MADELEY girl Sophie Anti has put up her hand to head to prison this weekend – for charity.
The 11-year-old is a junior ambassador for this year’s Convicts for a Cause wild west themed fundraiser at Fremantle Prison, helping to put the spotlight on the need for more funds for diabetes research.
When the Madeley Primary School student was eight, Sophie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after becoming seriously ill.
The disease is an incurable, lifelong condition where the body stops being able to produce insulin because insulin-producing cells have been mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system.
“Sophie had been losing weight even though she was eating and drinking a lot and we kept thinking it was just that she was very active,” her mother Carolyn said.
“One day she could not get out of bed so we ended up at Princess Margaret Hospital where we got the news.
“It was very scary just how quickly she got so sick and the diagnosis was a huge shock to us – type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with eating too much sugar.
“At this stage it can’t be prevented so there’s still a lot of research to be done.”
Ms Anti said learning to manage Sophie’s diabetes had been a massive task for the whole family and described it as “a 24/7 condition that she can’t escape from”.
“Sophie thankfully now has an insulin pump that is hooked up to her body but initially we had to be taught how to give her insulin injections and how to prick her fingers to check her blood sugar levels, which has to be done every day and night.”
Ms Anti said they felt fundraising through Convicts for a Cause was a way they could make a difference for those with the life-changing condition.
“Without medical research into diabetes, Sophie may not be here today and certainly wouldn’t have an insulin pump which has now made her life that bit easier,” she said.
Now in its eighth year, Convicts for a Cause supports Diabetes Research WA, Cystic Fibrosis WA, the Rotary Club of Mt Lawley, and the Reflections Through Reality Foundation, which funds research into the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.
CONVICTS FOR A CAUSE
What: Fundraiser for Diabetes Research WA and other charities
Where: Fremantle Prison
When: November 5
Tickets: general $50, VIP $150