Abbott pledges funding for diabetes

A HUNDRED children with type-one diabetes created a tide of blue t-shirts in Canberra's Parliament House on Thursday as they demanded funding to help find a cure.

The youngsters from across the country made appointments with their members as they tried to convince the Federal Government to spend $35 million over five years to support research, networking, trials and potentially a solution to the disease.

On Thursday, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott reiterated a pledge to deliver the money if the Coalition wins government.

Ipswich teenager Carrie Forbes, 14, and Sunshine Coast 12-year-old Brianna Norris both travelled to the capital with their parents to push for action.

Each of them live with type-one diabetes, a condition that forces them to keep vigilant about their blood glucose levels.

They both also wear an insulin pump almost 24 hours a day that supplies doses of the hormone.

For Brianna's mother, her daughter's battles mean the Yamanto mum quips that she has not had a full night's sleep since Brianna's diagnosis eight years ago.

Ms Norris said she could see a "lot of tired parents" who had journeyed to Canberra for their kids.

She said her daughter may have to check her blood glucose levels through a prick in the finger at least eight times per day.

For Brianna, this is routine.

"It's normal but can get tough at times," Brianna said.

"When you go on camps or shops and pull out your finger prick set, you get stares.

"It's knowing you have to have needles for the rest of your life."

Carrie said she just wanted to "fit in" with other teenagers not dealing with diabetes.

"It's just being different is one of the hardest things,' she said.

"Everyone wants to fit in."

"You pull out your pump or needle and you get judged."

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Australia organised the event.

JDRF chief executive Mike Wilson said Australia has one of the highest rates of type one diabetes in the world.

"It makes sense to increase clinical trial activity and capacity in Australia, boost collaboration among researchers and encourage people to get involved with clinical research."



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