Andrei Marti,13, of Brentwood Bay is raising funds and awareness about Type 1 diabetes, which he has been living with since he was five years old.
Marti has raised more than $50,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Help Fill A Dream by doing handstands, selling lemonade and during other various fundraisers including bottle drives. He obtained a busking permit five years ago and began doing handstands in the summers in downtown Victoria.
“I thought that I should busk because I’m really good at doing handstands,” Marti said. “We had a sign from Help Fill A Dream and we started to raise so much money in a short period of time. Doing handstands played a big part in raising that $50,000.”
Help Fill A Dream has assisted Marti and his family financially after his diagnosis, which inspired him to want to give back to help other families.
Marti travelled to Ottawa in November with a select group of students from across Canada on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. They went on the trip to call on MPs to support research into Type 1 diabetes and to help find a cure. The group asked for $5 million in federal funding to go towards research focused on novel interventions that address mental health in people living with Type 1 diabetes and $30 million to help with a related trial.
“This is a very hard disease on people, and it can take a toll on your mental health,” Marti said. “I spoke with MPs. They were very supportive. After seeing their reactions, it seems that there is a high chance that these asks will come true or will almost be met.”
Marti has received a significant amount of recognition and awards for his efforts, including most recently being chosen as a recipient of British Columbia’s 2022 Medal of Good Citizenship.