Mum takes her leap of faith for diabetes cure
ROSEWOOD mum Carmel Luetchford has high hopes a cure for Type 1 diabetes will soon be found.
Mrs Luetchford and daughter Anna Cummings plunged 14,000 feet from a plane on Saturday to raise awareness for the disease she has suffered from since she was 18 years old.
The thought of freefalling 250kmh didn't deter the 55-year-old from raising $6000 for Type 1 diabetes research in the Jump to Cure Diabetes annual skydiving event.
In fact, it is the second year she has made the leap from the skies above Coolum on the Sunshine Coast for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
"I have lived with Type 1 diabetes for nearly 37 years and I have seen many great advances in treatment over the years, but finding a cure would be my ultimate dream come true," Mrs Luetchford said.
Six young people are diagnosed with the auto-immune disease, which destroys the body's ability to produce insulin, each day in Australia.
It is Mrs Luetchford's ambition to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes and its effect on those who must live with it for the rest of their lives.
"It cannot be prevented and is not caused by poor diet and lifestyle, as is the more common Type 2 diabetes," she said.
"It is a lifelong condition which has a high risk of severe complications causing blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage, heart attack and stroke."
The Queensland Jump to Cure Diabetes event raised more than $80,000 statewide for research.
Mrs Luetchford said treatment cost in excess of $4500 each year, but she was excited by new research being undertaken to improve methods of treatment.
"Diabetes Type 1 can only be treated with insulin given either by multiple needles each day or by using an insulin pump," she said.
"It also requires frequent blood glucose testing with finger pricks and close monitoring of diet."