Last week, I went along to Diabetes Research WA’s event on World Diabetes Day, where the recipients of two Western Australian research grants were awarded.
Being a person living with diabetes is much like a kid waiting for Santa Claus to come and deliver presents on Christmas Eve. I spend more of my time thinking about what it will be like getting my hands on that cool piece of diabetes merch that I’ve been eyeing online, fantasising about using a shiny new piece of diabetes tech, or dreaming of that cure that’s only another ‘five years away.’
It’s safe to say that my patience has been worn thin after almost a decade of doing the same thing each and every day. I don’t really give a lot of thought to all of the logistics that go into getting those prezzies into the kid’s stocking come Christmas morning.
As someone with type 1 diabetes, former grant recipient Aveni Haynes’ presentation on her association with the ENDIA study really spoke my language. This world first study has been following babies and children who have a first degree relative with type 1 diabetes, this week surpassing the 1,500 mark. The study has identified antibodies that these children develop at a young age, which seems to be an indicator of the child being at risk of developing type 1 diabetes at some point in the future. Interestingly, the study has utilised the yet-to-be-approved in Australia Dexcom G6 CGM. It was also rather funny hearing Dr Haynes express guilt over asking these children to have to prick their fingers twice daily to calibrate the former iteration of the Dexcom system!
I think this would be my third or fourth time attending the annual research reveal event, and the team at Diabetes Research WA have continually worked to incorporate feedback into each and every one. This year, the recipients of the two $60,000 research grants were asked to share with the audience their career background that led them to being awarded a research grant, and what this meant to them.
I still don’t have a lot of faith in a cure for diabetes, but I definitely walked away with a much greater appreciation for diabetes researchers. Their work might not necessarily include me, but they’re definitely making a difference to the lives of many people living with diabetes, probably in not so much of a privileged position as me.
My patience may have worn thin a long time ago, so I am grateful that diabetes researchers don’t have the same level of patience that I do.
If you’re a Perth local, keep an eye out for Diabetes Research WA’s events that typically coincide with National Diabetes Week in July and World Diabetes Day in November.