Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Diabetes Hope Foundation helps First Nations youth

A diabetes monitoring device is shown in a handout photo.


The donor: Barbara Pasternak

The gift: Creating the Diabetes Hope Foundation

The reason: To provide support to people with diabetes

Story continues below advertisement

When two of Barbara Pasternak's sons were boys, they developed Type 1 diabetes, where the pancreas doesn't produce any insulin.

She and her husband, Joe, soon discovered the many challenges of living with diabetes, including the high cost of insulin. Her family managed to cover the expenses, but she wanted to do something to help others who were not as fortunate. That led to the creation of the Diabetes Hope Foundation in 1999.

The charity has raised more than $9-million since then, the money going toward scholarships, mentorships, retreats, recreational activities and support programs for youth, including First Nations. More than 2,400 families across Canada have been helped so far.

"We want to help more kids, more families," said Ms. Pasternak, who runs a family-owned manufacturing business with her husband in Toronto called Fluid Hose and Coupling Inc. "This has just been a tremendous passion of mine."

Her sons Jesse and Bobby are doing fine. Jesse is a surgeon, and Bobby is in real estate. (Another son, Harley, is a fitness trainer and does not have diabetes.)

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
European Correspondent

Paul Waldie has been an award-winning journalist with The Globe and Mail for more than 10 years. He has won three National Newspaper Awards for business coverage and been nominated for a Michener Award for meritorious public service journalism. He has also won a Sports Media Canada award for sports writing and authored a best-selling biography of the McCain family. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨