Photo above is of Siva Swaminathan.
NC – Siva Swaminathan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as an adult eight years ago on November 14, World Diabetes Day.
“It took doctors five months to diagnose me,” she says. “And I didn’t receive enough critical information about diabetes care and management.” The experience taught her that education was key to understanding the disease.
After working in the IT field, Siva pursued her dream of becoming a chef. Her passion for cooking started in her hometown in South India where she helped her grandmother prepare meals. Opening the Chezsiva Cooking School in Toronto has allowed her to share her knowledge with others who want to eat healthier, manage diabetes and other chronic diseases, and lead a healthy life.
“A healthy diet and physical activity is very important for better glycemic control,” she says. “Checking my blood sugar before and after meals is a routine, and I also exercise three to four times a week.”
Passionate about education, Siva became a volunteer with the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA). In Ontario, the number of people with the disease is expected to grow from 1.46 million to 2.2 million by 2024. She has used her skills to organize and present diabetes information sessions to the public, and to help produce culturally relevant diabetes information.
As one of more than nine million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes, Siva supports the CDA’s Diabetes Charter for Canada, which envisions a country where people with diabetes live to their full potential.
“The Diabetes Charter for Canada will bring timely diagnosis and valuable diabetes education to Canadians affected by the disease. It will also bring more awareness so people with diabetes are free from stigma, discrimination and judgment.”
More information, including how to sign the Charter, is available online at www.MyDiabetesCharter.ca.