Living with diabetes

DIABETES is a major health concern in Australia affecting thousands of people nationwide.

But most people are only aware of the more common, type two diabetes and not the rarer type one form.

Jodie Bernardin understands the importance of informing the community about the difference between these types of diabetes.

Her 22-month-old daughter, Indiana Ebdon-Walker, was diagnosed with type one diabetes in December last year.

Ms Bernardin said that she is often judged harshly when she tells other mothers that her daughter suffers from the condition.

“It's very easy for people to make a judgement when they don't know what's going on,” she said.

“It just makes me angry.”

Many people jump to conclusions as they are unaware of the differences between type one and two diabetes.

The onset of type two diabetes is caused by many factors, including poor diet and physical inactivity. It typically occurs in people over 40-years-old.

But type one diabetes is not lifestyle-related. In this autoimmune condition, the pancreas stops making insulin, so the body cannot maintain normal blood glucose levels.

Type one diabetes sufferers make up only 15 per cent of all diabetes cases.

Each day Indiana has four insulin injections to ensure her blood sugar remains stable. Without the insulin, blood sugar could rise dangerously high.

Ms Bernardin said that as a mother, it is tough seeing her daughter having to deal with this disease.

“It's hard, especially having to inject her with injections everyday of her life,” she said.

“She can become unconscious at any time, so we live our lives close to the clock these days.”

Ms Bernardin and partner Nicholas Ebdon-Walker thanked the staff at 121 Childcare Centre in Cannonvale who have undertaken special training to allow Indiana to attend, regardless of her condition.

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