Abhiyan A.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Vancouver Heritage Fair

Frederick Banting, a Canadian Hero

My project is about how insulin, invented by Frederick Banting and his research team, changed the life of millions of people with diabetes. My project also talks about how Banting came to be the person we know today.



What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

The fact that Banting was not only a medical scientist, but also a medical war hero and an artist, who maintained a well-managed relationship with one of the members of the Group of Seven. This made me think that a person can be successful in many dimensions of life if we take it seriously and work hard for it.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

Throughout this research I learned about the qualities one needs to succeed in one’s life, especially, young learners like me. Failure is not the end. Banting failed in his Arts study and moved halfway through repeating his first year, he decided to switch to medicine at the University of Toronto, where he read an article and became deeply interested in diabetes. Banting was resilient to prove his talents. Banting was a below-average student in the class, but he proved that grade did not predict success. Hope if supported by hard work can overcome poor grades. Teamwork is important to achieve something great like insulin. Banting did surgery, Best did chemistry, Collip purified the crude insulin, while Macleod supervised the experiments. Together they achieved the world’s greatest life-saving remedy. Generosity and empathy for others are key to great personality. Banting and Macleod shared half of their Nobel Prize money with Best and Collip. They sold the insulin patent to the University of Toronto for $1, so that all countries can make insulin to help millions of suffering diabetics around the world. Perseverance is the secret power that propels success. Though the discovery was more than once dismissed by other academics, Banting persisted in his quest to find the ultimate treatment for diabetes.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

My life as a non-diabetic person is more relaxed and comfortable, but those unfortunate millions of suffering diabetics before the invention of insulin had a miserable life. Many of them lived for only a year after being diagnosed. Many have died from starvation as a way of treatment.