Tannum Sands Primary School student Ethan Galpin, 12, is an ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Tannum Sands Primary School student Ethan Galpin, 12, is an ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Kerry Thomas

City's young diabetes ambassador lives in hope of a cure

SINCE Ethan Galpin was three years old, he has lived life as a type one diabetic.

Ethan's mum, Tammy Galpin became concerned when he had extreme thirst, lost nearly 10kg in two weeks and grew very sick.

After days of monitoring his symptoms he was flown to the Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital where he was diagnosed with type one diabetes.

Now Ethan is a keen ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and his mum one of his biggest supporters.

His role sees him and hundreds of other kids also diagnosed with the insulin-deficiency disease attend parliamentary meetings advocating for support.

And with funding of $35 million for the next five years approved by the Federal Government in September, the 12-year-old Tannum Sands Primary School student and his mum continue to hope for a cure.

"Finding a cure and letting these kids have a normal life would be the next step," Ms Galpin said.

"Living a life without checking their (blood sugar level) and not having to worry about how much exercise they are capable of doing and knowing that they will wake up in the morning.

"It's quite disturbing. We need a cure, so that we don't have to wake up through the night to check his blood sugar levels and we know that he will wake up in the morning and not go in to a diabetic coma," Ms Galpin said.

Up until four years ago, Ms Galpin would inject Ethan with his insulin dose up to 10 times a day.

The 12-year-old was diagnosed when the insulin pump was new technology and doctors recommended manual injections.

Now he uses the special automated insulin pump that can be hidden under his clothes.

"We want to thank Ken O'Dowd and the LNP for continuing the support for JDRF," Ms Galpin said.



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