Today (Oct 12, 2008) was the Walk to Cure Diabetes organised by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) at Sydney's Olympic Park. Not many people know that Juvenile (or Type 1) diabetes is fundamentally different from the diabetes that is more commonly seen in adults.
Let me quote the JDRF website verbatim:
Type 1, or juvenile diabetes is a serious, chronic disease that destroys the body's ability to produce insulin - a hormone needed to convert food into energy.I've written before that I'm sensitive to reports that ethnic minorities in Australia tend to volunteer less than the general population, so I've been trying to do my bit from time to time.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that usually begins in childhood or early adulthood, but can occur at any age. People with type 1 diabetes need up to six insulin injections every day for the rest of their lives, just to stay alive.
Type 1 diabetes is not caused by diet or lifestyle and cannot be managed through diet and excerise. Insulin injections keep people alive but are not a cure. There is no cure.
Even when treated, type 1 diabetes can cause serious and devastating long-term health complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, amputations and stroke.
Type 1 diabetes affects every aspect of a person’s life and managing the disease involves whole families.
There are currently around 140,000 children and adults in Australia living with type 1 diabetes. We have one of the highest rates in the world and every day, five more people are diagnosed, most of them children.
The only way that people with type 1 diabetes will live the long and healthy life they deserve is if more money is invested in research to find a cure.
For further information about type 1 diabetes and current research progress go to the JDRF Website.
This time, I put together a group of like-minded friends and decided to collect money for the JDRF cause and also make this an enjoyable family outing. Most of us being Indians, we called our team the Sydneyside Maharajahs. The team website may not remain in place for long, so here's a screenshot (with the names of my friends and other volunteers blurred out to protect their privacy).
I would like to thank all my friends and colleagues who kindly donated and helped us towards our target (not quite achieved as of the time of writing).
Although the walk is over, fundraising is still open till the 7th of November, I'm told, so if anyone out there would like to donate towards finding a cure for this cruel condition that afflicts some of our youngest, please donate at my JDRF page.