Overcoming obstacles is something Sebastien Sasseville relishes. He’s conquered Everest. Completed six Ironman® triathlons. Finished the mythical Sahara race in Egypt. And he’s lived with Type 1 diabetes through it all.
In 2014, Sasseville took on his biggest challenge yet: Outrun Diabetes, a 7500-kilometre solo run across Canada. He enrolled his best friend, Patrick St-Martin, to join him (to coordinate logistics, take photos and drive the RV), and the two of them set off on this historic journey which started in St. John’s, Newfoundland in February with the goal of making it to Vancouver, British Columbia just in time for World Diabetes Day on November 14th.
“I once met a boy and it was very clear he was overwhelmed - diabetes was taking over his life. I felt a responsibility, like I just could not let him down. I thought there must be millions in this same situation, and it inspired me to go meet them all. So there I was, in Newfoundland, and I started running.”
It took nine months, running through one of the toughest winters in a decade. It required 40 kilometers a day, on run days, or the equivalent of 180 marathons, crossing six mountain passes and going through eight pairs of running shoes along the way. It involved more than 50 events with families, children and healthcare professionals, and countless media interviews to reach as many people as possible. Sebastien’s Outrun Diabetes journey touched thousands of lives and inspired many to believe in the power of living fully, despite their diabetes. It’s a much needed message.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, there are now more than 387 million people living with diabetes worldwide, approximately 10 million people have Type 1 diabetes.
To manage his diabetes, Sasseville relied on his Animas® Vibe™ Insulin Pump and CGM System, the first and only continuous glucose monitoring (CGM)‐enabled insulin pump system with Dexcom G4® PLATINUM technology, and his OneTouch Verio® IQ Meter. His pump and meter were supplied by Animas Corporation and LifeScan, Inc., that are committed to creating a world without limits for people with diabetes.
“The Animas® Vibe™ System made managing my diabetes a lot easier before, during and after the run. It also helped me to learn a lot about my diabetes, and to see things I had never seen before in the 12 years I’ve had diabetes.”
On November 14th, as school children, admirers, friends and family greeted him, Sasseville ran into the Pacific Ocean, marking the end of his epic Outrun Diabetes mission.
“One can’t do this and be unchanged. I learned so much about myself and others. It felt like at some point, we were all running together. People cheering on the side of the road, joining me on runs, the smiles, the energy.”
For Sasseville, Outrun Diabetes was all about overcoming obstacles, whether diabetes or other challenges people face. “It’s amazing how far you can go, a little bit every day. That’s how you can move mountains.”
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