Who needs Superman when we’ve got Banting and Best

Ahhh insulin, we've had quite the ride haven't we.

Ahhh insulin, we’ve had quite the ride haven’t we.

In the beginning, I thought for sure you were my enemy, and just like the scared, little kid I was, I avoided you at all costs – health included.

Instead of me being your recipient, my mom’s plants were injected full of you. But after the plants had all been massacred, and I had been sentenced to Children’s Hospital, and was forced to accept your wisdom, our relationship gradually evolved into something that is now quite beautiful.

Some might even call it BFF-like.

And so today, dear insulin, I give you homage.

Monday was World Diabetes Day,  and I’ll be honest, despite having this disease for more than 24 years, I had no clue that Nov. 14 was World Diabetes Day until just last month. It probably had something to do with the fact that I never really cared, and quite frankly I’m still kind of dubious about the whole “day” thing.

All day on Monday, the Twitter feed, blogs, even my own email was buzzing with people expressing happiness about this day. I don’t know how many times I saw “Happy World Diabetes Day” posted.

Really? Are we happy about diabetes? Really?

Diabetes, despite its many attempts, hasn’t ruined me. I’m alive. I’m healthy. I’m happy. But I’m not happy about this disease. So no, I did not say “Happy World Diabetes Day,” on Monday, but I did say thanks to those super duper, totally awesome, Canadian superheroes for the invention of insulin.

I do every day.

In 1921, 90 years ago, Dr. Frederick Banting and med student Charles Best discovered that insulin taken from the pancreas of cows could save the lives of humans. They went against the odds, fought to do the research when others doubted its importance, and even when they were given a tiny, decaying lab to work out of at the University of Toronto, didn’t back down.

Their discovery was like a miracle for us diabetics.

Before Banting and Best, before Humulin-R and NPH, Humalog and Lantus, Novorapid and Levimir (all insulins I have taken over the years), us diabetics were crammed into a hospital room and starved – like third-world country, hair falling out, belly extended starved – to enable us just a few more years on earth.

Betting those weren’t exactly the most enjoyable years.

My life, while not always easy, has been nothing like that. I can eat chocolate, I can run marathons, I can have a love-hate relationship with the Grouse Grind, I can go to work every day. I can dream. I can live.

Thanks to Dr. Frederick Banting and Charles Best.

Insulin is not a cure, not even close, but it has given me, and thousands of others like me, life. So, for my parents, my siblings, my husband, my friends, myself, I give thanks to Banting and Best from the bottom of my healthy heart.

And apparently I wasn’t the only one giving homage to Canada’s superheroes on World Diabetes Day, which also happened to be Banting’s birthday. Have you seen Canada’s new polymer $100 bill that was unveiled Monday? Front and centre, an old-school insulin vial.

Good job Canada.

• November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

Just Posted

Chilliwack Chiefs erase three goal deficit in overtime win

Down 3-0 to the Cowichan Capitals, the Chiefs came back to win 4-3 in the BCHL Showcase match.

Chilliwack man feeling helpless about puppy stolen while at church

Evidence of neighbour trespassing and accusing him of dog neglect not enough for RCMP

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack man has been found

Chilliwack RCMP is thanking the public for keeping an eye out

UPDATED: Chilliwack councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read