December 17, 2009
While most year 10 students are busy planning their summer holidays, Sale student Marlee Grieve is focussing her time on improving support services and funding for Gippsland diabetes patients.
Marlee is meeting with politicians, lobbying the decision-makers and working to raise awareness of behalf of type 1 Diabetes patients.
As a year 10 student at Catholic College Sale, she’s planning a trip to Canberra in March 2010 to encourage the Federal Government to provide funding for type 1 Diabetes clinical trials and research. Marlee is a type 1 Diabetic.
“It’s also an awareness-raising campaign, to make the local community more aware of the obstacles we face with type 1 Diabetes,” Marlee said.
“As an end goal, we need more funding and more resources to find a cure for type 1 Diabetes.
“There is some confusion among the community, as type 2 Diabetes can be managed through diet and lifestyle choices.
“Type 1 Diabetes is completely different – there is no cure yet – it requires testing of blood sugar levels at least four times a day and can have a much greater impact on quality of life.”
Marlee said the end goal was to find a cure for type 1 Diabetes and this will require Government funding for more research and clinical trials.
Marlee met with The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester to enlist his support for type 1 Diabetes patients.
“Many local patients with type 1 Diabetes have turned to insulin pumps to help regulate blood sugar levels and provide more independence but this is an expensive option without adequate government support,” Mr Chester said.
“I’m told an insulin pump costs approx $8000 and that needs to be replaced every four years. On top of that, patients who require glucose sensors can face costs of $70 every three days.
“There are currently only very limited government subsidies for these expenses and we are forcing local charities to fund-raise for patients to be able to afford an insulin pump.
“It is not good enough given the proven benefits in health, independence and self-esteem for patients.
“I have been actively lobbying the Federal Health Minister to provide more support for patients with type 1 Diabetes – and specifically to provide a higher subsidy towards the cost of insulin pumps.
“I will continue to fight for more support and commend Marlee for taking the initiative to apply her skills and experience to this important campaign.”