Young sufferer advocates for diabetes research funding
DIABETES is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia.
Ethan Galpin, a student at Tannum Sands High, has type 1 diabetes and has to keep a cannula inserted in his body which is attached to an insulin pump.
He has a continuous glucose monitor on his arm which measures his blood sugar every five minutes but the pump and the monitor don't communicate.
Ethan has to press a button on the insulin pump to keep his blood sugar levels stable. This means he misses out on sleep and is permanently focused on his diabetes.
More research could change this for Ethan, making his life easier and, at some point, even finding a cure for the chronic condition.
That's why since 2006 Ethan has been a determined ambassador for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Near the end of next month, Ethan will fly to Canberra as part of JDRF's Kids In The House delegation.
His mother Tammy will accompany him.
The idea is to bring advocates for research into type 1 diabetes in contact with parliamentarians.
"This year we are asking for $50 million - $10 million over five years," Tammy said.
"The more we get support from both sides of parliament, the quicker we can get on top of this."
Tammy said she and Ethan had faced many challenges with his diabetes.
"The difference between life and death is a few ml of insulin," she said.
"Too much you die, too little you die.
"Ethan's wish as a kid was to have a normal childhood. We haven't quite got there but hopefully as an adult we'll get that cure."