An inspirational story written by Henry Christofferson (Year 5)

My mum has lived with Type 1 Diabetes for so long, and after 29 years of needles, insulin, finger pricks, blood tests or wearing a pump 24 hours, infections from pump sites, reservoir changes, CGMs, and financial burdens, she’s over it. But she says the worst day of it all was when I was diagnosed. That day was Sunday 11 January 2015. Mum was right when she said that this would be a battle; every day is hard and I have to be careful. But this does not stop me from living. Since I was diagnosed I have been trying to raise money and awareness in my community about Type 1 Diabetes. There are so many things people don’t know or get wrong.
Like they think I can’t eat whatever I want, but I can, I just have to take insulin for it. Last year I got an insulin pump, so there aren’t so many needles now. Also, insulin is not a cure, it is a medicine that keeps me alive. At the moment there is no cure for this disease, and that is why I support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) One Walk every year. All my family and friends walk 5km, and people get to sponsor me to help raise funds to find a cure. This year I raised $3,603. I have also had parties in the park, where people can donate, and I talk to them about my illness. I try to sell food and toys and raise money that way. I have painted paintings and auctioned them. I have told my class mates at Nudgee College about Type 1 Diabetes and the JDRF walk. Last year I raised about $10,000.
This is why this year, JDRF awarded me the JDRF 2016 Young Volunteer of the Year Award. It made my mum, dad, and brother so proud. All my family are proud. I got a cool glass trophy as well. I know that I have to do things a bit differently to the other boys at school, but that’s ok. It’s only really annoying when I can’t get to the handball court quick enough and I lose my spot because I am doing finger prick tests or taking insulin. Sometimes I feel embarrassed or different, but there’s not much I can do about it. Mum says I am her hero.