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On Tuesday 28 July 40 children with type 1 diabetes from around Victoria visited Parliament House for Kids in the House. The Kids met with 25 Members of Parliament to tell them their compelling stories about life with this difficult disease and their hopes for a cure.

V8 Supercar driver Jack Perkins, who has type 1 diabetes, launched the World’s Biggest Fingerprick. With MPs and supporters taking part, more than 170 people joined together to prick their finger and share a moment of life with type 1 diabetes on the steps of Parliament House.

Fingerpricks are an essential part of the painful daily routine that keeps people with type 1 diabetes alive.

Children and adults with type 1 diabetes, who number 30,000 in Victoria, need to check their blood glucose levels 4-6 times a day on average. This enables them to calculate their insulin dose, and when this complex juggling act works properly, it helps to reduce the risk of long term complications like blindness, stroke and kidney disease.

JDRF CEO Mike Wilson spoke at the event. “Victoria is a recognised centre of excellence for medical research and JDRF supports more than 20 projects in this state, which represents around 100 researchers. These dedicated scientists have recently broken new ground and there are now more therapies in human clinical trials than ever before.”

“As an autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes is thought to be caused by a complex mixture of genetic and environmental factors – but not by an unhealthy diet or obesity. A cure for type 1 diabetes is needed urgently as the rate of new cases in children in this country is rising by 3% every year.”

Jack Perkins said “It was good to help out JDRF and show Members of Parliament and others what it’s like to do a finger prick,”

“As a JDRF Youth Ambassador I get to meet some great people and do some very different things. This event was all about showing what people with type 1 diabetes have to do at least six times a day for every day of their life.”

The Kids in the House also heard from National Health and Medical Research Council CEO Professor Warwick Anderson AM, who confirmed that type 1 diabetes is an important area of research for the federal government, with $157.4 million invested since 2000.

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