Around 280 Australians develop diabetes everyday, and on November 25, people in Port Macquarie are being asked to raise awareness for type 1 diabetes by walking and fundraising to find new treatments and preventative measures.
Diabetes educator Jodie Kennett said that for those who have type 1 diabetes, it can be quite isolating, so the walk is a way for people to come together.
“Often those who have diabetes can feel like it is their fault, but actually it is a result of the pancreas not making enough insulin for the body; it is an autoimmune condition and at the moment there is no prevention or cure,” Ms Kennett said.
Leslie Spiteri, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in her 60’s, said that a diabetes diagnosis is something that can come a quite a shock, but there is great support for people in the Hastings.
“I was diagnosed after a routine blood test and it came as a great shock, but I have since discovered that there is great support out there to help me,” Mrs Spiteri said.
“I think the walk is a really good way for people with diabetes to connect, but equally great for the community to be aware of how diabetes effects someone, and what are some of the things they can do to help,” she said.
The diabetes walk in Port Macquarie will take place from Westport Park to the breakwall and back, and Ms Kennett says that everyone is invited to come and join in the fun, which will include a display by health professionals, a jumping castle and a teddy bear hospital.
“After more than 250 people came last year, we are hoping for another strong crowd, so please come down and help raise funds for the prevention of diabetes.
“We will have a jumping castle for the kids along with face painting and showbags, and a teddy bear hospital so children can see that doctors and hospitals are not scary places.
“We are encouraging people to bring their favourite teddy and watch them have an x-ray and maybe get a bandaged arm,” she said.
The walk will begin at 10.30am on November 25 from Westport Park, with registration on the day from 8.30am.