Anthony Byrne MP, Federal Member for Holt, met with Mairi-Anne & Tess Macartney today to promote National Diabetes Week 2012, 8-14 July 2012.
According to Diabetes Australia, “Diabetes is Australia’s fastest growing chronic disease. Around 1.7 million Australians currently live with diabetes (known and diagnosed) and a further 275 Australians develop diabetes every day. Type 2 diabetes represents the vast majority of diabetes in Australia (85-90 per cent) and has been called the epidemic of the 21st century.”
At the age of 10 Tess Macartney was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, the unpreventable type of diabetes. According to Mairi-Anne, “Tess’s pancreas stopped working and doesn’t produce insulin, so she needs to inject insulin into her body 6-8 times a day to live.” Over the last 4 years, Tess, with the help of her mum Mairi-Anne and family, has been learning to live with this chronic disease. Tess has been a Youth Ambassador for Juvenile Diabetes, raising awareness in the community, fundraising and spending time with other children and families affected by this disease.
“Tess and Mairi-Anne are also active community campaigners. Last year they fought a campaign to ensure that the allowance for carer’s of children with diabetes was extended up to the age of 16”, said Mr Byrne.
More recently, Tess and Mairi-Anne are working on their next campaign – to have juvenile diabetes recognised in schools in the same way as asthma and anaphylaxis.
According to Mairi-Anne, “Type 2 diabetes is the curable type, by watching what we eat and with more exercise we can prevent Type 2 diabetes. We are asking all government and health bodies to work together to raise awareness of what measures you can do now to prevent Type 2 diabetes. We also hope that one day there will be a cure for Type 1 diabetes too.”
As part of National Diabetes Week 2012 Diabetes Australia has launched the “Let’s Prevent Diabetes” campaign and if you wish to find out more about this campaign please visit www.letspreventdiabetes.org.au
For more information about diabetes, visit www.diabetesaustralia.com.au or call the national Diabetes Infoline: 1300 136 588.
Media Enquires: Daniel White (03) 9796 7533.