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Melbourne Whitten Oval 417 Barkly Street Footscray West VIC 3012

We have fun, raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes and raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation


YLC Victoria Blog

Taking Type 1 to Everest.


YLC Member Bethany Davey, only a years after diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes, did the incredible: Climbed to Mt Everest base camp! Read about Beth's story and how she didn't let T1D hold her back!

Taking Type 1 to Everest – Bethany Davey 

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on the 7th of October, 2014: 8 weeks before I was supposed to be cycling in the Great Victorian Bike Ride, and 12 months before I was supposed to be travelling to Nepal and trekking to Everest Base Camp.

This isn’t going to be one of those blogs that says “You can achieve anything you put your mind to!” or “Don’t let chronic illness hold you back!” because truth be told, T1D did change who I was and what I could manage. But what I’m proposing, is that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. My diagnosis was a spanner in the works, as a 19 year old who was fairly confident that she was invincible, and had planned out nearly every year of her life for the next decade. All of a sudden, I had to relearn what I was capable of juggling, but it taught me to focus on my health and prioritise self-care.

Since returning home from Nepal, I have had a number of people ask what advice I would give to type 1 diabetics wanting to pursue a similar expedition. To be honest, I’ve never really known how to answer this question, because in many ways, I still feel like the new kid on the block. I haven’t even lived with type 1 for a year and a half, nor have I studied any kind of science since grade 10. Nevertheless, here are a few tips (with absolutely no medicinal or scientific backing), from a girl who definitely isn’t qualified to be giving this kind of advice:

  • Don’t stress about the high carb diet. Your body needs the energy, so don’t hold back on the rice, bread and noodles. Just make sure you have snacks for when your BGLs crash after the big meals.
  • Get good travel insurance. Most companies won’t cover you in the first 12 months post-diagnosis, so it took a fair bit of research to find a suitable company - but they do exist.
  • Take spares of all your equipment, and make sure to always keep some insulin on your body so it doesn’t freeze. I also left some supplies in Kathmandu and Lukla, just to be safe.
  • Be flexible. The altitude can make your BGLs rise, but usually the intensity of the trek brings you back down. It is definitely worth taking those acclimatisation days to rest and recover.
  • No one on the mountain will know what diabetes is. Trying to explain T1D with the language barrier and lack of oxygen is too hard. When people ask if your insulin pump is a pacemaker, just smile and nod.

o anyone considering a trip to EBC – it all comes down to mind over matter. T1D adds an extra challenge to the trek, but it’s 100% doable. Make sure to communicate your needs, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

To anyone who has been recently diagnosed – focus on what’s important to you (not what the health professionals tell you is important). For me, this meant getting back on my bike. Regardless of persisting hypoglycaemia, it restored confidence in my abilities and did wonders for my mental health.

I have found support networks in the most unlikely of places, and I am eternally grateful to my friends and family for their love, prayers and encouragement, every step of the way. 

From Rebellion to Active Volunteering.


Many of the YLC members have Type 1 Diabetes, or have a close connection to the disease through a family member or friend. Everyone has an interesting story to tell about their experience with T1D. We will be sharing some of these stories over the next few weeks in our ‘Meet the Member’ blog series. First up is our Recruitment Officer Izzy Cullingford, read her story below:


From rebellion to active volunteering - Izzy Cullingford

I have lived with type 1 diabetes since the 9th September 1995, a date that will stick in my mind for the rest of my life.

I was aged 10. I went from a normal childhood to a life of watching what I ate, blood sugar testing, insulin injections, hospital appointments and hypoglycemia. In the first few years I coped and I managed to adjust to the new daily routine. Then the teenage years struck, I rebelled and chose to ignore my diabetes. I was very much of the attitude 'if I ignore it, it'll go away' Looking back this sounds ridiculous. I felt alone, and no amount of ill health, hospital admissions or scare tactics from health care professionals could change the way I felt. 

In 2009 things were bad, my HBa1c was at a dangerous level, and the years of not caring had started to take its toll. At the age of 23 I was starting to show early signs of complications, diabetic retinopathy (eye damage) and problems with my kidneys. I knew I needed to change, or I'd be heading for an early grave. I had a chest infection which caused the worse Diabetic Ketoacidosis I have ever experienced. I was in hospital for 2 weeks, in agony and not seeing a way out. Thankfully 7 months earlier I had moved to the Manchester Royal Infirmary Diabetes Team. They came to see me, and saw how desperate things were. They didn't judge me, and instead asked how they could help support me get back on track. They suggested an insulin pump and I honestly jumped at the chance. They aren't easily available to those with type 1 diabetes in the UK due to the high cost of funding.  Nearly 6 months later on 9th October 2009 I got my insulin pump. It has honestly been life changing and every day I feel blessed and thankful for it. It's saved my life, and allowed me to get my own personal acceptance of my diabetes. It’s not been an easy fix, it’s been a learning curve, and I am still getting there but it’s allowed me to live the busy and hectic life I have longed for since diagnosis. I also feel healthy and my blood test results are the best they have been in 14 years.

At the start of 2011 I decided that I wanted to give something back to the diabetes community, and share my knowledge and experience to educate and raise awareness of the condition. I started volunteering for Diabetes UK as a Volunteer Ambassador. In my time I have worked on roadshows, helped at health events, given presentations, fundraised, trained as risk assessor for type 2, been a part of a user involvement focus group and helped to co facilitate a workshop at the volunteers conference. I was a patient representative on the National Diabetes Audit. I love my work as a volunteer. I also got involved with INPUT - the pump advocacy service. In 2013 I moved to Melbourne, Australia and continued my volunteer work. I had the chance to volunteer at the IDF World Diabetes Congress and multiple camps across the country for children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. In 2015 I joined the Young Leadership Committee and helped to facilitate Type One Tastings.

Diabetes has been a challenge, it’s had its up and downs. Some days it does my head in. But I need to focus on the positive, it’s a huge part of who I am, it’s made me more accepting and understanding. I have met some amazing people living with diabetes who inspire me every day. I am now applying to study child nursing and this I feel has been influenced by living with type 1 diabetes for over 20 years and the work I have done for health organisations.


Science Freaktion Event Wrap Up.


Following a hugely successful event in 2014, the YLC once again held an out of this world Halloween party, raising nearly $7000 for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) research!

With singers and dancers, and amazing prizes to be won, the evening was full of entertainment.

This year we teamed up with St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research (SVI) who are at the cutting edge of research into Type 1 Diabetes cures, including beta islet transplantation.

Dr. Tom Brodnicki ( from SVI came to our event and told us about some promising research. He also pointed out that, despite grants and funding received from the government and other agencies, there was always a funding gap, and it’s efforts like ours that allow them to ensure their important medical research is successful. We are very happy to be supporting such great work, and to know that all our funds will be going directly to T1D research.

As a special treat to our T1D guests, we prepared an entirely sugar-free cocktail, made especially for the night. Our sugar-free mojitos (cheekily named diabetos by the bar staff!) were sweetened using Natvia natural sweetener, and tasted delicious! If you want to have a go at making these babies yourself, you can find the recipe on our Instagram page (

We had some very talented people perform at our event, including singers Amelia Bloom, Heather Bloom (not related!), and Caleb Jago-Ward. There was also an extremely talented face painter, who seriously upped the ante for costumes.

Thanks to some extremely generous donations, we had an amazing collection of prizes up for grabs on the night, including dining vouchers, movie passes, photography package, and even an iPhone 6! We want to give a HUGE thanks to those who contributed prizes to our events:

  • Caveira Photigraphy (

  • Hickory Group

  • Celebrant Good Times (

  • Arbory Bar and Eatery (

  • Mieux Derma Skin Care (

  • North Yoga (

  • Arbonne (Sally Kuter - Arbonne Independent Consultant)

  • Natural Wonders Australia (

  • BounceInc (

  • Melbourne Museum (

  • Savers (

  • Natvia (

  • LaDiDa (

Most importantly, we want to thank our guests and donors, whose generosity allowed us to have such a fantastic fundraiser. We are very grateful to all the guests who came out to show their support for our cause, and help us not only raise funds, but also important awareness about Type 1 Diabetes. This conditions is chronic, lifelong, and so far incurable. We hope that those who came on the night learned a little bit more about it, and that with more fundraising for research we will one day make Type 1 Diabetes a thing of the past.