Challenging others’ perspectives
Life shouldn’t have limits. That’s especially true if you’re 17 years old and ready to ride across Ontario with your friends.
Even three days in the hospital after his diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, Elliot Gatt was still set on making the trip with his friends. But he got the wake-up call he needed after a short practice ride. “I had a diabetic seizure, and it really sunk in that this wasn’t something I could just fix with a couple of pills,” Elliot explained.
With his family and friends there to support him, Elliot had to begin the process of understanding diabetes, and how he could best manage it. With time, he was able curb the highs and lows and get his blood sugar levels back in check. "It wasn't ever easy, and it’s still a work in progress."
In 2010, Elliot joined Diabetes Canada's Team Diabetes and ran his very first marathon in Reykjavik, Iceland. “When I told people I was training for a marathon, I think it shocked them. People have a certain perspective of what someone with diabetes looks like or what they are able to do,” shared Elliot. “It’s too bad. But, it’s nice that I’m able to show others that even with diabetes, you can be unstoppable.”
His first marathon left him feeling empowered and ready for anything!
Since then, Elliot has run an ultra-marathon in the Grand Canyon and competed in the Subaru Series Triathlon in Banff, Alberta. In 2017, Elliot, founder of the company Good Glucos, will join Team Bike Beyond with 21 other cyclists with type 1 diabetes to ride from New York to San Francisco. Together they will stop in at diabetes camps along the way to show young people what’s possible when you’re living with diabetes.
“There’s a hard reality living with this disease and we have to make sure we are taking care of our health,” Elliot said. “The next step is to live a full life and to do what's needed to reshape what’s possible.”