“Ev­ery­thing I can”

Phi­lan­thropist and busi­ness woman Su­san Al­berti shares her pas­sion for AFL and find­ing a cure for Type 1 di­a­betes

Diabetic Living - - Contents -

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

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