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Langford woman turns to social media to document her diabetes journey

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Tuesday was World Diabetes Day. It’s a day recognized by 160 countries to raise the awareness of the disease and complications that go along with a diagnosis.

Mary Comeau has been living with Type 1 diabetes for 15 years. When she was diagnosed at age nine, her family didn’t know what to expect.

“It was very scary and I think the point was, we had no idea what diabetes entailed,” said Comeau.

Trying to understand the disease was a challenge.

“So it was folders from the doctor's office, it was random books that people would find,” said Comeau.

She found the information helpful but she needed more, something more personal "to know that you’re definitely not alone,” said Comeau.

Two years ago she decided to tell her story on TikTok, then on YouTube and it took off.

“I found an entire community of people with diabetes,” said Comeau. “People that know somebody with diabetes or somebody taking care of somebody with diabetes.”

Her subscribers kept growing and two years later, she now has more than 500,000 TikTok subscribers and also 700,000 YouTube subscribers.

“I tried to make it a little more fun and being like, 'hey, it’s not that bad,'” said Comeau.

Her videos are educational, entertaining and often raw, showing her daily life as someone suffering with Type 1 diabetes.

In Canada, five million people live with diabetes and another six million people are at high risk of contracting the disease. The month of November is also Diabetes Awareness Month.

“Both the month and the day gives us a chance to shine a spotlight on a disease that is often misunderstood and really not talked about it as much as it should be," said Laura Syron, president and CEO of Diabetes Canada.

Currently there is no cure for diabetes but through medical advancements, the disease can easily be maintained.

Comeau is hoping to educate people, break down stigmas and let some with a recent diagnosis know they are not alone.

“Just spreading awareness and hopefully we’ll get a cure one day,” said Comeau.

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