There are days that my job is just THE best and yesterday was one of them. And the novelty cheque I was handed wasn’t even the best of it. I met with an incredible bloke who had undertaken two years of fundraising, summitting mountains and running marathons. He met with me to handover his donation to Diabetes Australia.

His astonishing efforts had all been for his nine-year old daughter who has been living with type 1 diabetes for the last four years. This darling girl got a day off school so she could be part of the cheque handover. She jumped around excitedly with lots to say about school, diabetes and being nine – an absolute gem, all bundled up in a tutu with sequins.

And then she noticed the sensor on my arm. She froze and her eyes grew wide. ‘Do you have diabetes too?’ she almost whispered at me. When I said yes, her excitement went from level 11 to level one hundred million! ‘I HAVE ONE OF THOSE ON MY STOMACH!’ she yelled and lifted her top so she could show me.

I complimented her on the patch around her sensor and then we spoke about which patches we think look best around our Dexcoms. We both agreed that pink is the best. Obviously.

She told me that she learnt how to do her own injections when she went a diabetes camp a couple of years ago and how she even does her own sensor changes now too. 

We shared what we love and don’t love about diabetes (jellybeans featured strongly on her ‘love’ list) and talked about how great it is when you get to know other people with diabetes. She told me about her friend with diabetes at school. I told her about my neighbour with diabetes and all my diabetes mates. 

When we were saying goodbye, I told her that if she wants to chat again, she should ask her mum or dad to reach out so we can organise a time for a Zoom call, and we could all catch up. Because sometimes, all you need is someone else with diabetes to chat to, and, as it turns out, an almost 40-year age difference isn’t a barrier to feeling that unique connection to someone else with diabetes and understanding the endless and colossal value of peer support.