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Sudbury diabetic receives unique scholarship

Brian Piché diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 10
Sudbury student Brian Piché, seen here with Diabetes Hope Foundation founder Barbara Pasternak, has received a scholarship from the organization. Supplied photo.

Sudbury student Brian Piché has received a scholarship from the Diabetes Hope Foundation.

The foundation has awarded 590 scholarships since its inception in 1999 and has evolved to include a mentorship element leveraging the strength and experiences of past scholarship recipients to help other young adults navigate the complexities and challenges of embarking on post secondary education while living with diabetes.

“Having grown from awarding four scholarships to students in 1999, DHF is proud to announce 42 recipients for 2016,” said Barbara Pasternak, founder of Diabetes Hope Foundation.  

“We’re grateful to our generous donors and dedicated volunteers who help us to propel even more young people with diabetes towards post-secondary education and reaching their full potential.

“Congratulations to this year’s awe-inspiring scholarship recipients and thank you to the fabulous alumni who ‘pay it forward’ by mentoring the next generation so they are ready to be tomorrow’s leaders.”

Piché, who's listed on his Facebook page as studying engineering and nursing at Laurentian University, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 10, and has never let diabetes define him. 

Outside of school and sports, the young man volunteers his time to work with seniors and raises funds for diabetes research through his involvement in walks and runs in the community.

The Diabetes Hope Mentorship program connects DHF scholarship alumni with current year scholarship recipients to encourage them to work together to provide a safety net to support youth during their transition to post-secondary education as they move away from home, their primary caregivers and their pediatric diabetes health care. 

The alumni volunteers share best practices for managing their diabetes independently, sharing all the advice and tips they wish they had access to when they started their post-secondary journey. 

The alumni develop leadership skills, a friendship and a strong personal and professional network through Diabetes Hope Foundation’s alumni events.

The DHF Scholarship program was established to recognize youth in the community who have excelled in their academic achievements; demonstrated exceptional leadership skills and volunteerism in the community; and possess exemplary diabetes self-management practices. 

The challenges and triumphs of these teens are chronicled through the personal stories in their entrance essays. In the midst of controlling their blood glucose levels, the students overcome personal obstacles, achieve academic excellence, dominate sport and music and are active members of the community.

Learn more about the Diabetes Hope Foundation at