Hope for a cure: every dollar counts for diabetes research

WITH the end of the financial year approaching, Diabetes Victoria is asking for donations to allow the best minds in Victoria to undertake vital diabetes research.

“We’ve all had a challenging time since the emergence of COVID-19, but I think one of the most valuable lessons to come from 2020 was the importance of taking care of ourselves. This is particularly important for people living with a chronic condition like diabetes,” says Diabetes Victoria CEO Craig Bennett. “Funding for diabetes research grants can save lives. Last year, Diabetes Victoria contributed $1.5 million to vital research – an outcome of which we are very proud. But until we find a cure, we must continue our efforts.”

In the last 100 years, great progress has been made to improve the lives of people affected by diabetes. This year we are celebrating 100 years since the medical use of insulin was first discovered, saving millions of lives across the world. Furthermore, significant advancements have been made, and life has become easier for many people living with diabetes. New blood glucose monitors and insulin pumps continue to transform the lives of thousands of Victorians living with diabetes.

Despite the relief provided by advances in diabetes management technology, the day-to-day grind of living with diabetes is still a challenge. Diabetes is relentless and for Victorians living with this lifelong condition and their families, there is no break. Research is the key to making advances in the prevention and management of diabetes, and in the search for a cure.

“Diabetes research funding is crucial as it provides those committed to improving the lives of people living with diabetes with the means and knowledge to achieve this end,” Professor David O’Neal, clinician-researcher and a past recipient of grant funding from Diabetes Victoria, said.

Professor O’Neal’s team is currently working on a number of promising research studies that are expected to improve the lives of people living with diabetes. He has been working with his team on an artificial pancreas, which consists of an insulin pump connected to a blood glucose monitor that automatically adjusts blood glucose levels.

“The devices (artificial pancreas’) themselves are being refined and we have been involved in some of these studies and received consumer feedback. The next generation, which will improve the user experience, should soon be available commercially,” Professor O’Neal said.

With one adult in ten projected to develop diabetes worldwide by 2040, there is an ever-growing need for all types of diabetes-related research. The latest data from the National Diabetes Services Scheme reveals that diabetes prevalence continues to grow, with almost 367,000

Victorians currently registered on the scheme. In the last year alone, almost 33,000 Victorians were diagnosed with diabetes – around 90 every day. In addition, Diabetes Victoria estimates that an additional 150,000 Victorians do not know they have type 2 diabetes, and a further 750,000 Victorians have elevated blood glucose levels, which puts them at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Please visit diabetesvic.org.au/donate or call 1300 437 386 to support diabetes research. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible.

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