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While no two journeys are the same, research progress can make a difference to all.

Type 1 diabetes is a disease that doesn’t discriminate. It touches all walks of life, and is shared by Australians of all ages and life stages.

At JDRF, we work for — and with — all of these people as they navigate the challenges of T1D. They might be at the beginning of their journey, like Zoe. Or they might be somewhere in the middle, like Alex. And sometimes, sadly, we are the ones who are helping friends and family continue a legacy, when a journey ends…


Lucy and Zoe Zoe and Lucy
At just 4, Zoe already knows the problem is in her pancreas.

It’s 2:30 in the morning and I’m at work…….and all I can think about is if Zoe’s blood sugar is ok. The other night I didn’t wake to check it and she woke up at 5am saying she was very low and indeed she was. Her blood sugar was 2.6mmol while the target range is 4-8. When lying in bed after consuming some cordial (without water) she said to me, “Mummy, when I’m low my legs shake”. This is the first time she has expressed this feeling to me. It made me so upset to think that she feels this way on top of all the other symptoms she experiences.

It has been a little over 18 months since diagnosis and have things got easier? In all honesty, no.

If anything, things are getting harder. Zoe is getting older and is asking the questions like, “Why me?”, “When is my diabetes going to go away?”, “Why doesn’t my pancreas work properly?”

Yes, she knows it’s all down to her pancreas. My heart just breaks when she asks these questions. I want to just curl and up and cry for hours, but can I? No, of course not because we, as parents, have to be strong for our children. She brings so much joy, happiness and laughter into my life, surely I can make sure that she stays as happy and carefree as any other four-year-old. She shouldn’t have to be going through this, but she is and mostly with a smile on her face.

There is amazing new technology out there that will drastically change the lives of people living with T1D. However, these are just easing the burden slightly. What we are looking for is a cure. I haven’t wanted anything more since my beautiful Zoe was diagnosed than a cure. So please help Zoe and I and many others out there find that cure.

 


Alex
Celebrating 50 years of T1D with a marathon.

Alex running a marathonI was diagnosed with T1D 50 years ago, and at that time, life expectancy and quality of life for me looked bleak. I was 14 and at boarding school; it feels like yesterday. Diabetes management from those times was primitive. Urine testing was like a science experiment, with test tubes and foaming tablets.

To celebrate my milestone, I decided to take on a mad ambition… to run a marathon! I used to jog once a week but I haven’t really done any sort of “real” fitness since I ran a half-marathon 20 years ago. I am not sporty, simply determined.

More and more people who have T1D are living well and with technology moving forward, I certainly am feeling much better. I wanted to prove to myself and those living with T1D that we are just as capable as those without it. Halfway through training for the run, my endo suggested that I trial a CGM for a week — after the seven days were up I was converted. I find it really useful for avoiding hypos while exercising, sleeping and driving.

All type 1s are different, and some have been dealt really bad cards, I have been incredibly lucky and hope to go on in the same way. Cross your fingers for me and everyone in the type 1 diabetes community.

 

 

Read the latest in research progress on our JDRG blog.

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