Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Two Years in the Making

It happened more than two years ago now. It was the middle of the night. Three am so the story goes. I was fast asleep (as usual). Doug was lying beside me, drifting in and out, half listening to the radio.  NPR was quietly playing in his earbud and the voices were soft and soothing.

In between interviews and news stories, he heard a commercial. A commercial about Medtronic. A commercial about Medtronic's Global Heroes Program. 

In the morning, Doug told me about it. Apparently Medtronic has some sort of program that people with medical devices can apply to. That's all he remembered. 

So I googled it and discovered the Medtronic Global Heroes website. And I watched their promotional video. 

And I cried. 

Medtronic has a Global Heroes Program that honours runners from around the world who have medical devices used to treat medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain or spinal disorders. Twenty-five people are chosen every year and they come from around the world to run in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon or Ten Mile races. I immediately looked at how to apply but I was too late. The application process had closed for the year. So I signed up to receive a notification the following year when applications opened again. 

Ten months later, I received the email. I applied and I convinced my friend John to apply too. We thought it would be fabulous if we could both be Medtronic heroes together. We imagined ourselves crying together, running together and crossing the finish line together - he holding Michelle's hand and me holding Doug's. 

We applied and, a little while later, we both received emails. John was accepted. I was not. It was hard to be sad when I was so very excited for him. I lived the experience through his stories and photos and I felt like I was running the race with him. 

Two months ago, I applied to be a 2012 Global Hero. I asked Doug, John and Sherri (a nurse from the Niagara Diabetes Centre) to write letters of recommendation for me. They did and every single one of their letters brought me to tears. I completed my application, they submitted their letters and we all crossed our fingers. 

Medtronic sent out their emails yesterday. Over 175 people received emails thanking them for their applications. And 25 people from around the world received emails of congratulations. 

This year, I was one of the lucky ones. 


  1. This makes me so, so happy! You really are an inspiration to me and many others. You show what it's possible to do with diabetes and that it's possible to keep a positive attitude while doing it. I'm excited for you!

  2. Awwwww... It's kind of how I feel. I am sad I didn't get in but I'm SO excited for you!!

  3. So very excited for you!! I loved hearing Johns stories from last year and look forward to hearing yours this year. Congratulations! You truly are a hero:)

  4. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am for you. It was on of the most amazing experiences of my life, and even now, I know that I failed to express in words everything I felt about my experience.

    You are amazing! :) Congratulations again!

  5. That is so exciting! I didn't know about the program, what a great idea!

  6. Congratulations, Celine! You're a hero! I am soooo happy for you. This WILL change your life. Enjoy!