Presented by Children First Canada

Luke MacDonald

Calgary, AB

Luke is a formidable advocate for children living with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), a cause that has been close to his heart since his diagnosis at the tender age of 5. Understanding the profound impact of T1D on children and their families, Luke has dedicated himself to government advocacy, fundraising, mentorship, and youth ambassadorship with JDRF (formerly known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) from the very moment of his diagnosis.

From forming “Team Luke” and raising over $50,000 for the JDRF Walk to speaking at various JDRF events and leading fundraising efforts, Luke has exemplified remarkable leadership and determination in his mission to support those affected by T1D. His passion for advocacy led him to Ottawa, where he tirelessly lobbied the Federal Government for increased support for individuals living with T1D through the Kids for a Cure initiative.

Recognizing the importance of peer support, Luke extends a helping hand to newly diagnosed children, sharing his own experiences to reassure them that they are not alone in their journey. He understands the psychological toll of T1D and advocates for mental health support for children grappling with the challenges of the disease.

Luke’s commitment to raising awareness about T1D is exemplified by his participation in initiatives such as living atop a flagpole for 24 hours to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of insulin’s discovery— a life-saving medicine crucial for individuals like Luke. Through speaking engagements and fundraising endeavors, Luke educates the public about the critical need for T1D research and technology advancements.

A fervent believer in equity and accessibility, Luke champions the cause of “Access for All,” ensuring that life-saving technologies are available to everyone, regardless of their economic background. His advocacy efforts have already yielded tangible results, with increased access to technology in several provinces—a testament to his unwavering dedication to making a difference.

Luke’s ultimate goal is to contribute to finding a cure for T1D and improving the lives of those living with the disease through advancements in research and treatment. With a firm belief in the power of awareness and advocacy, Luke endeavors to dispel misconceptions and biases surrounding T1D, striving for a more inclusive and supportive community for all Canadians affected by the disease.

Winning The Future is NOW! award will provide Luke with a platform to amplify his message and reach even more individuals, fostering greater understanding and support for those living with T1D. Through his tireless advocacy and unwavering determination, Luke is a beacon of hope and inspiration for children battling T1D, proving that with determination and compassion, anything is possible.