Tags: Diabetes. Health. Complications. Statistics. Bribie Island Diabetes Support Group

EVERY SINGLE CELL

An alarming statistic relating to people who live with diabetes indicates that one person in the world dies every ten seconds from complications caused by diabetes and it is also known that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people over sixty years of age. In Australia, over sixty people are diagnosed daily as having the disease and Bribie Island Diabetes Support Group Vice-President Jan Donaldson pointed out to me that the seriousness of diabetes is quite often overlooked.

‘People can go for a number of years before they are diagnosed with type two diabetes and the diagnosis is usually made when they develop an ulcer or sore on their leg or toe which won’t heal and this can often result in the need for amputation of part or all of the limb. The one sure fact about diabetes is that it will affect every single cell in the body,’ said Jan. ‘Whilst the onset of type one diabetes is rather quick, type two can definitely go un-noticed.

The symptoms for type two are unexplainable weight loss, thirst and excessive urination for the slow progressing type two, indications can include constant tiredness and lethargy as well as thirst and constant hunger,’ she explained.

The Diabetes Support Group has now been operating for twenty-two years and, due to the dedication of members such as Jan, it provides education and support to those with the disease as well as funding vital equipment that includes insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring machines and other essential consumables for both children and adults with diabetes.

Jan told me that in the few months of this year alone, the group has provided over $15,000 in funding for the diabetes community. Another very worthwhile program that is supported by the group is the Kids to Camp initiative which involves sending kids with diabetes to either weekend or one-week camps at Mapleton where they get to mix with others who have the disease and also receive education about relative issues.

The camps are held for three different age groups which are eight years and under, nine to twelve years and thirteen to eighteen years. Jan commented that because the camps provide such a wonderful experience for those who attend, it is not unusual to see those who have been there as a kid to return as an adult supervisor.

Obviously, to provide the support that is so essential to diabetes sufferers, the group has to be very active in fundraising efforts and, as well as conducting cent auctions and raffles, a major fundraiser is the “Walk With Us” and “Diabetes Dash” which this year will be held on May 27th at Brennan Park.

The event is proudly supported by the Bribie Island Road Runners and Walkers Club and generously sponsored by BIDCA, SPORTF1RST and Victory Press. To cater for all, the distances vary from an easy one-kilometre walk/run up to a ten-kilometre test of fitness. Sign on will be from 6.30 am until 8.30 am and entry will include a free sausage sizzle.

The Bribie Island Diabetes Support Group has done such a great job within the broad community and has made a difference in the lives of so many diabetes sufferers. Help them to continue helping those who need their support by going along to the “Walk with Us” event on May 27th.

Anyone who would like more information about the fundraising event or about accessing the services provided by the group should call Jan Donaldson on 0430 226 261.

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