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Melbourne Whitten Oval 417 Barkly Street Footscray West VIC 3012
Melbourne
Australia

We have fun, raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes and raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

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Blog

YLC Victoria Blog

YLC’s achievements in 2015-2016: a review

YLC Vic

We’ve had a busy year at the YLC, and June has presented some changes in the makeup of the committee. We welcome Melisa Kelly, previously our Relationships & Social Media Officer, as the new President and thank outgoing President Natalia Sampaio for her hard work and commitment over the past year. This yearly change of guard gives us the opportunity to review our goals and strategies, and reflect on our achievements.

Our committee goals are:

  • Promote awareness of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)
  • Raise funds for medical research into T1D treatment and cure, with a goal of $15,000 per year
  • Build a community for young adults in Melbourne with T1D.

We have three broad areas where we gauge our success; fundraising, engagement, and awareness/advocacy. This year we have made fantastic advances in these three areas, including two successful fundraising events and increased engagement of our target demographic. Below are highlights of this year’s achievements in each area:

Fundraising

  • Held two events, Science Freaktion Halloween Party (October 2015) and Bowls, Beer & BBQ Fundraiser (April 2016)
  • Raised a total of $12,422, of which net profit was $10,407
  • Established working relationships with two research institutes – St Vincents Institute and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Engagement

  • Grown Type One Tastings peer support group, with over 100 members in online Facebook group, and steady attendance at meet-ups of between 15-30 people
  • Extended our network, and attracted people from Type One Tastings to fundraising events
  • Had attendance of 227 people at fundraising events
  • Increased new engagement with YLC, including new members and contact with other organizations.

Awareness and Advocacy

  • Distribution of safety cards (Hypoawareness, Safe Drinking)
  • Provided access for Type One Tastings members to info on T1D research and clinical trials
  • Outlined areas of advocacy interest and priority within the committee, to be targeted in future.

This year, in addition to our continued fundraising events and community support through Type One Tastings, we are also keen to do more advocacy work for young adults with T1D. We have identified key areas of advocacy priority as: Mental Health and T1D, access/funding for the CGM and insulin pumps, improved public and health worker education on T1D vs. Type 2 Diabetes, and education for young people on safety and T1D. Throughout the year, we will be focusing on these four key areas to determine how we can contribute to increased awareness and positive outcomes for young adults with T1D. We hope to participate in the growing public discussions on some of these issues, and thus further contribute to the T1D community.

Bowls, Beer and BBQ Event Wrap Up!

YLC Vic

For us at the YLC, it’s the first time we’ve run a lawn bowls event. It’s proved to not only be a lot of fun, but a massive success, raising over $4000!

We were all a bit skeptical with a gloomy grey morning in Carlton, but come 3pm, the sun revealed itself and set us up for a glorious afternoon of lawn bowls! Everyone brought their best game face and many a fierce competition was played.

Taking the pressure off was a delicious lunch courtesy of Burn City Smokers - delectable southern style pulled pork and roast chicken burgers and corn on the cob. Yum!

Thanks to family and friends who baked scrumptious treats for the bake sale! A big thanks the 100+ guests who turned up on the day, and to those who donated online! Your support goes a long way in funding research, and also increasing awareness about Type One Diabetes (T1D).

Technologies such as insulin pumps (and potentially artificial pancreas!) improve the daily lives and long-term health for those living with T1D. Scientists are still trying to elucidate how autoimmune diseases like T1D develop. Research is so very important and this time we are proudly dedicating BBBBQ’s proceeds to the cutting edge T1D research teams at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute!

We’ll see you next year for another lawn bowls afternoon!

-- Nishadee Liyanage, YLC Sponsorship Liaison

Taking Type 1 to Everest.

YLC Vic

YLC Member Bethany Davey, only a years after diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes, did the incredible: Climbed to Mt Everest base camp! Read about Beth's story and how she didn't let T1D hold her back!

Taking Type 1 to Everest – Bethany Davey 

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on the 7th of October, 2014: 8 weeks before I was supposed to be cycling in the Great Victorian Bike Ride, and 12 months before I was supposed to be travelling to Nepal and trekking to Everest Base Camp.

This isn’t going to be one of those blogs that says “You can achieve anything you put your mind to!” or “Don’t let chronic illness hold you back!” because truth be told, T1D did change who I was and what I could manage. But what I’m proposing, is that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. My diagnosis was a spanner in the works, as a 19 year old who was fairly confident that she was invincible, and had planned out nearly every year of her life for the next decade. All of a sudden, I had to relearn what I was capable of juggling, but it taught me to focus on my health and prioritise self-care.

Since returning home from Nepal, I have had a number of people ask what advice I would give to type 1 diabetics wanting to pursue a similar expedition. To be honest, I’ve never really known how to answer this question, because in many ways, I still feel like the new kid on the block. I haven’t even lived with type 1 for a year and a half, nor have I studied any kind of science since grade 10. Nevertheless, here are a few tips (with absolutely no medicinal or scientific backing), from a girl who definitely isn’t qualified to be giving this kind of advice:

  • Don’t stress about the high carb diet. Your body needs the energy, so don’t hold back on the rice, bread and noodles. Just make sure you have snacks for when your BGLs crash after the big meals.
  • Get good travel insurance. Most companies won’t cover you in the first 12 months post-diagnosis, so it took a fair bit of research to find a suitable company - but they do exist.
  • Take spares of all your equipment, and make sure to always keep some insulin on your body so it doesn’t freeze. I also left some supplies in Kathmandu and Lukla, just to be safe.
  • Be flexible. The altitude can make your BGLs rise, but usually the intensity of the trek brings you back down. It is definitely worth taking those acclimatisation days to rest and recover.
  • No one on the mountain will know what diabetes is. Trying to explain T1D with the language barrier and lack of oxygen is too hard. When people ask if your insulin pump is a pacemaker, just smile and nod.

o anyone considering a trip to EBC – it all comes down to mind over matter. T1D adds an extra challenge to the trek, but it’s 100% doable. Make sure to communicate your needs, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

To anyone who has been recently diagnosed – focus on what’s important to you (not what the health professionals tell you is important). For me, this meant getting back on my bike. Regardless of persisting hypoglycaemia, it restored confidence in my abilities and did wonders for my mental health.

I have found support networks in the most unlikely of places, and I am eternally grateful to my friends and family for their love, prayers and encouragement, every step of the way.