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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4326

Ms LANDRY (CapricorniaChief Nationals Whip) (13:31): A couple of weeks ago I met an intriguing and utterly inspiring young woman by the name of Chelsea. We met in a cafe in Moranbah, where she and her family live, and we enjoyed each other's company over breakfast—my, what a breakfast! Chelsea devoured what her mother labelled 'a very special treat': pancakes. You might think to yourself: 'What's so special about that? I eat pancakes for breakfast now and then.' That may be so, but chances are that you don't have type 1 diabetes. Chelsea and her mother, Rebecca, live a life somewhat devoted to this chronic disease. Regardless of how diligent they are or how comfortable they get with the daily regime of blood tests and needles, this chronic disorder is always there, always waiting for a slip-up or growth spurt to make life difficult.

The medical world has certainly come a long way when it comes to delivering insulin, the missing chemical in diabetics, to a point where today many are able to get about with internal pumps that measure blood glucose and administer appropriate amounts of insulin, almost like a pancreas. Unfortunately, these pumps are both expensive and cumbersome for an active young woman whose favourite things in the world are cheerleading and gymnastics. Her active life means Chelsea has to endure a series of often painful needles throughout the day.

I was really taken with the confidence and determination of Chelsea, and I wish to join her in trying to help raise awareness of diabetes and the toll it takes on sufferers and their families. Chelsea is certainly a hard person to forget, and I look forward to catching up with her again soon. (Time expired)