Generous help sees James beat diabetes

16:00, Mar 02 2010
james
HAPPY LAD: James Taylor-Keown, pictured with mum Natasha, has a new insulin pump.

The generosity of the local community has made life much easier for Natasha Taylor-Keown and her son James.

Support from Central Leader readers has helped the Onehunga family, who featured in the paper last year, purchase an insulin pump worth $7000 for James to help control his type-1 diabetes.

Previously James, who is nearly two, needed up to 12 injections of insulin a day, making it difficult for his parents to keep it at the correct level.

"There’s no way to describe the difference.

"It gives him a constant flow of insulin," she says.

Pharmaceutical company Roche contacted Natasha after the story ran offering them the pump for a discounted price of
$6000.

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The Onehunga Centre Pharmacy also donated $1000 towards the purchase of the pump, after Variety Club previously granted them $4000 and Onehunga Plunket gave $1000.

The mum-of-three says the family has been overwhelmed by the response they received from the public.

"I had people ringing me up offering help with fundraising through sausage sizzles and cake stalls.

"It reinforces what a great community we have."

Natasha says having James on the pump has made life much simpler for the whole family.

"We can go out and not have to worry about getting back at certain times. We can get an icecream without having to give James an injection."

She says using the pump means it’s much easier and quicker to adjust James’ insulin flow.

"It gives those tiny amounts you could never give in a syringe," she says.

But she’s adamant there should be public funding for the devices.

Currently individual district health boards decide whether or not to fund the pumps.

Canterbury’s health board provides some funding for the purchase of pumps.

But the Auckland health board only provides money for training and consumables, such as the lines that get the insulin into the bloodstream.

Roche diabetes care product manager Nisha Taylor says the company is pleased they could help provide more flexibility to the family by offering a
discount.

Central Leader