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Parliamentary speech: Type 1 Diabetes

25 October 2018

Type 1 Diabetes

Photo of MP Mr ALEXANDER (Bennelong) (13:55): Type 1 diabetes is a cruel condition. It has no lifestyle causes and it is entirely unpreventable. When it strikes, it can be hugely debilitating. High sugar intake leads to weight gain, which in turn leads to countless other associated conditions. Living with type 1 diabetes is a very hard life. Until recently, it has also been a short life. People had to endure dozens of blood tests every day just to keep track of their sugar levels. Without vigilance, hypo or hyper attacks could strike, leading to death. Thankfully this world is changing. Continuous glucose monitoring is changing lives. By constantly tracking a person’s sugar levels and automatically adding insulin to the body, many people are able to lead much fuller and longer lives. The government committed to and is fully funding this for people aged up to 21, which is a huge help, but every extra year we fund could help thousands more Australians.

Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting Andrew Basset-Smith and his wonderful wife, Jennifer, and son, Jordan. Andrew has type 1 diabetes, which has left him in a wheelchair and with many associated conditions. Andrew made the gruelling trip from Bennelong to Canberra as part of a delegation which met with many MPs yesterday to put a human face on this condition. He showed us how hard the condition can be but, more importantly, how, with a great family support network, it is possible to keep smiling and live a full and happy life. Thank you, Andrew, and thank you to your family, particularly Jennifer.