Around 1,000 Victorian children, teenagers, and their families who live with diabetes will descend on Melbourne Zoo today for a walk on the wild side, leaving their diabetes worries at home.
This year at the Diabetes Australia – Vic annual Members’ Family Fun Day, the focus is on children and teenagers living with diabetes. Adolescence can be a really difficult time, and the daily challenges of living with diabetes can make it even tougher.
Members will be able to choose from a range of activities, with the chance to meet other families who are also living with diabetes.
There are over 28,350 Victorians with type 1 diabetes and nearly 3400 are under 20 years old. Type 1 diabetes is growing by 3 per cent every year. A recent report by Diabetes Australia shows that only 12 per cent of Australians living with type 1 diabetes currently have access to insulin pump therapy (an alternative to multiple daily injections) due to the cost, access difficulties and limited availability.
The report calls for a new national integrated and comprehensive approach to both this therapy and new technologies by federal and state governments, as well as private health insurance companies, so that Australian families can benefit from treatment advances.
Seven-year-old Milly O’Connor has been on an insulin pump for four years. Her mother Belinda said that since Milly started using the pump, “Everything has become more manageable – from playdates to kinder attendance and managing blood glucose levels overnight. We have regained some spontaneity in our lives, which we had not experienced in the early years after Milly’s diagnosis.”
“These barriers need to be addressed so that people can access this life-changing technology when they choose to.”
Diabetes Australia – Vic CEO Craig Bennett says, “We’re working closely with Diabetes Australia to improve access to diabetes technologies – such as insulin pumps – for Australians of all ages living with type 1 diabetes, based on their clinical needs.
“Days like today help young people focus on their diabetes in a positive way and connect with others who are experiencing similar challenges.”
Diabetes Australia – Vic is the leading charity and peak consumer body working to reduce the impact of diabetes.