Maria's girls: Clarissa, Lillian and
Imagine having not one, not two, but three beautiful
children all diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The shock of the
diagnoses threw the Dent family into a spin, desperate for
resources, information and support.
You can help us support families like the Dents by
contributing to our programs.
It's a daily
necessity - a family lifeline, and your financial support can help
make it happen.
Last year, Maria Dent was scrolling through family photos when
she noticed changes in her 12-year old eldest daughter, Francis,
and Lillian, then aged five. Their thin appearance was the first
indication that something was wrong.
Usually an energetic little girl, Lillian was guzzling water,
waking up at night for the bathroom and another drink, and asking
to go to bed much earlier than usual. Maria's fears spiralled.
"In my mind I thought my daughter was dying,"Maria
Their diagnosishappened on their third trip to the doctor, when
Maria insisted on a blood-test.
After a two-night hospital stay, Maria and her husband Daniel
were dealing with the unbelievable news that both their girls had
type 1 diabetes, the first siblings the doctors had seen who were
diagnosed with type 1 at the same time.
By year's end, middle daughter Clarissa had fallen ill. She was
also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, on her parents' wedding
"The stress and the shock, it's a life-changing thing for the
whole family,"Maria said.
It got worse when a colleague told Maria of a girl with type 1
who died in the night when her blood glucose levels crashed. Now,
on most nights, 3AM sees Maria creep in to check the girls' BGLs
and to satisfy herself that all is still well.
More lasting reassurance will come thanks to the lobbying
efforts of Diabetes Queensland, that have provided families like
the Dents access to Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) equipment
from April 1, 2017.
"I believe that the technology will provide better monitoring
and management of the girls' diabetes (levels)," Maria said. "I
hope that the CGM will ease the worry of hypoglycaemia events when
they are asleep."
Diabetes Queensland needs you to help us further extend our
support to children like Francis, Clarissa and Lillian.
It's our goal to build the network of care in the community,
informing authorities and teachers, school staff and other carers,
so that children living with diabetes are safe.
Simple posters, awareness and education programs and family
events, like kid's camps and group discussions offer reassurance to
affected children and enormous help and support to their
"The girls are getting to know there are quite a few other kids
like them, and it's a big part of them accepting what they're going
through," Maria says."
"For me, it was disappointing to realise every one of our girls
has type 1 diabetes.
"But I also think if they can be confident in who they are, and
not embarrassed about their diabetes, they will cope well and they
can be whoever they want to be."
For families like the Dents, support from an organisation
like Diabetes Queensland means ready access to independent,
authoritative diabetes advice and advocacy.