Living with diabetes


Lily Drage with her mother Vanessa and grandmother Joan Harmon. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au   d450675
Lily Drage with her mother Vanessa and grandmother Joan Harmon. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d450675

Lily (10) was diagnosed on November 14 last year, the first day of International Diabetes Week.

“What I knew about diabetes was about type 2 diabetes, so it was a hugely steep learning curve – you’re part dietitian, educator, physical activator and motivator,” Ms Drage said.

“When Lily was in hospital, I saw an advertisement in the paper for the Telethon Type 1 Family Centre.

“I walked in and said ‘What can I do, how can you help?’|I didn’t know where to turn.”

The Stirling centre supports diabetic children and their families through psychosocial and peer support, education and information in a home-like environment.

Diabetes educator Amy Rush runs personalised diabetic babysitting classes so parents can feel safe leaving their children with relatives or friends.

Since last October, Ms Rush has taken more than 40 people through individualised courses to teach friends, family members, teachers and au pairs how to babysit children with type 1 diabetes.

Ms Rush said it was very important that parents of diabetic children received adequate psychosocial support.

Lily’s grandmother, Joan Harmon, took the class late last year and has since babysat her granddaughter.

“I gave myself injections, tested my blood sugar in the class – everything was a bit of a shock to me,” Mrs Harmon said.

“The last time Lily had a low hypoglycaemia, I got the guide book out and told Lily,‘This is what you need to have’.

“That book is my bible.”