Diabetes, a Family Business

I recently shared part one of a two part interview with Steve and Elissa Renouf. To make a long (and incredible) story short, Steve is a world famous Rugby player from Australia and has type 1 diabetes. He is married to Elissa, and together they have five children, four of whom also have diabetes! Here is the second part of their interview where they discuss how diabetes has impacted the future of their family, including becoming the foundational idea for a successful business. Thank you to the Renouf family for all that you do, keep up the great work!

Q. Diabetes shaped the dynamics of your family, and even became the idea for your business, Diabete-ezy. Can you tell us about that?
A. Diabete-ezy was an idea that came out of the challenges we faced and to help others manage their diabetes in a positive way. With functional products people can use in everyday life, which helps them to integrate their diabetes into their routine instead of the other way around. We use our business as a platform to encourage others impacted by diabetes, and the profile that Steve has from his rugby career has made our business more visible and so we have been able to expand and help more people.

Q. What kind of products do you sell?

A. We have all sorts of things from purpose built diabetes carry cases, cleaning wipes that fit into testing cases to comfy insulin pump belts that can help you better cope and manage your diabetes.

Elissa has personally designed these products because they help fix everyday problems we encounter. We have found that our products and family story have been inspirational to others.

Q. Can you tell me more about the motto on your website? “A Pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, An Optimist sees an opportunity in every difficulty” by Sir Winston Churchill

A. We were already living this way before I found that motto. When I found it, I just thought that sums up our lives and the way we look at things. People say “I don’t know how you do it,” but I suppose a pessimist would see the difficulty. We could sit back and say “Poor us, our life is terrible.” But then we wouldn’t be good parents and we wouldn’t have positive children. And we want to grow positive children. We would ruin our lives or not have as good a life. But you say okay, we have these challenges and I suppose my business is something that has come out of that. You ask yourself, “Why do I have 5 diabetics in my family?” Maybe it’s to help others, and to send a good message.

Q. Through your business and personal experience, can you offer any words of encouragement to newly diagnosed families?
A.I get a lot of emails from newly diagnosed families. I try to personally reach out to many of these parents because I think if I can get a couple of messages across like not blaming diabetes, for example don’t say, you can’t do this or that because you have diabetes. I think that saying this can have a huge impact on their child for the rest of life. I let them know that the grieving process is normal, and I try to bring a bit of positivity to their life.Steve: Elissa comes in and is such an inspiration to other parents, other moms. The testimonials she gets proves that.

Q. If someone wants to get in touch with you or learn more about the Renouf Family, what is the best way?

A. If you are struggling with diabetes and would like to know more about how we manage our family’s diabetes or want to know more about the products I have designed and developed go to www.diabete-ezy.com or please visit us on Facebook!

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  1. Janet Johnston

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