By Krista Lamb
Diabetes Action Canada is pleased to welcome a new Patient Partner to our team. Nova Scotia’s Kylie Peacock has lived with T1D for more than 20 years and has been an advocate and a supportive voice in the community, in particular in the area of diabetes and mental health. She has joined the Research Governance Committee and will be a Patient Representative for the National Diabetes Repository.
Peacock is pleased to be able to share her experience to help shape research and improve outcomes for the T1D community “Living with type 1 diabetes shaped my childhood and continues to impact my everyday life as an adult,” she says. “These past and current lived experiences drive my passion for patient-centred design and care in every aspect of the healthcare system, and motivate me to advocate for inclusion of the patient voice/lived experience in healthcare system design, healthcare research and innovation, and overall healthcare improvement. My experiences of living with type 1 diabetes and having to navigate the healthcare system have been difficult; positive and negative at times, but every single interaction with the system has encouraged me to advocate for better healthcare design, implementation, and care for all.”
During university, Peacock met Dr. Michael Vallis, a leading expert in diabetes distress. Through him, she learned about the importance of patients taking an active role in research, and she began not only to share her story, but to contribute to his research. She sees her new role with Diabetes Action Canada as a continuation of this work. “I hope that my experience of living with type 1 diabetes can inform the type of research questions diabetes researchers ask and the studies they design. I hope to show others that there are faces and names behind the numbers and that our stories of living with diabetes are extremely important to listen to,” she says.
Conrad Pow, a Senior Project Manager at Diabetes Action Canada, is extremely pleased to have Peacock on board, given the role she has played in his own experiences with T1D. “I was at a primary care conference in Chicago in 2018 and then went straight to a patient-focused conference in Ottawa. While there I saw a familiar face from Chicago stand up and talk about her experiences living with type 1 diabetes,” he says. “Kylie’s candidness and openness struck me, as just a few weeks earlier my four-year-old daughter had been diagnosed with T1D. Kylie and I started talking, and before we knew it – a friendship was formed. She helped me navigate my daughter’s new diagnosis and has been a great support. Kylie was inspired by Diabetes Action Canada’s platform on involving patients in research and giving them oversight in how data is used. She expressed interest in getting more involved and now I am happy to have her as part of the team.”
Diabetes Action Canada has a wide range of Patient Partners who inform all areas of the work being done by the organization. Peacock hopes even more people living with diabetes will consider taking part in order to ensure diverse voices and experiences are represented. “Being a Patient Partner is extremely rewarding. Not only do I have the opportunity to contribute to meaningful and impactful research, but I have the opportunity to build important relationships with other patient partners, staff, and researchers,” she says.
Interested in becoming a Patient Partner? Learn more here.