Rylan and David Meecham from Griffith are joining others from across the country to make a stand to the government to provide diabetes support for all ages.
Travelling to Canberra on October 24, they will ask the government to provide the same support to adults as they do for children with Type 1 Diabetes, namely access to life saving and changing technology known as the Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGM).
The technology has made a huge difference in Rylan’s life, and Mr Meecham fears for the costs once he turns 21, when government assistance ‘Danni’s Gift’ is no longer available.
Rylan was diagnosed in 2015 and for a while was relying on constant finger pricking day and night.
“When CGM funding became available it was life changing as we can access his levels at any time through phone technology and receive alerts if levels rise or fall,” Mr Meecham said.
However this technology unfortunately is costly and can be financially out of reach for young adults placing their lives at risk is they don't have the support of family and friends. The added cost may fall to parents to guarantee their children’s safety, a real concern for Mr Meecham especially when they move to retirement.
"While in Canberra with the DANII Foundation I will be meeting with Hon. Sussan Ley and Hon. Greg Hunt, so they can see firsthand the impact of this disease on Rylan and our family,” Mr Meecham said.
“Our decision makers need to understand that our demand is not simply to protect us from unnecessary complications and death, CGM technology will allow Rylan to live a full life and reduce the very real and costly burden on the health system.”
The annual health budget for type 1 diabetes is close to $14 billion. There are over 140,000 Australians living with Type 1 diabetes. Unlike Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 is an auto-immune disease with no cure and much of the cause still unknown.
With poor management Type 1 diabetes can have very serious complications, including kidney disease, blindness and limb amputation.
Donna Meads-Barlow, who established the DANII Foundation has said the last 18 months have revealed what a forward thinking, cost saving and life saving decision the ‘Danii’s Gift’ for under 21-year-olds was.
“It is now time for every Australian to receive the same protection," Ms Meads-Barlow said.
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