Jesse’s Dream: JDRF One Walk Mandurah for diabetes reaserch hopes for biggest turn out ever

Zillah Fortune with her daughter Jesse Fortune (11). Picture: Jon Hewson
Zillah Fortune with her daughter Jesse Fortune (11). Picture: Jon Hewson

Jill Burgess

WILL it be third time lucky for the Jesse’s Dream team with the biggest turnout of people walking for diabetes research in the JDRF One Walk Mandurah later this month?

Jesse Fortune (11) had just turned seven when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

The Mandurah Baptist College student had become ill very quickly, losing weight, and feeling tired, listless and thirsty.

Her mother Zillah said at one point Jesse was so sick she was taken into intensive care.

“It was a complete shock to all of us,’’ she said.

“We had to spend time being educated about the illness when all we wanted to do was be at the hospital with her.”

Jesse, who has two younger sisters, aged nine and five, was on four needles a day but now uses an insulin pump.

She still has to carry out a painful finger test every couple of hours.

Jesse’s family decided to raise money for diabetes research and it is the third year Zillah has organised the JDF One Walk event in Mandurah.

The walk on Sunday, November 27, includes a 3km circuit starting and finishing at the Wanda Road barbecues in Riverside Gardens.

Registration is at 9.30am for a 10am start.

There will be a sausage sizzle, face painting and a raffle afterwards.

“We had more than 100 people walk last year and it would be wonderful if we could get many more this time,’’ Zillah said.

Jesse has already raised $100 from a jelly bean count at school that will go towards the walk tally.

She recently took part in a trial at Princess Margaret Hospital to help with research.


– JDRF One Walk is the world’s biggest type 1 diabetes fundraising event, bringing together about one million people to raise more than $85 million for research

-In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas produces little or no insulin. Insulin allows the body to process sugar to create energy

– Symptons can include extreme thirst, constant hunger, sudden weight loss, frequent urination, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, extreme tiredness and infections