Nanaimo Clippers defenceman Liam Visram. (Garrett James photo/submitted)

Clippers defenceman wins BCHL Community Hero Award

Liam Visram, who has Type 1 diabetes, shares his experiences with young fans

A Nanaimo Clippers defencemen has shown he’s a role model, and it’s made him a community hero.

Liam Visram was chosen as the recipient of a Shaw BCHL Community Hero Award this month.

According to a league press release, the 19-year-old from Langley, who lives with Type 1 diabetes, happened to overhear three Clippers fans talking about the disease in the arena corridor earlier this season and decided to speak up about his experiences with the child, who also has Type 1 diabetes.

“I just talked to him about how I’m diabetic and it hasn’t really stopped me from doing anything and how I still love playing hockey,” said Visram in the release. “I think it impacted him a lot.”

The child’s mother was so impressed that she wrote an e-mail to thank the Clippers hockey club.

“She said she went home that night and her kid said, ‘Mommy, that hockey player does finger pokes [to test blood sugar levels], so I can do it too,’” said Visram. “I saw the e-mail and sent it to my parents right away. I was really happy. It put a huge smile on my face. I can honestly say that I haven’t been that proud of myself in a while.”

Since then, Visram was inspired to begin going to schools in Nanaimo specifically to talk about being a junior A hockey player living with Type 1 diabetes.

In conjunction with Visram’s award, Shaw will donate $500 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

“Liam is proving that living with a condition like diabetes does not have to limit what you’re capable of,” said Chethan Lakshman, vice-president of external affairs with Shaw Communications. “Kids need role models like Liam to show them that when they work hard, they can do anything they set their minds to – no matter what kind of obstacles they may be facing in their own lives.”

Visram said using an insulin pump is just a part of the balance of his everyday life.

“My message to kids is that [diabetes] doesn’t stop me from doing anything and it won’t stop you,” he said. “If you want it, you can do whatever you want. Don’t let it stop you.”

GAME ON … The Clippers face the Langley Rivermen on Friday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. at Frank Crane Arena. The Clips then visit the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Saturday.

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