At the start of this month, one local woman decided to get her friend on board to tackle JDRF’s One Walk Step Challenge to help raise money to go towards breakthrough research to cure, prevent and treat type 1 diabetes.
A total of 1.2 million Australians are registered as having type 1 diabetes according to Diabetes Australia, which is why the challenge is to walk 120,000 steps throughout the month of October.
Participants can choose to walk over a weekend, a week or the whole month and you can complete the challenge as an individual, family or team.
Local Patricia Naysmith said she found out about the cause from a Facebook advertisement and decided to join up.
“I originally joined up because I have a few friends with type 1 diabetes and a couple of family members have type 2 diabetes. So I asked Nicole if she’d like to join me so I didn’t have to do it on my own,” she said.
Nicole James said she was there mostly to support Ms Naysmith, to get active and a way to support people who have diabetes.
Striking both children and adults type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas loses the ability to produce insuli – a hormone that turns food into energy.
The disease strikes both children and adults and is not caused by diet or lifestyle and requires constant blood-glucose testing through painful finger pricks, and a constant supply of insulin by injection or pump, just to stay alive.
For every person diagnosed with diabetes there is usually a family member or carer who also lives in a support role. This means that an estimated 2.4 million Australians are affected by diabetes every day.
The pair said they would encourage others to join their team or to join up individually.
“I think it’s a good cause and it’s helping raise money to go to more research so they can find ways to stop it,” Ms Naysmith said.
“We’ve got one extra person, Shaye Jackson who joined our team this week who will be recording her steps through her fitness app on her phone.”
They both said they used to walk regularly and that this challenge was a great way to get motivated.
“This challenge just helps you do that extra walk that you might not necessarily do,” Ms James said.
Ms Naysmith said her team, Team Express were hoping to raise $500 as a group and $200 individually.
“So far we have $335 raised as a team and we hope that we can get some more people to join our team, or at the very least some more donations,” she said.
To donate or join go to www.walk.jdrf.org.au/fundraisers/Team-Express.