Finding inspiration in type 1 diabetes – a T1D dad shares his experience

There is not much that Cody Westman needs to do to convince his 6-year-old son, Graham, to be an active little boy, “he goes non-stop,” says Cody. “Ice hockey, road hockey, biking, skateboarding, drums, and I do it all with him. The hardest part can be remembering to stop for snacks while we’re at it.”

Graham was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) this past December and, like every family in this community, the news was tough to receive, “it was a lot to take in at once, knowing that he would need insulin for the rest of his life and constant care and attention to his diet.” And like many parents of young kids, mealtime wasn’t the easiest time of day, “Graham wasn’t the best eater before. Before this diagnosis, we would always take snacks with us wherever we go, but now we have to be so diligent about him eating every 90 minutes to 2 hours, making him finish his portions, or substitute with other foods to make up his carb count. We’ve learned a lot about nutrition lately – I’ve never looked at food labels so much in my life!”

Being a T1D dad can be tough but as a filmmaker, Cody uses the realities of type 1 diabetes as a source of inspiration, “I’m full of ideas and influenced by everything I’ve ever seen.” This creativity is what lead to the, now viral, Graham’s Growlers video, “I knew it would be more impactful showing a video rather than just having pictures on our [Sun Life Walk to Cure Diabetes for JDRF] fundraising team page.”

6 year old Graham is raising money for Diabetes research.

Our boy Graham is 6 years old. He is the most active kid ever, despite having diabetes. Here’s a video we made for his fundraising team Graham’s Growlers! He is fundraising for the 2019 Diabetes Walk in St. John’s NL. Funds go to diabetes research in Canada. DONATE at: (Featuring ‘lil bro Adam as the ‘bad guy’ and the ‘mad scientist’ !) Thanks to JDRF Canada for their research efforts!

Posted by Cats Eye Cinema on Tuesday, April 16, 2019

“Graham has always been able to deliver lines to the camera and we had fun with this one. His little brother, Adam, made a cameo in it as well, playing the ‘bad guy’ and the ‘mad scientist’.”

And the video was an incredible success, “In the first day we reached more than half our goal. Since then, the local news station called us to cover the story; we have had a ton of generous donors come out of the woodwork, and even a very special donation from [DONOR] in St. John’s that was awarded on the day of the Walk!”

Having every single T1D dad be a part of this community and bring their unique flavor to our collective goal is what makes us so powerful, “money raised from [events like Walk] goes toward research and treatments that can ultimately affect millions of people living with diabetes, and make their lives easier. My son is one of these people.”

Happy Father’s Day to every T1D dad and thank you for everything you do to keep us moving forward.

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