The first Queensland family to access government-funded
Continuous Glucose Monitoring products says the Turnbull Government
program will change their lives.
"This announcement is a game-changer for us," said Angela Grant,
mother of four children including her youngest, Abby, now 12, who
was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 19 months old,
(pictured with her Mum in the week she was diagnosed.)
The plucky mum made the decision to get CGM for Abby,
regardless of the cost, in the middle of last year when high school
was looming. The transition to secondary school would mean Abby was
less monitored in a bigger atmosphere at a time hormonal changes
would affect her blood glucose levels.
Using CGM would also mean Abby wouldn't have to set herself
apart by finger-pricking in front of her friends.
Continuous glucose monitors are small wearable devices that can
sound alarms and send warnings if glucose levels are getting too
low or too high. The devices reduce the number of daily finger
prick checks. They are most often used in conjunction with an
insulin pump, which routinely delivers insulin.
"The CGM announcement means I won't have to keep going
into debt to keep my daughter safe," Angela said in an emotional
interview on Wednesday.
"When they announced it on April 1 I was worried it was an April
Fool's Day joke.
"I texted my diabetes educator to ask her if it was genuine. She
rang me back, I was crying, and she sent me the CGM form that
"I emailed the form to NDSS on Sunday morning and got a read
receipt from them Sunday afternoon.
"My pharmacy rang me on Monday to say I could choose my funded
CGM products as they were now available from the NDSS dropdown
"I picked up the products Wednesday morning. Even the pharmacist
at the chemist was happy. They all know what this means for
The reality is that Angela can stop drawing down on the mortgage
of the family's Kedron home and will not have to go further into
debt on her credit card to buy her daughter's CGM products.
"It doesn't mean a holiday for us. I don't think like that. It
means that I'll have the basic means for my kids. All I want to do
is be able to give them what they need to be the best they can be,"
"I've been a member of Diabetes Queensland since Abby was
diagnosed. I want to thank you and everyone sitting around you for
getting this to happen. It will make a world of difference to
Angela became a single mother when her husband left the family
when Abby was five.
In the first year or so after diagnosis, Abby was in and out of
hospital, averaging about one week every month in the Royal
Children's Hospital in Brisbane. The difficulties with three other
young children under six at home are hard to quantify.
"I'm Abby's sole carer, 24/7. There's no one besides me to
care for her," Angela said.
"There have been times I've vomited because of sleep
deprivation, and parents with a child with type 1 diabetes know
what I'm talking about."
Angela said despite the unrelenting demands of Abby's condition,
she has three rules for her children.
"The first rule is to be happy, the second is they have to
be kids, and the third is to let me worry about the adult
"They know how to test Abby's blood, but they are not her
carers. They're her brothers and sister."
The Turnbull Government's announcement on Saturday means that
Angela's worries just got significantly lighter.