Owen Sound Attack defenceman Mark Woolley helping to end diabetes
LONDON, ONT. -- Mark Woolley was lacing 'em up to end diabetes.
"It's the 10K do it your way," says Woolley, a defenceman with the OHL's Owen Sound Attack, and a Type 1 diabetic.
"We are going out to roller-blade the path around St. Thomas for the #EndDiabetes campaign. A couple teammates are going to do it too in Ottawa and Toronto. The support is amazing."
Sunday morning, the final day of the month-long ‘Lace Up’ campaign, Woolley was joined by London, Ont. area OHL'ers Navrin Mutter and Liam Van Loon, as well his brother who also has Type 1 diabetes.
"I’m excited to be here and I'm proud of my brother who is raising funds for Diabetes Canada," says Michael Woolley, a former junior hockey player.
Mark, who has been diabetic for 8 years, created a foundation called Woolley's Warriors. He and his team have been raising money to help others who battle the disease.
The Lace Up campaign surpassed its goal of $100,000 and Woolley's team helped by earning a bronze sponsorship for their fundraising.
"Mark and his team have been great to work with," says Kelly Lambkin, community engagement manager with Diabetes Canada.
"They are key influencers in our community and there are a lot of people that look up to him as we have a huge Type 1 following."
Among the 11 million Canadians who have diabetes, are some fans of Woolley's junior hockey team.
"I try to bring diabetic kids to Attack games, give them complimentary tickets," says Woolley.
"I talk to them and their families after the games. We chat about living life with diabetes. I've learned things from 10 year olds and I'm sure they've learned things from me too."
Mark knows diabetes needs to be managed 24/7 and 365 days per year. He first got the disease at age 12, and the money he's raising annually can help other children.
"The main goal is to send D-Camps," says Woolley.
"This year because of COVID-19 that wasn't able to happen so the money this year went to online conferences. Families could meet doctors, and learn more about diabetes. In the future it's about sending kids to D-Camps and connecting them all with other kids who have the same disease."
While the Lace Up campaign is now complete, his foundation will keep raising awareness.
Donations can be made on his website.