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The Boots are made for Walking

Author: Athletics NSW Administrator/Wednesday, 4 August 2010/Categories: News

 

Australian All Schools champion Jack Edwards has given up hurdling for the time being to take up walking.

Jack, 15, is a Type 1 Diabetic and a Youth Ambassador for the JDRF (The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).

And in October, he and his family will be walking for a cure.

The JDRF Walk for a Cure is on October7 and begins at 5.30pm from the Fleet Steps at Mrs Macquarie's Point, Sydney

Last year Jack and his family raised about $6000 and this year their aim is to beat that.

In the past four years they have raised more than $26,000.

Jack, the Australian All Schools u/16 100m hurdles champion, has to prick his finger about 10 times a day to check his blood sugar and is connected to an insulin pump 24/7 just to survive.

The Year 10 Trinity Grammar student was diagnosed with diabetes in May 2006 but he hasn't let it get in his way of competing at the highest level.  He also plays representative AFL and school soccer.

 Jack won his hurdles final in Hobart in 13.18s, which sits just 0.09secs outside the NSW record.

''After the heat I knew if I could improve my start a bit, and get to the line a little better, I'd have a shot at winning," Jack said.

 His mother Anna said Jack was so focused and determined. ''He knew exactly what he needed to do in terms of looking after himself. He really is amazing and so composed,'' she said.

 "I like my blood glucose to be about 7mmol/L just before a race which means I have to carry everything with me, my pump, meter and hypo kits to the marshalling area," Jack said.

In the week leading up to and during the Championships he was also checked during the night to ensure his blood glucose levels were stable.

As insulin is on the World Anti-doping Agency's list of banned substances Jack also needed to have medical approval for insulin use from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority.

Jack's father John will be leading his family in the Walk for a Cure.

''I believe we need to find a cure for the 140,000 Australian children and adults living with Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes,'' John said.

''In Australia, there are around five new cases of Type 1 diabetes diagnosed every day and the incidence is increasing, especially among younger children.

'' Unlike Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle and cannot be prevented.

''The long-term complications of the disease can include blindness, heart disease, kidney failure and even amputation.

''People with Type 1 diabetes need up to six insulin injections every day, just to stay alive.

''Insulin is not a cure for type 1 diabetes - currently there is no cure.

 ''That's why I am walking. Your donation will fund vital research into finding that cure.

''Jack's team name is Poke the Pancreas

''It is really easy to donate over the internet and any amount is very welcome because all donated money supports Australian based research.

'' To visit and/or donate to Jack's personal fundraising web page click on http://walk.jdrf.org.au/NSW/JackEdwards/

 ''When you donate you will receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation via email.''

 


David Tarbotton and Ron Bendall for Athletics NSW.

Image: Jack Edwards - courtesy of David Tarbotton

 

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