My girlfriend, Leslie, has Type 1 Diabetes. When Leslie first told me about this event I got extremely excited for her. I know how much she loves the outdoors, and how much an opportunity to share an adventure like this with other Type 1’s like her, would mean to her.
She has been living with Diabetes since she was 7 years old, and I thought this experience would be incredible for her.
When we were younger, we were in cadets together. I personally loved the outdoors and camping, and got plenty of opportunities to do a lot of things, and go to a lot of places within the expedition program. During my time spent in cadets, I met Leslie. I soon found out how different our experiences to date had been, within the program.
She explained to me how she shared the same love for adventure and the outdoors, but her Type 1 Diabetes prevented her from going and doing all the things I loved and took for granted. Not because she physically couldn’t do it, but because if something happened, she needed to be close to medical attention. It brought a whole new perspective on Diabetes for me. I had no idea about the things that Diabetics had to go through on a daily basis, and the restrictions they experienced.
I explained to Leslie that I would take her on an amazing expedition one day, and give her the experience she never got to share with me.
So when I heard about the Assiniboine Extreme, I was beyond ecstatic for Les. I knew that if she got accepted, she would have an amazing experience, exceed the standards, and meet lots of new friends who share her struggle and truly understand what she goes through every day.
That being said, Les then told me I could apply too. I thought it was awesome that non T1D’s were allowed to apply if they wanted to support someone in their life. But I had absolutely no expectation to be accepted. I was really hoping that Les would get accepted, but I thought it was a long shot for me to go with her. But I wrote out my application and sent it off anyways. A little while later, Les and I got the amazing news that we would be attending the Assiniboine Extreme together! I was dumbfounded and ecstatic at the same time.
This experience will be amazing to share with Leslie, and I am so very grateful to be given the opportunity to support her and come along for the ride as she thrives in her element. Everything truly came full circle.