Article by Breanna Mroczek. Photography by Darren Greenwood Photography.
Twenty-five years ago, Todd Lesenko visited Sandpoint, Idaho and was immediately taken with its "Lost in the '50s" classic car show. As a classic car enthusiast, he preferred the retro vibe of the music, entertainment, and car displays to the typical rodeo theme found at summer festivals in Alberta and decided something like that was needed here. So, he made it happen; in 1996, the first Rock'n August car show and festival took place in Edmonton and has been held annually in St. Albert ever since.
Lesenko, who has owned Fountain Tire in St. Albert for 35 years, says that his love for cars started at the age of six when he would visit garages of friends and neighbours. When he was 13, he started restoring cars to make extra money—he would save up and spend his allowance on an old car and then borrow tools, equipment and space from friends and neighbours to work on the cars, then eventually re-sell them for higher prices.
Since then, Lesenko estimates he's done hundreds of restorations throughout his life, and he always tries to take on projects with a personal story. "I like building cars for a cause, like when it's someone's father's car or their grandfather's car," says Lesenko.
Wanting to work and spend time with like-minded people, Lesenko started the St. Albert Cruisers Car Club 25 years ago to get car enthusiasts together to work on projects, share stories, and drive around the cars in their collections. When Lesenko and the Cruisers decided to start Rock'n August, they partnered with the St. Albert Cosmopolitan Club, a men's service club and a big supporter of the Alberta Diabetes Foundation. "It was their mandate to focus on supporting the Alberta Diabetes Foundation, so it become Rock'n August too," says Lesenko.
One day, a friend of Lesenko's, a member of the Draggins Rod and Custom Car Club in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, told Lesenko the club was working or restoring a car for a raffle. "He loved this idea of adding a car raffle to Rock'n August," says Brent Brodeur, the current president of Rock'n August. "So, he bought a car and his team at Fountain Tire, along with Gary Poff and other members of the St. Albert Cruisers Car Club, did the restoration."
The car—a 1968 Ford Mustang—had been stored for 20 years and was in pieces when I bought it," says Lesenko. "There were at least ten buckets of bolts and small parts. But everything was in great shape." His team of 12 spent over 800 hours throughout eight months working on the restoration. Lesenko donated the mechanical work at Fountain Tire, while members of the St. Albert Cruisers volunteered their time to work on the assembly at Lesenko's personal shop in Sturgeon County. The restored car, which has now been appraised at $55,000, is on display at Fountain Tire in St. Albert and is the grand prize for Rock'n August's car raffle. "I think it's a tremendous opportunity for people to own a beautiful car," says Lesenko." "And just as great, all of the proceeds from the tickets go to the Alberta Diabetes Foundation."
Imagine this. Recently you’ve noticed that your child hasn’t been acting quite like their usual self lately. You can’t quite pinpoint it, so you chalk it up to a rough week. But maybe that rough week turns into two. You start to think on their behaviour more and you grow more concerned; they are always asking for extra water or juice at breakfast, they seem to be constantly hungry, they’re rushing off to the bathroom more frequently, and they are tired as soon as they step in the door from school.
Although these symptoms may seem common for children who may not have had a good night’s rest or for those going through puberty, that’s not always the case. These symptoms should be taken seriously, and if you notice these in your child for a prolonged period of time, you should discuss a glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test with your doctor. An A1C test will determine your child’s average blood glucose level over the past 3 months. If your child’s A1C level is 6.5 or over, if could mean that they have Type 1 diabetes.
As a parent, your child’s Type 1 diabetes diagnosis can be earth shattering for both you and your child. So many thoughts can go through a parent’s head; why does it have to be my child? How is my child going to live with this? How am I going to be able to give my child everything they need now that they have this condition?
Every parent and child will go through this journey in their own way, but it is important to know that Type 1 diabetes is a disease that can be managed, and proper management will allow your child to live a healthy life. As for the questions, you have as a parent, we would like to help by providing you with a few answers.
Why does my child have to be diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes? Where does Type 1 diabetes come from? What could wehave done as parents to prevent it?
Type 1 diabetes is not a preventable disease. It is a mixture of genes and environment. Although scientists do not know the exact cause of Type 1 diabetes , they do know that genes and environment play a role . They have figured out that individuals who have a certain type of HLA complex (human leukocyte antigen on chromosome 6) may be susceptible to Type 1 diabetes. This complex can create an autoimmune disorder that is triggered by a viral infection.
Simply put, when your body tries to fight the viral infection, it may also attack beta cells in your pancreas—cells that make insulin. This process usually takes several years before symptoms develop. The right combination of genes (HLA complex) and environment (exposure to a viral infection) can contribute to the onset of type 1 diabetes.
How is my child going to live with this condition?
Diabetes will be a day-to-day change in you and your child’s life. Your child will require insulin injections. You might even be required to administer insulin injections for your child depending on recommendations from the doctor. You will also want to revaluate the lifestyle that you and your child live. Focus primarily on the diet and exercise your child gets. And remember to stay on top of these few daily tasks you will need to complete:
Although it may not happen everyday, your child will go through highs and lows with their diabetes. Both diabetic highs and lows are serious and can be life threatening
Symptoms of a diabetic high and low are:
Symptoms of a diabetic low also include:
You and your child’s first encounter with can be frightening. If you prepare yourself to know that symptoms and you are able to react accordingly, you can make your child feel safer in the earlier stages of this condition.
How am I going to be able to provide everything my child with everything they need to take this condition on?
The biggest change a parent can have on their child’s life is setting a great example. Your child relies on you and looks up to you. As a parent you should eat healthy, exercise, and take on proper responsibility for your own health. Your own accountability will benefit your child in the short-term and long-term. Additional support from friends and family will also help your child manage emotional and physical effects of the diabetes diagnosis. You may also consider joining a diabetes support group or participating in a run to fund diabetes research.
Advice from the following people can help ease the stress of your child’s diabetes:
As a parent, the best thing you can do for your child is simply to be there for them. Communicate with your child in a way that is supportive and will help to boost their self-esteem. Allowing your child to be open and honest with you will make treating diabetes that much easier.
No parent wants to see their children suffer. Remember that diabetes was not something that your child was marked for, and it isn’t your fault as a parent. As a family, you can work through this disease together, and put your child down a path of success.
You’ve seen the ads: “Cut out bananas and banish belly fat forever.” It seems like the world is going bananas over a simple piece of fruit.
It’s a bit strange. They’re almost identical in carbs to a delicious pear, but nobody seems to be preaching safe pear practice. So why do bananas get a bad rap? Why do people suddenly find them so un a-peel-ing?
Don’t be Split on Bananas
Many have tried to bruise the banana’s reputation by spreading the rumour that they’re loaded with carbs and sugar, instantly leading to weight gain and sending your blood sugars into a spiral. This is nothing more than a far-fetched fruit fallacy.
For one, at just 105 calories, a medium banana puts a mere 5% dent in a 2,000-calorie diet ( 1 ). Yes, bananas do contain starch and sugar, which does cause blood sugars to rise, but that doesn’t mean you should steer clear! First off, our bodies need carbs to function. Second, there is a world of difference between the sugar in fruit and that found in pop, cake or candy. Unlike sweets, bananas are rich in naturally-occurring sugar, plus 3.5 grams of fibre and a ton of nutrients needed for good health.
Bet on Bananas
Fibre—like that found in bananas—is essential for weight and blood sugar management. It helps prevent overeating by making you feel full for longer. It also helps to slow the absorption of sugar. Just-ripe bananas and other carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and insulin levels ( 3 ).
Another boast for the banana is that it packs, on average, more than 400 milligrams of heart-healthy potassium . That’s almost 10% of your recommended daily intake! Potassium is vital for normal muscle, nerve and brain function and is essential for maintaining healthy blood pressure .
Since many Canadians may not be getting enough potassium in their diet ( 2 ), bananas are a tasty way to up your daily dose
Still think bananas are to blame for all your weight woes? Here’s the truth: No one food is responsible for the number on the scale.
A diet high in fibre-rich fruits and vegetables —including bananas—is a key ingredient for a healthy body weight and reduced risk of chronic disease.
Bananas are a carbohydrate-rich food. If you're watching your blood sugars, be mindful of your portions. Otherwise, there's no monkey business when it comes to bananas. Unless you have been told to limit them by your doctor, there’s no reason to shun this simple fruit.
Some tasty tips to enjoy bananas:
1) Health Canada, Canadian Nutrient File (2015). Banana, raw . Accessed June 7, 2017 from https://food-nutrition.canada.ca/cnf-fce/serving-portion.do?id=119
2) Health Canada, Food and Nutrition (2012). Do Canadian Adults Meet Their Nutrient Requirements Through Food Intake Alone? Accessed June 7, 2017 from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/surveill/nutrition/commun/art-nutr-adult-eng.php
3) University of Sidney, Glycemic Index Database (2017). Banana, raw. Accessed June 7, 2017 from http://www.glycemicindex.com/index.php
For most of us, our phone is our world. It connects us, informs us, and even gets us up in the morning. So it’s no wonder that our phones can help us manage our diabetes too! With over 50 apps available, there’s the perfect app for everyone. Some apps cost you money, but you’re already spending enough on your treatments! So here’s 5 free apps to help keep you on track.
Last week’s article touched on the different types of artificial sweeteners that are meant to work as sugar substitutes. We also talked about some of the reasons it may be a good idea for diabetics to stay away from artificial sweeteners. Now, we will dive a little deeper into the problems these sugar substitutes could have on your health and the balance of the good bacteria in your gut.
The most popular study to make this claim happened in 2014. The study showed that mice who ate saccharin (a component of some artificial sweeteners) developed a glucose intolerance. The sweeteners created an imbalance in the gut bacteria of the mice. These bacteria are responsible for converting food to fuel or fat.
The team wanted to make sure this also applied to humans, so they continued the study on seven healthy people who consumed the maximum serving of saccharin suggested by the FDA for six days. Four of these individuals were on the road to glucose intolerance—a step towards a diabetic diagnosis.
The team concluded that this was only a preliminary study but did create grounds to explore this research further.