Sun Life commits $5 million to combat diabetes and support transformational research TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Today is World Diabetes Day. Diabetes is a disease that is growing in Canada with almost 40 per cent of Canadians having someone in their lives impacted by the disease according to the 2012 Sun Life Canadian Health Index TM. It is projected that one in three Canadians will be living with diabetes or prediabetes in less than a decade*. With so many people impacted by this disease, the World Health Organization has called diabetes the epidemic of the 21 st century with approximately 4.6 million deaths around the world last year**. To help combat this epidemic, Sun Life Financial announced a five year commitment of $5 million to the University Health Network (UHN). This donation will support transformational research focused on bringing us closer to a cure, as well as promoting and providing prevention and care programs. This commitment will also complement Sun Life Financial's existing support for other programs and future support for diabetes. "We're pleased to commit our support for diabetes, the first time in our company's almost 150 year history that we have focused on a single health-related cause to this extent," said Mary De Paoli, Executive Vice-President, Public and Corporate Affairs and Chief Marketing Officer, Sun Life Financial. "It is a perfect fit with our company's mission of helping people achieve lifetime financial security as healthier Canadians can be more financially secure because they can lead longer and more productive lives," said De Paoli. "It also fits with our business focus on workplace health and wellness, where we saw an exciting opportunity to raise awareness to empower Canadians to join us in efforts to prevent and manage this disease."