2016 JDRF Walk to Find a Cure

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The JDRF Walk to Find a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes is the one annual charity event I have consistently being involved in since my diagnosis.

I have done the walks in Sydney and NYC, raising funds towards research for technological advancements and a cure.

If you know me, I am more than sceptical that a cure will come in my life time, particularly with the knowledge that insulin is the most expensive liquid in the world and type 1 diabetics (and a considerable amount of type 2 diabetics) rely on this for survival.

With the influence pharmaceutical companies have over the US government, I don’t have a strong belief that the investment needed or the approval of a cure will come any time soon.

What I do believe in is the research that JDRF does towards developing an external artificial pancreas. There have been incredible advancements in the technology used to manage type 1 diabetes in recent years, from the insulin pump devices to continuous glucose monitors and now trials have begun on devices that almost simulate the functioning of a pancreas.

But yesterday’s walk for me was more about supporting the type 1 community and sharing my appreciation for what they have done for me.

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I met my friend Tim just before the walk commenced. We treated Tim’s hypo and got on the walk with many families and young kids.

Moments later I had my own hypo and treated it with a green juice and banana.

Walking the 5K with a fellow diabetic we covered all things diabetes – my favourite topic was discussing how diabetes gives you resilience and how that is beneficial in endurance sports.

Tim and I have lived with diabetes for a combined 33 years and we have a similar perspective on living with this chronic disease and our approach to self-management.

We both see diabetes as an empowering disease that has given us so many opportunities that we may otherwise not have eventuated.

Particularly when it comes to endurance sports – Tim is currently training for a half ironman.

Having diabetes has compelled us to be more focused on our nutrition, the importance of looking after our health and knowing our bodies inside and out.

Although training for any event can add some challenges to diabetes management, its these challenges that we actively pursue.

The resilience these challenges create, I believe gives us a psychological advantage on the race day.

We are physically and mentally prepared for more challenges with the risk of hypos, carrying additional medical supplies and monitoring our body very closely through checking our blood sugar level during each race.

This puts us in a mindset that when faced with a challenge or a struggle we know we can overcome it.

And that really helps when the pain starts to set in during a race.

So this year’s JDRF Walk to Find a Cure, was more about learning and sharing how type 1 diabetes is an empowering disease to achieve things that we otherwise might not have pursued in different circumstances.

Thank you Tim for the great conversation and thank you JDRF Australia for a great event.

See you next year.

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There is still time to donate to my page:

https://jdrf-walk-nsw-2016.everydayhero.com/au/amy

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