Keeping clear vision for Elena's futureFOUR-year-old Elena Raschilla's days revolve around blood tests and insulin injections.
She has about six blood tests during the day, and some overnight.
"She has insulin injections in the morning, just before breakfast and just before dinner," her mother Julieta says.
"It's an everyday thing she has to get used to; she doesn't really know any different."
Mrs Raschilla has become an advocate for a retinal camera, a device that will reduce the chance of blindness among young diabetics.
Monash Medical Centre's Young Adults Diabetes Service Clinic has started a letterbox appeal and hopes to raise money through The Age Run Melbourne fund-raiser in July.
It hopes to buy a $35,000 retinal camera to use in the clinic.
Elena was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at three and is treated at the centre.
Mrs Raschilla said the camera would be invaluable for young sufferers and their families.
She said having several diabetic services in one location would make it easier to manage her daughter's disease in the future.
"There are so many things to do as she gets older, such as schooling.
"Anything that can help her and to be sure that she is up-to-date with everything is great."
Diabetic retinopathy, a condition that damages the retina, is the leading cause of blindness among young Australians.
Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent vision loss among diabetics.
Monash Children's associate professor Christine Rodda said the camera, which the centre has tried to secure for several years, was an investment for healthy eyes.
"Young people can have several appointments at the one time," she said. "It really supports them with getting these important screen tests done. There's still a group of young people who really struggle to manage their diabetes care and who will benefit from the camera."
To make a donation, call 95942700 or visit monashhealthfoundation.org.au/fun draising.
Article online: http://www.monashweekly.com.au/news/local/news/general/keeping-clear-vision-for-elenas-future/2593425.aspx
Photo: Sam Stiglec.