Research brings hope for people living with diabetes this World Diabetes Day 14 November 2023 For Tanya, diabetes research means hope for the future. Not just for her but also for her daughter. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 12 years old, she vividly remembers being told she would have to inject needles every day for the rest of her life. A difficult concept to comprehend for a young girl entering her teens. Tanya immediately began questioning how this would impact her friendships and her school life and whether she would be treated differently. Tanya experienced great anxiety when injecting in public, and her stomach and the side of her legs were often covered in bruises. The physical, mental, and emotional adjustments of her diagnosis were enormous. Now 33, Tanya has been living with type 1 diabetes for over two decades. Advancements in research and development mean Tanya now has access to life changing technology. “Today, I currently have an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. I manage my food by carb counting and enter them in my pump. “The changes have been incredible and made my quality of life skyrocket from what it was back in 2002. I can have a life supported by technology rather than a life limited by the condition.” With her diabetes management supported by an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor, Tanya no longer needs daily injections. These developments in technology coupled with improvements in diabetes management through research afforded Tanya a healthy pregnancy, resulting in her greatest achievement to date, her two-year-old daughter. “For me personally, without the research and technology, it may have been questionable if I could have a child and thus, I would be without my daughter. “Pregnancy in general was challenging to keep my blood glucose levels as best as possible, however the technology and understanding of diabetes and pregnancy meant I had a successful pregnancy with no complications caused by diabetes.” Tanya hopes that in the years to come if her daughter is also diagnosed, she will benefit from further advancements from diabetes research. “Funding and research mean that, maybe, my daughter won’t have to eliminate certain foods or miss out on an activity or be looked at strangely by someone who doesn’t understand what she is doing. She might never be told ‘you can’t do that’ because the understanding and knowledge about diabetes will be more advanced than it was for me.” Research funding changes lives Dr John Wentworth, an endocrinologist and leading diabetes researcher has dedicated his career to finding answers for people like Tanya. Dr Wentworth’s latest research grant from Diabetes Australia has been used to support the development of Type1Screen, the world’s first home screening kit for type 1 diabetes. One in 300 Australian children will develop type 1 diabetes and most don’t have a family history of the condition. Dr Wentworth’s goal is to screen every five-year-old child in Australia to identify those at risk so they can be treated in the early stages to delay and ultimately prevent the development of type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes remission study Diabetes research also means a greater choice of management programs for Australians living with type 2 diabetes. Kate Gudorf, project lead for the Diabetes Australia funded DiRECT-Aus study has witnessed exciting results for people living with type 2 diabetes being able to achieve remission through a structured weight management program delivered in primary care. “We are so excited to see the results of this study. It shows that people can achieve type 2 diabetes remission through a program delivered in their own GP practice. This adds to the growing body of evidence in support of type 2 diabetes remission and may lead to greater choice for people living with type 2 diabetes.” Community in action This World Diabetes Day, Diabetes Australia is asking the community to join us in calling for more funding for vital diabetes research. You can share your views on what diabetes research you think should be prioritised by signing the petition calling for more diabetes research funding. Make a donation so Diabetes Australia can continue to support Australia’s world-class researchers.