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Heather Choi

These images are part of a long-term photo-textual documentary project illustrating the life—the ups and downs—of people living with type-1 diabetes in Canada.

As the birthplace of insulin, Canada symbolizes both the optimistic side of diabetes and also the reality of its continued presence in the world. Today, more than 9 million Canadians have some form of diabetes, and over 900,000 live with type-1.

Formerly known as juvenile diabetes or adult onset diabetes, type-1 diabetes is a lifelong disease that cannot be prevented or cured. Its sufferers are usually diagnosed before the age of 30, most often, during childhood or their teen years.

People living with diabetes must remember that neglecting to successfully manage their self-administered treatment can cause serious complications and even death. This is the extreme side of the illness. Through hard work and vigilance, patients can maintain control of their blood sugar and experience long periods of good health.

Through a combination of text and imagery, this part of the 'Diabetes Perspectives' project follows Heather over the period of one year as she contemplates the next stage in her young life: university, and a transition from adolescent to adult diabetes care.

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