In search of a cure
Diabetes Youth Matamata and the Spinal Cord Society NZ (SCSNZ) have joined forces to find a possible stem cell therapy or even a cure for type 1 diabetes.
Now they need to raise a significant amount of money to see the clinical trials go ahead.
Matamata’s Noela Vallis, who is well known for her passion to use stem cell therapy for treatment of spinal cord injuries, said: ‘‘We can do this, we just need the funds.’’
‘‘Any financial contribution big or small will be greatly appreciated.’’
Type 1 Diabetes We Care We Can Cure is only in the early stages of establishment but everyone who has jumped on board has one aim – to find a cure for this condition which attacks the betacells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
Scientists in New Zealand are leading ground-breaking research into conducting clinical trials on patients with type 1 diabetes using stem cells to allow the gradual recovery of insulin.
Dr Paul Turner, a scientist at the SCSNZ laboratory in Dunedin and a sufferer of type 1 diabetes himself, is leading the study.
‘‘When I asked him to do this research I didn’t realise he was type 1. This is very personal for Paul,’’ Mrs Vallis said.
Putaruru man Martin Bloxham, who works at New World Matamata, will lead fundraising efforts which kick off with a comedy evening in Auckland.
Other fundraising events will include a formal dinner with MasterChef contestant Cameron Petley and a Spring to Summer event.
The Lighthouse to Lighthouse One Million Dollar Run will see Mr Bloxham run from one end of the country to the other in an effort to raise the $1 million needed for the research to be con- ducted successfully. ‘‘ I’ve had members of my family who have died from complications caused by type 1 diabetes,’’ he said.
‘‘It means a lot to be involved with something as big as this.’’
The Matamata Chronicle will follow these fundraising ventures as they take place.
A Facebook page under the name, Type 1 Diabetes We Care We Can Cure has been set up.
Click on the like button to follow the group’s progress.