• Welcome to insulinpumps.ca

    IT STARTED WITH A BOY WHO DIDN'T LIKE NEEDLES

When 9-year-old McKenzie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, no one thought it would lead to the creation of insulinpumps.ca.

Managing his diabetes proved to be a learning process fraught with many challenges. Yet each step along the way became a building block for a business that would change the way insulin pump supplies are sold across Canada.

For the first several months, McKenzie’s mom, Melany, came to his school at lunchtime to inject his insulin. She started looking at alternatives when he decided getting poked every day with a needle wasn’t high on his list of favourites.

The family’s doctor suggested an insulin pump, and McKenzie became a pumper in 2002. But instead of getting easier, life became more difficult. The problem was the infusion set that came with his pump. It wasn’t comfortable and the tape holding it to his body kept falling off. This led to tears and frustration, wasted sites and supplies, and more costs. His mom didn’t know about the options.

Then, something unexpected happened. Melany was referred to a parent support group. To her surprise, she learned there were lots of choices for pumps and infusion sets, beyond those offered by her pump manufacturer. So she went on the Internet, did her research and found McKenzie a new pump – with a different infusion set. Everything worked perfectly. Life became much better for McKenzie … and Melany.

But the story didn’t end there.

Melany called the pump manufacturer to say how much she liked the products and how they improved her son’s life. This led to her eventually becoming the company’s sales representative for Eastern Canada and later sales manager for all of Canada.

She left the organization in 2006 to start insulinpumps.ca in her basement. Driven by the difficulties she and McKenzie had faced, she felt there was a better way for people to learn about their choices and purchase pump supplies. It was through the place where the vast majority of people with diabetes go – their local pharmacy.

This belief enabled insulinpumps.ca to become the first and only company in Canada to distribute a full range of pump supplies to retail pharmacies, and provide them with the unbiased product knowledge and support they need to help consumers make the right decisions.

Pharmacy chains quickly realized how Melany’s idea could benefit their customers and became partners, with Safeway the first to come aboard. Business grew and the company moved out of her home to a new office in Oakville, Ont. It’s where a dedicated team committed to making life better for insulin pumpers works to realize Melany’s vision, that began with a boy and his infusion set problems.

The support of these individuals and organizations played a pivotal role in the start of insulinpumps.ca. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to them!

Zoltan Barzso
Paul Beckwith
Peter Brownrigg
Mark Butler
Barb Chafe
Randall Cole
Mark Hellstern
McKenzie Hellstern
Laurie Kaminsky
Roger Leclerc
Carol Lezack

Thomas Meier
Darrin Parker
Tracey Phillips
Ruth Roberts
Safeway
Dianne Stuijts
May Tsang
John Walsh
Rita Winn
Dick van Wyck