Sebastien Sasseville

Across Canada runner raising awareness for diabetes

Sebastien Sasseville, who lives with type 1 diabetes, stopped in Kelowna as part of his 7,200 kilometre run from St. John's to Vancouver

In Sebastien Sasseville’s world, there truly are no limitations.

Since being diagnosed with the type 1 diabetes in 2002, the 35-year-old Quebec City man has climbed Mt. Everest, run the Sahara Race in Egypt, and earned a degree at Laval University.

Now, Sasseville is in the process of running across Canada to raise both awareness and funds for the disease.

The 7,200 kilometre journey—called Outrun Diabetes—began Feb. 2 in St. John’s, Nfld. and if all goes as planned, Sasseville will arrive in Vancouver on World Diabetes Day, Nov. 14.

Sasseville, who runs about 40 km per day, was at Capri Valley Lanes in Kelowna on Sunday share his experiences and deliver a positive message to all type 1 diabetics.

“I’m doing this to raise awareness of diabetes, to empower and inspire people by doing something positive,” said Sasseville, who works as a motivational speaker. “I want to let them know there are no limitations. You don’t have to climb Everest or run across Canada, but if you want to be a doctor or be successful in any walk of life, you can do it.

“Diabetes is a very serious and complicated thing, but it can be managed and you can follow your dreams. Don’t let diabetes stop you from focusing on your goals.”

Sasseville is among some three million Canadians who live with diabetes.

About 100 people turned out to hear Sasseville speak at Sunday’s event, which was hosted by the local chapter of JDRF (formerly Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).

“It will be a process before type 1 diabetes is eliminated, so I think what (Sebastien’s) message is, is that he wants people to be empowered by it,” said Pam Prentice, Manager of Fundraising and Development for JDRF in Kelowna. “That instills hope in people to live in the now and be able to live with the disease, yet the hope is one day we will live without it.”

For more information on or to donate to the cause, visit outrundiabetes.ca