Country Music Star Teams up with Animas Corporation and four "Diabetes Heroes" on a Cross-Country Tour to Inspire Children and Adults Living with Type 1 Diabetes

George Canyon, award-winning recording artist, hosts an evening of inspiration and entertainment to encourage living powerfully with Type 1 diabetes

BURNABY, British Columbia, April 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Today, country music star George Canyon, and Animas Corporation, announced that beginning May 14, they will embark on a five-day, five-city, coast-to-coast tour visiting cities from Newfoundland to British Columbia. The George Canyon & Friends Diabetes Heroes Tour will encourage adults and children living with Type 1 diabetes to live a life without limits despite their disease. George, who has lived with Type 1 diabetes since the age of 14, will be joined by four people living extraordinary lives with diabetes – including a WHL hockey player; Canadian National Para-Snowboarder; a university student who is earning her recreational pilot's license; and a family therapist and diabetes nurse educator, who has personally been living with Type 1 diabetes for more than 50 years. Together, George and these Diabetes Heroes will provide an evening of inspiration and entertainment for those affected by Type 1 diabetes.

"When I was a teenager, there wasn't anyone with diabetes that I could really look up to. So I promised myself that if ever given the means and the platform, I would try to be that person to kids who were just like me," said Canyon. "This tour is a way to provide positive role models to children living with diabetes and to let them know that if they control their disease, they can live their dreams."

Canyon, along with the Diabetes Heroes, will be traveling to the following five cities for a three-hour event each night:

  • May 14: St. John's, NL – The Majestic Theatre, 390 Duckworth Street
  • May 15: Barrie, ON – Liberty North, 100 Caplan Avenue
  • May 16: Winnipeg, MB – Park Theatre Cafe, 698 Osborne Street
  • May 17: Edmonton, AB – John L. Haar Theatre, Grant McEwan University, 10045 – 156 Street
  • May 18: Prince George, BC – Prince George Playhouse, 2833 Recreation Place

The evening will begin with an opening keynote discussion of diabetes and family dynamics, followed by an interactive session with the Diabetes Heroes, and concluding with a performance from Canyon.

"George Canyon and the Diabetes Heroes are living proof that Type 1 diabetes doesn't have to get in the way of achieving your dreams," said Paul Flynn, Director of Animas Canada. "After the success of last year's George Canyon & Friends Diabetes Heroes Tour, we couldn't be more excited to bring this unique and inspiring experience to children and families living with Type 1 diabetes across Canada."

Admission to these events is free. Seating is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating is limited and reserved for individuals and families living with Type 1 diabetes, with a maximum of five (5) seats per RSVP. To reserve seats, register online at www.animas.ca/george2012.

To connect with the tour on Facebook and follow along with behind-the-scenes photos and video clips, visit www.facebook.com/gcfheroestour

This initiative is proudly organized and sponsored by Animas Canada, a division of LifeScan Canada Ltd.

About George Canyon
Born and raised in Nova Scotia, George Canyon got his first taste of international fame and music industry attention after competing in and nearly sweeping USA Network's televised "Nashville Star" competition in 2004. Since then, Canyon has released six acclaimed, studio recorded albums; sold over 300,000 CDs and has won numerous music awards including two Juno Awards and multiple East Coast Music Awards, Canadian Country Music Awards and SOCAN Awards, as well as awarded with two certified gold records in 2011.

Canyon, also an actor, has appeared on the highly rated Canadian television series' CBC-TV's "Heartland" and Showcase's "Trailer Park Boys" and has starred in many television programs and specials. He recently starred alongside Dean Cain and Luke Schroder in a made for TV movie, "A Mile In His Shoes" and has just completed a few more TV and movie roles with release dates in 2012/2013.

Recently, George was bestowed with the privilege of being appointed as the first-ever Colonel Commandant of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets by the Minster of National Defence, Peter MacKay, but if you ask George what his biggest achievement has been, he'll respond without hesitation that it has been his work with children and families living with Type 1 Diabetes. Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 14, George has spent a great deal of time giving acoustic performances and inspirational talks to children with Type 1 diabetes and their families in Canada and the USA. He encourages these youngsters to pursue their dreams and gives advice on how to manage their disease, "If I can change a life or two and inspire a youngster to live a better life. That's the kind of imprint I want to leave," says Canyon. His dedication in his work with JDRF and raising awareness of Type 1 Diabetes has led to George becoming a national spokesperson.

For more information on George Canyon, please visit: www.georgecanyon.com and www.facebook.com/georgecanyon

About the "Diabetes Heroes"
Joe Solowiejczyk, RN, MSW, CDE is a nurse, diabetes educator, and family therapist who has personally lived with Type 1 diabetes for 51 years. Joe travels the country sharing his expertise and insights on how family dynamics impact diabetes management, and offers strategies for living well with diabetes as a family.

Jordan DePape is a 20-year old centre for the WHL's Kamloops Blazers who has been living with Type 1 diabetes since the age of 13. Jordan has never let his diabetes hold him back. In the seven years since his diagnosis, he had racked up one accolade after the other, including honours such as the league's top forward, top point scorer for a rookie, Most Dedicated Player and Most Community-minded Player. Before joining the Blazers in 2010, he played for the Brandon Wheat Kings and was named to Team Canada West to compete in the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

Lindsey Carswell is a 19-year old college student attending the University of Guelph; however Lindsey is far from a typical college student. At the age of 15, Lindsey set out on a path to earn her recreational pilot's license. As a person living with Type 1 diabetes, not only did she have to log her blood glucose tests for months and submit the results to Transport Canada, she had to demonstrate exceptionally tight glucose control before the medical board would issue her a certificate to apply for the license. Additionally, Lindsey has been an avid skier since the age of three and spent time as a children's ski instructor in Banff, Alberta before heading to university.

Mike Fisher is a 25-year competitive snowboarder from Forest, Ontario and is a member of the Canadian National Para-Snowboarding Team. No stranger to hardship, Mike was involved in a motorcycle accident that left him amputated below the knee at the age of 18. Nearly a year later, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Mike's passion for snowboarding has repeatedly brought him to the podium, earning 7 silver medals and 4 bronze medals during the course of 2009-2010 season on the Canadian NorAm Tour, a 4th place finish at the World Cup and a bronze medal at Canadian Nationals. He hopes to one day fulfill his dream of being in the Winter Paralympic Games.

About Animas Corporation
As part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, Animas is dedicated to creating a world without limits for people with diabetes through a wide range of products and tools, including the OneTouch® Ping® Glucose Management System, inset® family of infusion sets, and ezManager® MAX software. Animas, from the Latin word meaning "true inner self or soul," has been committed since 1996 to meeting individual patient needs through the development of life-performance technology and unparalleled customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

To learn more about Animas and its products available in Canada, visit www.Animas.ca

About Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. It can occur at any age, but most commonly is diagnosed from infancy to the late 30s. People with Type 1 diabetes must take multiple injections of insulin daily or continuous infusion of insulin through a pump to survive. There are over 300,000 people living with Type 1 diabetes in Canada, with the incidence rate of Type 1 diabetes increasing by 3-5% every year.

SOURCE Animas Corporation

For further information:

Maura Siefring, +1-215-928-2346, maura.siefring@toniclc.com

http://www.animas.ca/george2012