Would you throw your hand into elephant dung, maggots and scorpions, just to help your loved one who has type 1 diabetes? Or would you walk on a thin wire across a vast dam, a hundred metres in the air?
That’s just a few of the things that young up-and-coming comedian Joel Creasey has been doing in the African jungle on reality TV show I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here for his younger sister Alice, his chosen charity JDRF, and type 1 diabetes research.
JDRF spoke to Joel’s mum Jenny, to find out a bit more about Joel and his motivations for being on the show.
“Being on the show is a fantastic opportunity for Joel as a young comedian. He’s put in some hard work for the past five years, playing any gigs he could from bikie bars to country pubs. He was lucky to be able to score an agent with his very first Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, and now has a regular spot on The Project, on radio shows, and doing international comedy gigs as well. But I’m A Celebrity is the biggest thing he’s done, and it’ll be a great opportunity for him to raise his profile.”
“Joel also has a personal motivation to stay in the jungle right till the end. He has a personal connection to JDRF through his younger sister Alice who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was seven. They were very close as children, and he remembers the sad and traumatic time when Alice was in hospital. He wants to support his sister.”
“It took the whole family a while to accept Alice’s diagnosis, especially as we didn’t have any family history of T1D. We were in hospital for a week and while we did eventually settle into a routine, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Like many other T1D teens, Alice went through a stage of denial where she struggled with a long series of really erratic Hba1Cs and even had four seizures in sixteen months. She’s more stable now that she’s on the pump, but I think that period definitely affected our whole family.”
“I think the worries we have as parents also affected Joel and our older daughter Holly. After Alice’s diagnosis, every time someone got up to go to the toilet at night, I’d get up as well and ask them if they were thirsty. You worry as a mother, and I worried that Joel might also develop T1D.”
“As a family, we’re now struggling with Joel’s celebrity. We’re very proud of him and what he’s achieved and the enthusiasm with which he’s embraced this new adventure. But it is very difficult when you go online to help promote #CelebJoel, but you see negative comments by people who don’t even know him or what he’s like. We know he’s doing well on the show though, so we just have to tune out the negativity and keep supporting Joel, and encouraging people to support Joel.”
JDRF is throwing our support behind Joel, a talented young comedian who can go the whole way on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! Want to help us keep Joel in the competition and increase JDRF’s opportunity to win as chosen charity?