There are many ways someone can be a role model.
In the case of Miguel Remillard, the 13-year-old Windsor Park resident believes he can inspire others, like himself, who are living with Type 1 diabetes, to stay positive as he plays his part to help search for a cure for the disease.
"I like to see myself as a bit of a role model, as I like putting myself out there," said Remillard, who was diagnosed with the disease when he was two and attends École Lacerte. "Being open about having diabetes helps educate other kids. And my friends are great. They don’t treat me any differently, even though they know this a big deal for me. If my blood sugar is low one day, they offer to go and get me a juice."
Remillard’s immediate family — which includes dad Louis, mom Sharon, and younger sister Daphne — are busy preparing for an upcoming fundraiser as Team Remillard.
In association with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the Bud, Spud and Steak fundraiser will be at Cowboys at Canad Inns Windsor Park (1034 Elizabeth Rd.) on Sat., March 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. Dubbed Miguel’s Quest to Cure Diabetes, the 6th annual fundraiser will include a silent auction and a 50/50 draw and is in support of the 2014 TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes event, which will be held in June.
"It feels very good to hold this event. I like seeing people support us," said Remillard, noting last year was the first time he actually attended the fundraiser. "Last year, I got to personally thank everybody, as well as doing a few ticket draws and a speech, which meant a lot to me."
The teen said one of the keys to living with diabetes is managing his medication and being aware of his food intake, but it hasn’t stopped him living an active, normal life.
"I was diagnosed so young, I don’t remember life any other way," Remillard said, adding he enjoys playing basketball, hockey and tennis, and is looking to taking up badminton soon. The all-rounder even started playing golf last year. "In terms of food, I can pretty much eat anything anyone is having, so long as I monitor my carbs and adjust my insulin."
Sharon said Miguel’s upbeat attitude and desire to help search for a cure is an inspiration to family and friends.
"It never ceases to amaze me what he goes through on a daily basis and, most of the time, comes out smiling. Occasionally, he’s an angry bear, but he has to do his shots regardless. He’s a good role model for kids going through the same thing," she said.
"For our part, what we can do is help get closer to a cure. One of the reasons we’re so proud to support this event is that the proceeds go to the JDRF and research for a cure, which is our goal."
Sharon said the family would gratefully accept any prize donations for the event. For more information, or to donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about JDRF, go online at jdrf.ca