A very good friend of mine from university has entered the Melbourne Ironman to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Anna Jepson is one of the most amazing, dedicated and committed people I have had the pleasure to know in my lifetime. As well as being a very successful accountant, and an amazing athlete and musician, she works tirelessly to raise money for causes that are close to her heart. After taking part in an uber-marathon in South Africa in 2011 (despite suffering from a tropical illness) to raise money for breast cancer research, I wondered how she could possibly top that. I am so pleased to have someone like her raising money for a cause that is so important to me and my family. Anna has another close friend with a 6 year old daughter with Type 1 Diabetes.
Anna's fundraising page is
Here is what she has to say:
I'm hoping to raise 5 or 6 grand over the next 4mths, which Macquarie Bank will match to take my tally up to about $10-11k which would be fantastic.there is a whole team from macquarie going to the barossa for a 160km ride for jdrf in january as well.The hopeful thing is that in the last 3yrs since i found out about it there has been some progress. I'm just praying we can help find a cure in the near future rather than the longer.
Anna completed the 160km JDRF Ride for a Cure last weekend and along with over 300 other riders raised over a million dollars for diabetes research. The Ironman is a mega-triathlon consisting of a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42km run. Did I say Anna is an amazing athlete?
She has funded the extortionate entrance fee from her own pocket. Her employer, Macquarie Bank will match dollar for dollar any donated funds so essentially you will double your money.
I will very soon be writing a blog post on what it has been like to live with diabetes over these last few months but in the meantime I will just tell you that it isn't easy for anyone involved, least of all The Chief. Four needles a day, finger pricks seven times throughout the day and night. Her strength, bravery and acceptance both astound and inspire me, as well as making my heart ache. I would do anything to take this away from her. I can't, but raising awareness and donating to foundations such as JDRF is a reasonable second best.
I am extremely hopeful that Miss Chief will live to not only see a cure but to benefit from one in time to live a long and healthy diabetes-free portion of her life. Even since her diagnosis just three months ago there have been tremendous results amongst scientists searching for a cure. Recently, Australian scientists discovered how insulin unlocks cells to allow the glucose to move through from the blood; up until then this had been a mystery. In November scientists announced successful testing of software that acts like an artificial pancreas and clinical trials have already started for that. A monitor to warn of overnight hypos has come onto the market. A nasal spray has been developed that can deliver insulin to rats. And stem cells that can turn into insulin producing cells have been discovered. There is so much happening.
But along with all of the positive stories we are still hearing stories of tragedy and sadness, of children dying of undiagnosed diabetes, and just a few days ago 30 year old professional skateboarder, Lewis Marnell, passed away from hypoglycaemic complications. Yes, this disease is a big deal. It's a constant source of worry, anxiety and threat for those that have to live with it. A cure must be found.
The 2013 Melbourne Ironman takes place on 24 March. Please find the time and a small (or large) amount of money to donate to this incredibly worthy, very promising, and excruciatingly personal cause.
Thank you from me and Miss Chief.