“Everything I can”
Philanthropist and business woman Susan Alberti shares her passion for AFL and finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes
Susan Alberti’s mission for diabetes research
One of Australia’s preeminent philanthropists and Priceline Pharmacy Ambassador for its Mission Health: Diabetes Uncovered campaign, Susan Alberti, began supporting medical research when her daughter, Danielle, was diagnosed with Type 1 in the 1980s. Her commitment and determination saw Susan honoured with the Companion of the Order of Australia Award in 2016. Priceline Pharmacy is one of the main co-sponsors for the Western Bulldogs Women’s AFL team and Susan, a long-time footy fan, is a former vice president of the club and an advocate and mentor for the new women’s league.
Why are you so passionate about AFL?
I have followed the Western Bulldogs for more than 50 years. I love the passion and atmosphere and the way it unites Australians in supporting a game of our own.
Aussie Rules has always attracted women, not just as supporters but also as team managers, water carriers, ‘mum’s taxi’ and everything else. Now they are able to play at the highest level in an elite league of their own, which has been a thrill for me and many other women.
What impact did Danielle’s diagnosis have on you?
My only child Danielle was diagnosed at the age of 12.
Faced with the unknown, my immediate reaction was to seek medical advice and assistance. I was quite unprepared to discover Type 1 diabetes represented one of the major unknowns of medical science, and to a great extent it still does.
Danielle died at the age of 32 as a result of Type 1.
Her death only increased my determination to find a cure. I am involved in a range of medical research projects and initiatives, however the better treatment, prevention and the Holy Grail – a cure for Type 1 diabetes – are always my overriding priorities.
What do we need to understand about diabetes?
It is not the fault of the individual, bad diet or exercise options, which result in a person developing Type 1 diabetes.
It is a chronic disease, that affects more than 140,000 Australians. We need to better help the sufferers and their families deal with the complex lifestyle changes, and challenges, they face.
Visit www.susanalbertifoundation. org.au for more information.
Susan Alberti celebrates with Western Bulldogs players