WORLD Diabetes Day is coming up on Tuesday, and Wodonga’s Carmen Amos is hoping to make it one to remember.
The 28-year-old is a finalist for the Rod Kafer Diabetes Ambassador Award, which was created by the DANII Foundation.
Formed in 2012, the foundation raises awareness of the challenges of living with type 1 diabetes after the tragic death of Danielle Meads-Barlow as a result of nocturnal hypoglycemia, or dead-in-bed syndrome.
Unlike type 2 diabetes, there is no cure for the type 1 condition.
This is why the foundation, as well as Ms Amos, are such strident supporters of continuous glucose monitors.
the technology allows the user to have constant updates about any changes in their blood glucose levels to be monitored through their phones.
An alarm sounds when blood sugar reaches dangerously high or low levels.
The foundation was able to help secure $54 million in funding for CGM earlier this year, subsidising their use for those under 21 years of age.
Ms Amos is hoping for that subsidy to be extended to all those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, citing the potential for the CGM to save lives.
She uses a monitoring device called Freestyle Libre, which functions in a similar fashion to the CGM, but needs to be scanned manually and provides a less accurate reading.
“This is something I;ve become really interested in, the CGM provides a lot of insight into your levels and give you a lot more control,” Ms Amos said.
“With finger pricking tests, it only tells you what your levels are at that specific moment – there’s no way of knowing if they;re trending up or down.
“You might do a test and be at a five, which is really good, but half an hour you might have been an eight and dropped a long way in half an hour, which means that in as little as 10 minutes time you could be running really low.”
Ms Amos has recently started training for half-marathons, and while her current testing regime makes life easier, she still believes the CGM is the ideal solution.
“I didn't even know about dead-in-bed syndrome until I came across DANII,” she said.
“If your levels are going down before you go to sleep, that's obviously something you really need to know about.
“Having that continuous data available is absolutely crucial.”
Ms Amos will travel to Sydney this week for the award presentation, which will be attended by its namesake, Rod Kafer.
Kafer, a former Wallabies centre and flyhalf, will be on hand to present the award.