A DIAGNOSIS of Type 1 diabetes two years ago changed Two Rocks Primary School student Ajay McCarthy’s life.
The nine-year-old, who would give anything to have his freedom back, has become Diabetes Research WA’s debut ambassador for the Convicts for a Cause cocktail fundraiser and auction.
The Fremantle Prison event on November 7 will see “inmates” raise a minimum of $500 each for charity.
It aims to attract 500 guests and channel more than $120,000 into charitable efforts of Cystic Fibrosis WA, the Rotary Clubs of Perth and Mt Lawley and, for the first time, Diabetes Research WA.
Ajay said he wanted to help make a difference for people with diabetes.
“It’s been really hard for me and my family and I want people to know about diabetes because I’d really like to get rid of it and not have to worry about checking my blood- sugar levels all the time and taking insulin,” he said.
Parents Monika and Aaron said his diagnosis had been a “shock”.
“We have amazing support from Ajay’s grandparents but initially I had to take three months off work to get used to the new demands diabetes was placing on Ajay and the family,” Mrs McCarthy said.
“It’s a massive learning curve and nothing is ever really consistent – what works one day, may not work the next.
“It’s a constant worry and it’s a hidden disease because it often doesn’t show any physical signs.
“It’s also heartbreaking as parents to watch Ajay – he hates it and doesn’t want to do all the things he has to do to control it but if he didn’t do them, he wouldn’t be here.”
Diabetes Research WA executive director Sherl Westlund said community support was needed for key research into finding cures for all forms, including Type 1, Type 2 and gestational.
Visit www.diabetesresearchwa.com.au for more information.