Research Progress

More than 80 advocates join supporters and the Prime Minister to celebrate a decade of Australian government investment in type 1 diabetes research.

On a glorious Sydney day, JDRF supporters and advocates were hosted by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull at Kirribilli House to mark ten years of federal government support for type one research.

Advocates at Kirribilli House

Guests at the event, which had TV personality Rob Palmer at the helm for the day, heard from four passionate advocates about the impact government support has had on their lives.

First, we heard from Ruth Cummock, who spoke about the transformative impact of islet transplantation on her life. Being able to receive the procedure has had an incredible impact on her wellbeing and she’s no longer relying on insulin – something that would have been inconceivable when she was first diagnosed.

This was followed by a moving and passionate speech by Jodie Barber, an advocate and mum of Rilan, 6, on their journey of living with type 1 diabetes.  Jodie eloquently conveyed some of the real challenges of managing Rilan’s diabetes and the difference the Insulin Pump Program has made to family life. For Rilan, less injections allows him to get more out of life.

Getting more out of life was also a theme of the next speaker, Sydney advocate Kirilly White. Kirilly told us how thanks to her Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), she got to sleep outside as a Girl Guide alone for the first time – something that would have been incredibly challenging without this technology.

Kirilly White

The final advocate to speak was 11-year-old Zoe Moyes, who told the audience that she hoped that government funding into the Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network (T1DCRN) would eventually see us go from type one to type none.

Each of the speakers had been touched by government-funded research and support for type one – and all passed on their thanks to the PM and his government for continuing to support research.

When the PM stood up to speak, it was clear that the years of grassroots advocacy has had an impact. When speaking of JDRF, he said:

“JDRF is a really great example of strong and persistent advocacy, unrelenting in your pursuit of breakthroughs and advances in preventing treating and caring for people with type one diabetes. You are at the forefront of improving the lives of thousands of Australians living with this challenging disease and I am in awe of your success over the years. ”

Looking ahead to the future, the PM said that due to the work of JDRF and its army of advocates, he was confident we would see an end to type 1 diabetes.

“Your advocacy, your passion added to the commitment of the research community means we are well placed to meet this challenge – which is, take it from type one to type none.”

Finishing the day, JDRF CEO Mike Wilson summed it up perfectly by stating “There has been one consistent message that resonates through the stories today – and that’s thank you. Today we celebrate how lucky we are to have had governments that share our determination to turn type one into type none and rid this world of type 1 diabetes once and for all.”

To see more of the event and the speakers, please check out the video below, or view the photo album from the day.

Learn more about becoming a JDRF advocate here. 

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