The Gift of Diabetes
Raised in the city, Brion Whitfold grew up without knowing much about his Ojibway culture or heritage. Then he was diagnosed with diabetes and the more Brion’s health deteriorated, the deeper his interest grew in connecting with his origins. This film is a moving account of a man coming to terms with his own mortality, while trying to re-establish balance in his life in the four aspects: Spiritual, Physical, Mental, and Emotional.
Sandy Bay First Nation has one of the highest rates of diabetes and dibetes related amputations in the country. Most of the members of the community have been touched personally, and sometimes tragically, by the disease.
After the initial diagnosis Brion went into denial. But by 2001, complications from the disease had provoked two mild heart attacks, given him gout in his feet, left him with only 50 percent kidney function, and blood sugar levels that were spiralling out of control.
Brion feels that diabetes is robbing him of enjoying activities he once loved; like fishing with his cousins. Now he has trouble walking and has shortness of breath. But he’s determined to let go of negative thinking, because it leads to imbalance.