The Gift of Diabetes

Brion Whitford is an Ojibway who lives with advanced diabetes. In 2001, complications from the disease left him with only 50 percent kidney function and blood sugar levels that were spiralling out of control. Raised in the city, Brion grew up without knowing his culture or heritage. Consequently, he had little faith in traditional Native medicine and healing. But the more Brion's health deteriorated, the deeper his interest grew in connecting with his own culture and traditions. The Gift of Diabetes follows Brion's struggle to regain his health by learning about his heritage. His journey is a moving account of a man coming to terms with his own mortality, while trying to re-establish balance in his life.

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O. Brion Whitford
John Paskievich
O. Brion Whitford
Don Steggles
Joe MacDonald
John Paskievich
Charles Konowal
Claude Savard
John Paskievich
sound recordist
Craig Lapp
Russ Dyck
Jay Garuk
Marvin Polanski
Norman Dugas
original music composer
Richard Moody
O. Brion Whitford
re-recording mixer
Howard Rissin
sound editor
Anita Lubosch
executive producer
Michael Scott
Graydon McCrea


  • sabourinj22

    “I would love to watch the film, please fix the site :)” — sabourinj22, 31 May 2015

  • Juan_Gutierrez_Mejia

    “My admiration for Brion´s message, it is far much about wisdom, so many facts we do not stop to think about anymore. Truly a film all medical students need to see in order to understand the healers attitude more than just the medicine based evidence attitude.” — Juan_Gutierrez_Mejia, 17 Nov 2012

  • benjibee

    “Such beauty. Thank you for this.” — benjibee, 14 Nov 2011

  • velehman

    “Great to see the late Brion again, despite his terrible situation. He gave us a great gift. Passing this to some Med students who should really benefit from his insights.” — velehman, 20 Jun 2011

  • sherri-lynn

    “I have watched this video a number of times with nursing students. We've often wondered how Brion is now. After reading Tiffany's post I am assuming that Brion has lost his battle? He was an inspiration!” — sherri-lynn, 20 Apr 2010

  • Tiffany

    “ I was very close to Brion, so when I watch this i feel sad, he is truly missed and I wish i had the chance to say goodbye. Brion was so gifted and talented and his dark sense of humor rubbed off on me and im glad for it, it made me strong and who i am today. I'm so lucky to have had Brion be a part of my whole life. if only he knew how much that mattered to me...” — Tiffany, 14 Apr 2010


    “This film is an eye opener. The view of thinking Diabetes as a gift... wonderful. I now have a way that leads. Thank you.” —, 19 Feb 2010

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