CanScreenT1D is a new project led by Diabetes Action Canada collaborator, Dr. Diane Wherrett, who is a Pediatric Endocrinologist at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. The program is a national consortium that will explore screening for type 1 diabetes (T1D) in Canada.
This summer, CanScreenT1D received $12 million in funding from the CIHR-JDRF Type 1 Diabetes Screening Research Consortium Team Grant Competition. This funding will help ensure the project has a strong foundation as it considers the acceptability and feasibility of population screening for T1D. People with lived experience of the condition will be essential to the project’s success.
“I am very much looking forward to working with our research consortium team to develop and assess a pilot screening program for type 1 diabetes risk. Our team brings together investigators from across Canada from many disciplines. Integral to this team is the involvement of those whose lives are impacted by type 1 diabetes. Their input will be critical to the design, implementation and assessment of the screening program,” says Wherrett.
Diabetes Action Canada Patient Partners, Sasha Delorme and Conrad Pow, will play important roles in CanScreenT1D.
“As the father of a child living with a chronic condition, I sometimes feel helpless as I try to tame the beast that is known as T1D,” says Pow, who is also DAC’s Senior Lead for Digital Health. “Being part of this important project gives me the ability to add our experience and point of view. It is empowering knowing that I will be part of a project that will help many people by pushing for early diagnosis, early management and the prevention of complications.”
For Delorme, who will be a lead on the Indigenous engagement portion of the project, it is important to have the perspective of those with lived experience of diabetes, as well as those from diverse backgrounds.
“As a Patient Partner with type 2 diabetes myself, and a caregiver to my son with type 1 diabetes, I am looking forward to the changes this project will bring. I hope to not only gain cultural knowledge from the communities I visit, but also to develop relationships between the research world and people with lived experience,” says Delorme, who is also a member of the DAC Indigenous Patient Partner Circle. “I have benefitted from the projects I’ve been part of, and I hope that by learning the barriers and issues of community members, it will help guide new respectful ways to do future research, and to make the changes we need for a healthier and happier Canada.”