Hello all, my name is Avi Shaver. I am the new student worker here at the Frederick G. Banting House, National Historic Site of Canada. It is a pleasure to meet whoever is reading this. I am originally from the United States; Minnesota to be specific, though I have lived in various other places as well.
It is a pleasure and a great honour to be working at such a place as significant as this one. Diabetes has never affected me or anyone in my family. It has, however, affected people that I do know. I think that is what makes working here at a place such as this one so impactful. I am working in a space where, had this house not been here, these friends I know today would not have been here.
It feels quite surreal to be walking and working where one of the most significant life-saving ideas came to fruition. This would be equivalent to walking in the farm where Edward Jenner inoculated the boy with cowpox and with the idea of a vaccine. It is like working in an ice palace: you are in awe of the work done, yet by working here you are working on furthering a legacy. I have found that there is great glory in working here, I hope to be do the following for myself:
1) continue to work on telling the Banting (and his family) history,
2) share the role of insulin in the medical world and beyond,
3) promote advocacy of diabetes awareness. But this experience is much more than that.
As well as work on upholding the mission of the site which is to “create public awareness and understanding of the national historic significance of Sir Frederick Banting and preserving the commemorative integrity of Banting House National Historic Site of Canada, the birthplace of insulin for the benefit of the people of Canada.”
You may ask, why is a graduate student from the United States interested in this? Beyond the scope of the reasons given above, it is about reminding and educating people that this man has given countless people the opportunity to live, and live productive, fulfilling and well-meaning lives at that. The title of this week’s post is “one world entire”. It comes from a passage in the Talmud which states that “one who saves one soul, saves an entire world.” Dr. Banting did just that. He has saved millions of souls and therefore given each “survivor” a chance to create their own world, whether that be through having a family, having a life outside of diabetes or something else. It is all thanks to him and his colleagues who turned an idea into a reality. So therefore I would like to conclude with that idea. I hope this assistantship will grant me the opportunity to educate, and share experiences of being grateful to the man we all can say thank you to for saving “our worlds”.