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Trying to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes for my son

Domenic Somma

By Domenic Somma

Good day,

November is Diabetes awareness month, and November 14th is National Diabetes Awareness Day, and I am writing this in hopes of providing an opportunity to raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes that is both heartwarming and news worthy.

My eldest son, Reid, who is 14, has type 1 diabetes, and my wife has been his strongest advocate both within the local community, having done a few radio interviews for 104.5 MYFM Pembroke, as well as using social media, such as Facebook, and also been a advocate for change at my sons school, who in fact had no real protocol in place when it comes to type 1 diabetics in the school. Also, she has done a great deal of advocacy though JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), and in fact my son was the JDRF youth ambassador in 2014, and actually gave a speech for Walk to Cure Diabetes event that is held each year in Ottawa.
So, background aside, how is it that I would like local media outlets to be involved. On November 25th at around noon, my sons high school, Fellows Public School, in Pembroke, Ontario. Kathy Herault, the head of Student Services, is going to be telling Reid that they are having a movie and popcorn for the Gr 9 and she is going to ask him if he would get up on the stage to say a bit about diabetes and then after he is done she is going to surprise him with Will Hauver’s video.
Will Hauver was a 22 year old American that had Type 1 diabetes, and was given the “ice bucket challenge,” so he made his video like everyone else at the time, but then at the end he added that he would like to also raise awareness to Type 1 diabetes, and he then proceeded to crack an egg on his head, hence, the start of the “egg crack challenge.” The challenge has so much more meaning because not soon after did Will Hauver try to start a new campaign, he unexpectedly passed away from complications due to his type 1 diabetes and the stomach flu in February of 2015. That’s right… the flu (amoung many other things) can kill a normally healthy type 1 diabetic.
After the video is played, everyone who wants to do the challenge is going to be on the stage to do it and apparently she has a lot of people wanting to do it, and she just started this. All of which is going to be a surprise to Reid.
So, here is where we lay, I think this would be an awesome opportunity to help raise awareness in a fun and memorable way, and hopefully start a new movement the way the original ice bucket challenge did. However, in this case, we are hoping to help promote information about a disease that affects more 300 000 Canadians, and one that doesn’t affect adults, but also a very large and growing number of children.
I thought at this point, I would provide some information about myself and my family, to help put a face to an otherwise faceless email. My name is Domenic Somma, and I am a solider in the Canadian Armed Forces, however I am making this request as a private citizen. My wife Kristen, the heart of this operation in all her endeavors to help bring awareness to this cause, is an on call education assistant with the Renfrew school board. We have 3 children, Reid, our oldest, is 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has also been diagnosed with asperger’s syndrome, and diastrophic dysplasia, the latter of which, he shares with only 4 other Canadians, as it is an extremely rare genetic dieses. Then there is our other son, Oliver, who is almost 7, and he too has a diagnosis of autism, and last, but certainly not least, is our daughter Lily, who is 5, but acts like she is going on 15.
So, as one can see, our family life is very busy, and very chaotic, yet though all of the challenges we face from day to day, we still want to try and help make a difference with the one thing that Reid has, that can be cured, type 1 diabetes. If this is a story that you feel is news worthy, please contact me, and hopefully we can help make a difference together.
Thank you for your time.

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