In January 2015, a week shy of the school year commencing, my whole world changed. Two of my three daughters, Francis, 12, and Lillian, 5, were both feeling extremely unwell. I took both girls to the doctor countless times until finally they checked their urine and did a finger prick test. Following these tests, Francis and Lillian were hospitalised for three days at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead where they were both diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. By the time they reached hospital, Lillian was in a critical state.
Later that year in September, my 10-year-old daughter Clarissa woke up vomiting. This time I instinctively did a finger prick test. The test confirmed my fears: Clarissa’s blood sugar levels were extremely high. Like Francis and Lillian, Clarissa too was a healthy, active, ‘normal’ girl.
I immediately contacted our diabetes educator at Diabetes NSW & ACT who was assigned to us when we first learnt of Francis’ and Lillian’s diagnosis. Within hours, we were in hospital where the diagnosis was confirmed: the genetic disease had struck our family a third time.