Type one diabetes on the agenda in Wright

THUMBS UP: Five-year-old Yarrabilba boy Zephaniah with Wright MP Scott Buchholz discussing the importance of research into type one diabetes. Photo: Supplied

THUMBS UP: Five-year-old Yarrabilba boy Zephaniah with Wright MP Scott Buchholz discussing the importance of research into type one diabetes. Photo: Supplied

ZEPHANIAH Hartley has already had more than 10,000 finger pricks and thousands of insulin injections after being diagnosed with type one diabetes three years ago.

The five-year-old Yarrabilba boy met with Wright MP Scott Buchholz on July 3 to make the case for more government action to tackle the chronic medical condition.

Zephaniah’s mum Melinda Hartley is a government advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), representing 122,300 Australians suffering from the disease.

Mrs Hartley said it was important to educate politicians on the impact type one diabetes has on families.

“When I met Scott Buchholz I wanted to help him understand that I am supporting research so children may not have to live with this in the future,” she said.

“Being a parent of a child with type one diabetes is the usual mix of joy and frustration with a huge dose of fear and worry thrown in. Keeping blood sugar in the healthy range is like walking on a tightrope.”

“I would like politicians to understand that a cure would mean everything to us. A life free of midnight hospital trips, 2am blood sugar finger pricks and an end to inflicting pain on my child to keep (him) alive – that would be amazing.”

Type one diabetes comes with an increased risk of blindness, heart disease, stroke and nerve damage.

Wright MP Scott Buchholz said he was honoured to have met Zephaniah.

“Meeting Zephaniah was a special moment. He is a tough kid with a positive outlook,” he said.

“The research being conducted by JDRF is very important for all sufferers of type one diabetes.”

JDRF chief executive officer Mike Wilson  echoed Mrs Hartley’s call for greater investment in medical research.

JDRF is lobbying the Federal government to allocate $10 million each year for five years from July 1, 2019 to continue their research supporting type one diabetics.