Doug and Pat Fergusson of Estevan, along with their son Mark and daughter Michelle, have been selected to receive the 2012 National Volunteer of the Year Award from the Canadian Diabetes Association.
“Only seven awards of this kind were presented across the country, and the Fergussons are very deserving recipients,” said Warren Wagner, the Saskatchewan regional director for the Canadian Diabetes Association.
“On behalf of the Canadian Diabetes Association, and the 80,000 people in Saskatchewan living with diabetes, we are grateful for their contribution to our many programs and services, and thrilled to have them recognized at the national level.”
Doug Fergusson has been living with Type 1 diabetes since childhood, and Mark was diagnosed with the condition at the age of three. The Fergusson family remains dedicated to their community and their volunteer efforts in the Estevan area while they face the challenges of living with diabetes.
The Canadian Diabetes Association said in a press release that the entire family has taken an active volunteer role in advocating for people with diabetes. Pat works publicly to initiate events and education in the community, while Doug works quietly behind the scenes.
Mark has spoken publicly on behalf of the association and other children living with diabetes, and Michelle helps out wherever she is needed.
Through their participation in regional advocacy, the Fergussons are able to offer a voice for other families living with Type 1 diabetes, and bring awareness to issues facing people with diabetes in rural Saskatchewan.
Wagner said the education and empathy they share extends from short conversations with neighbours to larger speaking engagements and awareness campaigns. They are instrumental in coordinating local educational events, delivering educational activities, and advocating for students with diabetes in school.
The family lives more than 450 kilometres from the nearest pediatric diabetes specialist, so those in the area who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes have been referred to the Fergussons. The Fergusson clan provides empathy and experience for others.
“Managing diabetes requires ongoing support and the Fergusson family has been a resource for many people living with diabetes in rural Saskatchewan—directly and indirectly,” said Wagner. “The entire family pitches in to help in so many ways”
The award will be presented at the national awards dinner on October 12 in Vancouver.