CHEK Upside: Victoria boy living with diabetes earns national praise for financial literacy project

CHEK Upside: Victoria boy living with diabetes earns national praise for financial literacy project
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He’s a scootering savant, a fearless rock climber and a hand-standing showman; Andrei Marti’s as active as any young boy, despite facing a constant battle.

“Basically my pancreas doesn’t work, I have a disease called Type 1 Diabetes,” said the 11-year-old.

It’s an incurable disease that affects nearly 1 per cent of Canadians.

Symptoms can include severe fatigue, mood changes and treatments be costly and are often needed frequently.

Marti has studied the illness and is always eager to learn more about diabetes research, recently signing up for a nationwide youth financial literacy contest in which he focused on the cost of living with diabetes.

“It was interesting to learn the financial aspect of how much money it costs for my parents to take care of my medical supplies and take care of all my necessary supplies,” said Marti.

He finished third in the competition and was awarded $500 for his efforts.

His research also provided some eye-opening figures, as Marti concluded that costs associated with diabetes would amount to over $600,000 in a lifetime.

According to Marti and his family, most of these costs are not covered by health care or extended health coverage.

Marti, however, has become accustomed to overcoming adversity and delivering strong results.

Since he was five years old, Marti’s planned and executed a variety of charity fundraisers including bottle drives, starting a lemonade stand and even buying a busking permit to perform handstands in downtown Victoria.

“He can find ways to raise money all over the place,” said Annelies Browne, Andrei’s mother. “He’s always looking for new and unique ways to save money.”

His campaigning, hard work and creativity have helped raise over $30,000 in donations towards Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Help Fill a Dream Foundation.

“Living with a pretty severe disease is not easy, but I’m super proud of him,” said Browne. “To be able to just keep on going, it motivates him to just get out there.”

He’s a young man well beyond his years — pursuing a path to make the world a better place.

“When I’m older, I really want to be a doctor, because I like helping people and I learning a bit more and getting to work with other people with diabetes like me,” said Marti.

Andrei Marty says he’s already started saving for college.

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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