and shouts of “Go, Seb, Go!” and “We love you, Seb!” On a brilliant but chilly Friday morning, Sébastien Sasseville celebrated the completion of his 7,500 km solo run across Canada at Second Beach in Vancouver, B.C. on November 14, World Diabetes Day.

    As school children, admirers, friends and family greeted him enthusiastically, Sébastien ran into the Pacific Ocean...

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  • GOODBYE CANADA, HOLA ESPAÑA

    When Performance last caught up with Michael Thornton two years ago, his dream to play professional soccer was just starting to take shape.

    Toronto born and raised, at only 12 years of age he had already travelled to Europe for try-outs with an Italian soccer club. The following year, in 2013, he travelled to France, England, Italy and dream in Spain, and sometimes living the dream means having to...

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  • A MOM’S STORY: FROM WORRIER TO WARRIOR

    After her daughter’s Type 1 diabetes diagnosis at just 18 months old, Bonita Lehmann found herself anxious, depressed and alone. Now, almost 20 years later, she is using her journey to inspire other parents with children managing a chronic condition.

    The measuring, the counting, the monitoring, the finger pokes, the site changes, the insulin shots: for a parent of a child with diabetes...

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  • ATHLETE’S CORNER: HAPPY FEET

    Since the late 1800’s, the syncopated, mesmerizing sounds of brush steps, back flaps and heel clicks have echoed through halls, theatres and dance studios. To some, tap dancing might seem like a quaint, old fashioned art form that saw its heyday when Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly graced the silver screen. But don’t tell that to Samantha (Sammy) Rutherford.

    “There are so many tricks you have to learn to perfect. And you have to make it look easy when you are working really hard,” enthuses Sammy. The 13-year-old from Aurora, ON has been practising tap since she was in kindergarten...

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  • FLOWING INTO ADVENTURE

    Sarah Ketcheson, elementary school teacher, adventurer, Type 1 since 1999

    It’s 2008 and I am sitting on an airplane, departing for Nairobi, Kenya for 5 weeks. All of a sudden, I hear a crack. In an attempt to nap on the plane, I had taken off my glasses and put them into the front pocket. I am now holding two lenses in my hand, with no spare set to replace them with. Welcome to adventure...

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