Making the video

For two days, Diabetes Canada joined forces with a group of talented actors and singers, directors and producers, sound technicians and stylists to create a unique music video that would strike at the heart of diabetes like we’ve never done before. This music video makes a disease that is often invisible, except to those who live with it day in and day out, so much more visible and in a meaningful way. The video features some of the many everyday people affected by diabetes, in daily and private times. In homes, in schools and in workplaces across the country, diabetes affects 11 million Canadian adults and young people, often relentlessly. As Terry Rayment, the video’s director shared, “Diabetes can affect anyone, and when it does, it sends a wave that impacts those who care for them as well.”

Video crew working

Emotional impact

The emotional impact of the lyrics – a tender story revealing the quiet thoughts, challenges and anguish of people living with diabetes, in their own words – left the video’s performers with a new-found respect for the everyday battles that have to be fought.   The desire to honour this daily struggle and strength is what motivated crew members to tackle the telling of this story.

This sense of solidarity was a theme that resonated with the team who wrote the song, one of whom was deeply touched by the scene with the young schoolboy. He remembered how it felt to be that young and vulnerable. 

The hopeful spirit many feel does ultimately prevail in the song. And it brings with it an urgency that together, we must end diabetes. But, we can only do so if we all rally to bring visibility to this otherwise invisible disease.

“Dr. Charles Best began this effort, and his legacy has been carried forward by our staff and thousands of volunteers across Canada for over 60 years. With this video, we need others to join our movement to support research, raise awareness and end the stigma and isolation diabetes brings,” said Mapy Villaudy, chief development and marketing officer at Diabetes Canada.

Hearing the lyrics and knowing they are real thoughts from real people – it really hits you, you know. 

Barry S, crew member

Personal stories

A model of openness to all

For Neil Whitely, being a part of Diabetes Canada’s End Diabetes music video and movement is a chance to honour his own dad’s sense of discipline in managing a disease that never rests.

Neil’s father was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 60. “I don’t think my father was surprised by the diagnosis. His sister was battling diabetes and he saw first-hand what it was like for her,” Neil shared. But, when the diagnosis came, Neil added, “It took a while to sink in, and for my father to really think about what this would mean for him in the long-term.”

Today, Neil’s father is healthier at 87 than he was at 60. He is diligent about his nutrition and exercise regime, and he openly talks about his condition with those around him. As a result, he has become a model to others, including his son: “Diabetes is very common in Caribbean families. Now that I’m getting older, nutrition and exercise are vitally important and I’m trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle just as my dad has done.”

Watching a grandfather face his challenges

Viviane’s grandfather was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more than 10 years ago. At the time, he held a demanding job that kept him on the road throughout the work week, from which he retired a few years ago.

Over the years, Viviane’s grandfather had to deal with other medical challenges - high blood pressure, back surgery and arthritis. “He is managing this ongoing challenge by monitoring his diet, reducing his portions, working out daily, and he has also implemented Tai Chi into his life. All this helps him to maintain good readings and a better quality of life,” explained Helen, Viviane’s mother.

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