Diabetes awareness is key

Jack and Rori, with Jack''s mum Rebecca and siblings Billy and Ruby, and Rori''s mum Laura.

By Kath Gannaway

The saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is never more true than when that child has type 1 diabetes.

For the Collins and Innes-Mason families in Healesville being on top of what it means to have a child with the disease has been a huge learning curve, but educating family, friends and the wider community in which their children circulate day to day, is the real challenge.

Bright, energetic 10-year- old, Jack Collins and nine-year-old Rori Innes-Mason, have been living with the disease for half their young lives.

On Sunday, 18 November, at the Don Road Complex in Healesville the families will take part in the first JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) One Walk Healesville under the banner ‘Turn Type 1 into Type None!’

While raising funds for research is an important part of the event, for mums Rebecca Collins and Laura Innes, raising awareness in their own community is every bit as important.

“As a parent of a diabetic child awareness is the biggest thing,” Rebecca said.

She is proud of her young son who has adjusted to not only the lifestyle and dietary changes which come with the disease, but the daily monitoring and managing which includes blood prick tests and administering insulin.

Rori also manages the challenging regime and wears a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring) sensor that tracks glucose levels.

“It can be monitored by phone and it does give you peace of mind if your child is playing outside or overnight it will alert you to a high or a low,” Laura said.

While Rori and Jack are well-adjusted to living with the disease, Laura said it can impact on their everyday activities.

“As much as you want to say it doesn’t, it can,” she said.

For Rebecca, communicating to others the changing nature of the disease and the reality that there are life-threatening implications is an ongoing challenge.

“Even when you get your head around it, it changes all the time,” Laura agrees.

As parents, and as organisers of the first Healesville JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) One Walk, they are hoping the community will get behind the event, fundraise for JDRF and enter teams to walk on the day.

“We’re reaching out to teams, or individuals and families who just want to join us on the day for a walk and for some family fun,” Rebecca said.

As well as the walk there will be a sausage sizzle, jumping castle and more fun activities starting at 10am.

For more information, or to donate, visit www.facebook.com/jdrfonewalkhealesville .

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