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Monday 3 July 2023 4:49pm

Wendy Goodwin, Jim Mann, Ben Wheeler and Pam Fiveash image
Working together… Lions Clubs District 202F representatives Wendy Goodwin (left) and Pam Fiveash (right) joined Professor Jim Mann (second from left) and Professor Ben Wheeler at the 'Transforming Lives: 100 years of insulin' symposium held in Wellington in November. District 202F was one of the partners supporting the symposium.
Photo credit: Luke Pilkinton-Ching.

A strong partnership between University of Otago researchers and the community is good news for children and young adults with diabetes.

Lions Clubs District 202F (Otago and Southland) have donated almost $140,000 to Otago's Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre (EDOR) to support Professor Ben Wheeler's nationwide trial researching advanced diabetes technology for children and young people (aged 7–25 years) living with type 1 diabetes.

Professor Wheeler, who is part of EDOR, says the research trial is a “world first opportunity” to use artificial pancreas technology (a form of automated insulin delivery) in youth who are struggling to control their blood glucose levels.

The trial follows a pilot study which showed significant improvements in glucose control when young people used this technology, compared to traditional diabetes treatment. These findings could be life changing, as many young people with poorly managed type 1 diabetes don't currently have access to this kind of technology.

Professor Wheeler says he and his team are very grateful for the support from Lions Clubs and the wider community, which helps make ongoing research in this area possible.

“The progress we're making has the potential to dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and young adults around the world.”

As well as the donation from District 202F, which includes $25,000 from the Lloyd Morgan Charitable Trust, other Lions Clubs around the country have been raising funds to support Professor Wheeler's research.

Lions Clubs have a special interest in reducing the prevalence of diabetes and improving the quality of life for those living with diabetes.

“Diabetes and youth are two of the five global causes supported by Lions International. Our Lions District is privileged to be able to support the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity Research Centre, and in particular Professor Wheeler, in the work being done to improve the long-term health of young people with diabetes,” says Lions District 202F representative Pam Fiveash.

Read about University of Otago Research and Teaching funds

Kōrero by Andrea Jones, Team Leader, Divisional Communications

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