Student raises diabetes awareness

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Matilda, 2, Amy, Ella, 11, and Kaya Fairman, 10 with Trisha Krestensen.
Camera IconMatilda, 2, Amy, Ella, 11, and Kaya Fairman, 10 with Trisha Krestensen. Credit: Chloe Fraser

For Makybe Rise Primary School Year 6 student Ella Fairman, living with type 1 diabetes means controlling her blood sugar levels by wearing a permanent insulin pump and closely monitoring her diet.

Her diagnosis about two years ago came as a shock to Ella and her mother Amy, who admitted the family had “no idea” about the symptoms associated with the auto-immune disease.

“We went to visit a friend... she noticed Ella was drinking lots of water, so she decided to prick her finger,” Mrs Fairman said.

“Normal blood sugar levels are between 4 to 5 . . . when we tested her the machine just said ‘high’ which would have to be over 22 to get that reading.

“So then we got her tested again at the hospital and she was 32, which was dangerously high and she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

“We didn’t understand what it meant or what it would involve.

“When first diagnosed she had up to seven injections a day depending on what she ate.

“Now she has a permanent insulin pump, which she only has to change every three days.

“We just really want to raise awareness. Lots of people get confused between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and what it means.”

On November 4 Ella held a diabetes awareness day at her school to mark World Diabetes Day on November 14.

The students wore blue on the day and each brought a gold coin donation, raising $762 for the Type 1 Diabetes Family Centre in Perth.

“The type 1 family centre has been a great support to our family and so many others who live daily with this disease,” Mrs Fairman said.

“We were really looking forward to this day and bringing awareness of type 1 diabetes to our community and raising some much-needed funds for the centre.”

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