Premier Anna Bligh of the state of Queensland in Australia joined thousands of families in Brisbane walking to promote awareness of and raise funds for research on for juvenile diabetes.
Ms Bligh joined walkers for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's (JDRF) annual Walk to Cure Diabetes.
AdvertisementShe said she joined the walk to support her friend Jack Yorsten, a JDRF youth ambassador who lives with type 1 diabetes.
"It's people like Jack who motivated me to vote in favour (last) week of new forms of research," she said.
Laws allowing controversial research involving embryonic stem cells were passed 48 to 34 in a conscience vote in parliament last Thursday.
JDRF's Walk to Cure Diabetes is a walkathon held in hundreds of different locations around the world each year.
JDRF is a leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 (juvenile) diabetes research worldwide. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.
It has now been more than 35 years since a determined group of parents vowed to do whatever it takes to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. The efforts of donors, supporters and volunteers over the years have seen over $US1 billion invested globally in diabetes research since 1970 with over $US78 million invested in Australian diabetes research.
This investment has already significantly improved the lives of people with type 1 diabetes. JDRF research has lead to the development of insulin pumps, new types of synthetic insulin, it is claimed.
Type 1 diabetes is a disease which strikes children suddenly and requires multiple injections of insulin daily or a continuous infusion of insulin through a pump. Insulin, however, is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.