Diabetes youth ambassador visiting Gore

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The young ambassador for Diabetes New Zealand, Emily Wilson, will be passing through Gore on Monday.

Miss Wilson is kayaking, mountain biking and rafting the length of New Zealand and while doing so is raising awareness for type 1 diabetes.

“I started on November 1 as it was the beginning of Diabetes Action Month,” Miss Wilson said.

“I also have my type 1 teddy bear named Jerry who has type 1 diabetes like me.

“He’s here to help me teach others about their condition and themselves.

“On my way down the country I have planned about 10 different teddy bear picnics so people can come along and meet me and Jerry as well as have a fun day out for the family.”

She had also stopped at a lot of schools.

Miss Wilson said she felt it was important children “own it for themselves”.

“Most of the time the parents do it all but we want these kids to be able to handle the disease themselves.”

The aim was to “start better conversations for better outcomes”.

Miss Wilson said most people had questioned why she chose to raise awareness in the way she did.

“I love it, I love mountain biking and kayaking.

“I think the message it also embodies is diabetes does not hold you back.”

It was also a great way to connect with people.

Although Miss Wilson had tried o avoid State Highway 1 “like the plague” on her travels, she would be riding on it to come through Gore.

“I will be coming to Gore on Monday, which will be my last day. I’ll finish in Bluff.”