JDRF is excited to join forces with the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) at this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival, as the official 2017 Pin & Win charity.

Matthew and Max Experienced jockey, Matthew Allen, launched the campaign at Australian Guineas Day on Saturday 4 March, along with his 12-year-old son Max, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at just seven.

In March last year, Matthew began experiencing eerily familiar symptoms, so he grabbed his son’s blood glucose tester and sure enough, his levels were off the charts, confirming he had also developed the disease.

Since Matthew’s diagnosis, he’s had to adapt to a new way of managing the only career he’s ever known.

“Diabetes has had a lasting effect on my life and job. It’s difficult to meet the weight requirements as a professional jockey, as I can’t fast or use the sauna as we normally would to lose weight. I was told I’d never race again,” said Matthew.

“It’s definitely limited my career opportunities, and will probably shorten my career. The positive side is that Max is happy he has someone to go through diabetes with. I’m proud we can both support JDRF through raising awareness of the Pin & Win campaign.”

Joining Matthew and Max as the faces of the 2017 Pin & Win Campaign, will be JDRF ambassadors Kerrie McCallum, Editor-in-Chief of delicious. mag, Editorial Director of Sunday Style, and her nine-year-old daughter Marley.

Kerrie and MarleyMarley was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just three, and mum Kerrie said it was a day their family will never forget, as it changed their lives forever.

Kerrie said, “As soon as Marley was diagnosed, a world of needles, injections, counting carbs and many scary episodes ensued. Imagine being told you will need to keep your child alive using insulin, every day and every night for the rest of your life.”

Marley adds, “Sometimes it’s hard when I realise I have to have diabetes all my life. We raise money to try to help scientists find a cure. I won’t grow out of it. No one does. When my blood sugar falls too low or goes too high, it doesn’t feel very good. That’s when it can be dangerous,”

“It would be great to find a cure. That would be the best thing ever.”

JDRF Chief Executive and Managing Director, Mike Wilson was at Flemington on Australian Guineas Day to mark the partnership launch.

“The support of the VRC, along with the generosity of the attendees at the Melbourne Cup Carnival, make it possible for JDRF to deliver progress in type 1 diabetes research, and help those who need it most even faster,” said Mr Wilson.

Pin and Win JDRF charity partner

When can I get my hands on a Pin?

The Pin & Win campaign will commence in early September, with pins available at Flemington and a range of retail outlets.

Since 1995, sales of the souvenir pins have raised more than $4.5 million for charity by leveraging the iconic Emirates Melbourne Cup event and its Flemington location. Funds raised will help JDRF continue our research progress and keeping people with type 1 diabetes healthier for longer, while they wait for the cure.

For more information on the Pin & Win Program, please visit


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