REBECCA Johnson will swim the arduous 19.7km Rottnest Swim solo with the view that “life with type 1 diabetes is a life without limit”.
The Telethon Type 1 Family Centre chief executive said new technology had enabled her to monitor blood glucose levels without pricking her finger, a task that proved difficult in the middle of the ocean.
“A new technology came out that allows me to wear a sensor in my arm that I can scan and get my blood sugar level rather than having to prick my finger for blood, which had enabled me to contemplate doing it as a solo,” she said.
“When I’m swimming and wet and freezing cold I can’t get blood so I can’t test, I don’t feel I could do it without it.”
The Leederville resident said she wanted to drive home the message that people with type 1 can do any task they set their minds to.
“The main message that we have at the family centre is that a life with type 1 is a life without limits,” she said.
“I think when people are diagnosed they can really see restrictive factors in front of them but whatever you want to aspire to you can go for those dreams and you can achieve them.”
Ms Johnson said she had been training up to six times a week and completing more than 30km since August last year.
“When I was ramping my training up at the beginning it took six weeks for me to adjust my diabetes strategy so that I didn’t crash every time I got in the pool,” she said.
“I had to readjust all of my insulin doses; I had to change some of my insulin types, my diet; a whole diabetes management overhaul in order to attempt it.”
With under a week until the swim Ms Johnson said she felt strong and prepared.
“I’ve got an amazing team to support me and it really is a great event,” she said.
Ms Johnson is dedicating her long training hours to the Telethon Type 1 Diabetes Family Centre, to donate visit https://rottnestswim2017.everydayhero.com/au/bec.