Sign In
Sign In
This copy is for your personal non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies of Toronto Star content for distribution to colleagues, clients or customers, or inquire about permissions/licensing, please go to:
It was inspirational for Michael Simpson to discover one of his childhood hockey heroes was diabetic.
Growing up in London as a Knights fan, Simpson remembers Max Domi hosting a diabetes awareness night. It helped Simpson believe it was possible diabetes wouldn’t prevent him from chasing his hockey dreams.
On Wednesday, Simpson, the OHL’s reigning Goalie of the Month, unveiled his plans for Diabetes Night when the Peterborough Petes host the Sudbury Wolves on Nov. 24 at the Memorial Centre.
Held in partnership with Tandem Diabetes Care, the company which markets the insulin pump Simpson uses, the event will raise funds to send children to Diabetes Canada’s diabetes camps).
Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at three, Simpson, 19, doesn’t remember life without it.
“My mom ran a daycare at our house and she remembers one day I was chugging bottles of water and then running to the bathroom,” Simpson said. “It happened a couple of times and my mom thought, a three-year-old shouldn’t be doing this.”
The diagnosis came soon after and Simpson began a daily regimen of needles to monitor his blood levels and administer insulin.
Advances in technology have allowed Simpson to get away from needles. He wears a Dexcom glucose monitoring sensor on the back of his arm which communicates with the insulin pump he wears to regulate his blood sugar levels. It’s never prevented Simpson from playing hockey, let alone excelling.
“I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t have it,” Simpson said.
“Having it for so long I’m kind of used to the signs. I start to feel when my blood sugar is going a little low or a little high. I almost realize it myself that I need a bit of insulin or a drink of Gatorade. With modern technology it’s normalized people’s lives a bit more. You can do anything a normal person can do I just have to manage how I’m feeling.’
Simpson was a 10th round draft pick of the Petes in 2019. He played one season for their U18 Petes affiliate and joined the Petes full-time last season winning the starting goalie’s job by season’s end. He was the OHL’s top goalie in April and again in October, back-to-back regular season honours.
He’s always wanted to do something to promote awareness and raise funds for diabetes but now he felt he had the profile to make a difference. It was inspired by the Domi fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation game in London Simpson attended.
“To me it was if I ever get this opportunity, I want to do something to bring awareness to diabetes and try to give back to the community. Domi was one of those guys who motivated me to feel like I could reach my goals even though I have diabetes. That’s something I wanted to bring to the Peterborough area.”
Simpson met Domi once when his minor hockey team toured the Knights dressing room. Domi signed a stick for him but Simpson said he didn’t get an opportunity to share his story with him.
“I was a little star struck being 10 or 11,” he said.
He hopes to meet some of the children with diabetes who will be attending the game.
“I’d like to hear their stories and have those conversations,” he said.
Simpson’s stepmom Monica Simpson happens to work for Tandem Diabetes Care. Peterborough area rep Travis Vaughan said this entire initiative is Simpson’s doing.
“He’s had all this success and he’s the starting goalie for the Peterborough Petes and he’s done this while living with Type 1 diabetes,” Vaughan said. “What a powerful message for all these kids who are going to come to the game to see (diabetes) not as a limitation. They are capable of doing whatever they put their minds to.”
Fans can donate to the cause at the game or online (link to be provided at a future date). On Nov. 24 there will be a silent auction for a game-worn Simpson jersey and a chuck-a-puck, with all proceeds going toward D-Camp registration fees.
Fans are encouraged to wear blue, the official colour of Diabetes Month, to the game. Tickets for Diabetes Night can be purchased by visiting the Grant Thornton Box Office or online at
NOTES: The Petes start three games in three nights when they host the Barrie Colts at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at the PMC. They visit the Oshawa Generals at 7:30 p.m. Friday and the Ottawa 67’s at 7 p.m. Saturday… The Petes gained an honourable mention in the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings this week after handing the No. 5-ranked Ottawa 67’s their first loss on Friday… Petes coach Rob Wilson said Tommy Purdeller and Shawn Spearing are now day-to-day with upper body injuries Wilson said there’s a good chance they will see action this weekend. Artem Guryev will also return Saturday from a five-game suspension…. The Petes confirmed Wednesday that Shawn Spearing will be captain for a second season with Tucker Robertson, Chase Stillman and J.R. Avon as alternate captains and Connor Lockhart as an alternate for the alternates.
Copyright owned or licensed by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or distribution of this content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited and/or its licensors. To order copies of Toronto Star articles, please go to:


By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *