Newlyn parent Christine Henderson and her daughter Lorelai will be one of many families walking around Lake Wendouree on Sunday to raise awareness and funds for type one diabetes.
Lorelai, aged 10, was diagnosed with the auto-immune disease in September last year.
Since the surprise diagnosis, the Henderson family has been working to create a support network for other families living with the type one diabetes in the Ballarat and Hepburn region.
The walk around Lake Wendouree is part of the annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) One Walk, but is the first time the event has run in Ballarat.
Clunes resident and diabetes educator Belinda Moore said it made sense to hold a separate event in Ballarat as in the past families have had to travel to Melbourne to participate.
In her work as a diabetes educator, Ms Moore said she frequently hears of parents desires for a peer support network.
“One of the most common things is parents and children want is to tap into a peer support group so they can meet with people. They just want to be understood,” Ms Moore said.
“Living in a rural area can be isolating without a medical condition, but when you throw a medical condition as complex as type one diabetes into it, people can feel even more alone. Living with diabetes of any kind does take a village. You can’t do well with the condition without support.”
Living with diabetes of any kind does take a village. You can’t do well with the condition without support.Belinda Moore, diabetes educator
Mrs Henderson said it was important to give families a support network within their own community.
“When Lorelai was first diagnosed we felt very alone,” she said.
“I know most families go through that process of feeling there is nobody else out there who knows what it is like. Only parents of children with type one know what it is like to have type one diabetes.”
Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia, increasing at a faster rate than heart disease and cancer.
Members of the community are invited to support the type one diabetes community by participating in the JDRF walk around Lake Wendouree this Sunday at 10am. Visit http://walk.jdrf.org.au/vic/ballarat/ to register.