Ballina girl Sarah Moore was one of 110 Youth Ambassadors for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in Canberra this week, lobbying for funding for type 1 diabetes research.

Page MP Janelle Saffin met Sarah and her mother, Denise, in her Parliamentary office on Thursday morning and then joined them at the Kids in the House lunch with the other youth ambassadors, their supporters and many Members of Parliament. 

Ms Saffin said in the electorate of Page there are more than 950 young people with type 1 diabetes,

“Australia has one of the highest rates of type 1 diabetes in the world, and the rate of new cases in children is increasing by 3 per cent a year,” she said.

“At the lunch we discussed this alarming statistic and the clear need for more research to find the cause and a cure.

“The CEO of JDRF appealed for a national research program, costing $40 million, to which the JDRF is putting $10 million.

“A number of young people told their personal stories, and moved many of us to tears. But along with the despair there was lots of hope and optimism.

“At my table, in addition to Sarah, were two young boys, not much more than toddlers and they were so delightful, in the matter-of-fact way that they dealt with their type 1 diabetes. 

“We were asked to prick our finger tip, to get a feel for what these children do up to 10 times per day and they laughed when I let out a loud ‘ouch’ when Sarah pricked my finger! 

“Sarah has been to see me in Lismore to discuss support for type 1 diabetes and she is dedicated to lobbying and raising awareness of the illness.

“I was delighted when I heard that Sarah was chosen as one of the youth ambassadors for this event, and I would like to congratulate for being such an active advocate.

“Both the Prime MinisterKevin Ruddand the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, attended the function, showing the strong commitment the Rudd Government has for supporting people with diabetes.

“The Government has set up the type 1 diabetes Insulin Pump program, to help families managing this illness.

“Insulin pumps are expensive, ranging in cost from $4000 to $8000, and last month the Government announced an increase in the maximum subsidy from $2500 to $6400, for eligible families.

“An insulin pump significantly improves the health of users by making it easier to control their condition and live regular, healthy, active lives.

“I have told Sarah I will support measures for further research into type 1 diabetes.

PICTURE: 15-year-old Sarah Moore (centre) with her mother Denise Moore (left) and Janelle Saffin MP and Ryan Lum (front) at the Kids in the House lunch at Parliament House in Canberra.