Jaceen Advocates for Regional Diabetes Sufferers

Local Gladstone resident and Type 1 Diabetes sufferer, Jaceen Ross, has travelled to Canberra recently to join other delegates from the Danii Foundation to lobby the federal government.

The group are making a plea to the government to provide the same support to adults as they do children with Type 1 Diabetes. Currently, the government allows access to Continuous Glucose Monitor’s (CGM) to children with Type 1 Diabetes but funding is no longer provided once patients turn 21.  CGM’s help people manage diabetes by significantly minimising the risk of developing complications such as kidney damage, blindness, or limb amputation and aids in the prevention of death as a result of very low blood sugar levels during sleep.  

Jaceen has lived with Type 1 diabetes for 31 years and lives with the complications that come with it. “For the last 15 years I have battled not only the supremely unforgiving T1 diabetes but now Chronic Kidney Disease, Blindness and Low Vision, Gastroparesis, Charcot Foot and Neuropathy,” Jaceen explained. “These complications make daily management a horror.”  

Having been raised in rural and regional areas her whole life, Jaceen said that she has missed out on the best care and technology for her diagnosis during her early life due to expense and distance from treatments. “The impacts of this took a heavy burden on my family, financially and emotionally and for me physically as well.”  

While in Canberra, Jaceen will be meeting with Local MP Ken O’Dowd and Senator Claire Moore, so they can see firsthand the impact of this disease. “Our decision-makers need to understand that our demand is not simply to protect us from unnecessary complications or death. CGM technology will allow me to live a full life and reduce the very real and costly burden on the health system,” Jaceen continued.  

Donna Meads-Barlow co-founder of the Danii Foundation said it is time for all Type 1 diabetes sufferers to receive access to the life-saving devices.  “A health system that funds costly care and procedures that can often result in disability is not what we need. The annual health budget for Type 1 Diabetes is $570 million. For those with complications up to $16000 can be spent on an individual, four times the cost of a CGM. The cost of CGM technology can prevent waste in health and realise real benefits through greater productivity and a reduction in services such as mental health,” Donna said.  

The Gladstone News team wish Jaceen all the best for her trip to Canberra.