Adi Bhattacharya

Adi Bhattacharya of Auckland will purchase an insulin pump with his $8,500 grant.

The eight-year-old suffers from Type 1 diabetes and requires up to seven insulin injections every day. An insulin pump significantly reduces the number of injections required to only one every three days and allows for more flexibility for both the diabetic and their family.

“Adi requires several insulin injections per day and we have to monitor and adjust everything he eats. An insulin pump will mean Adi will have more flexibility about what he can eat and when, enjoy sports more and function better at school,” said Delwyn Bhattacharya, Adi’s mother.

Insulin pumps range in cost from $7,000 through to $10,000 and can be a significant expense for many families. New Zealand is currently the only developed country in the world where the Government does not provide funding for insulin pumps.

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune condition that affects 15,000 New Zealanders. The body sets up an attack against the cells that make insulin so that eventually most people with the condition produce no insulin naturally. It often occurs in childhood, particularly in children aged eight to 12 years.