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Byron Shire
May 17, 2021

Taking steps toward a cure: Fitzy’s long walk for juvenile diabetes

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Paul Bibby

Mullumbimby local John Fitzgerald doesn’t mind a bit of a walk.

A couple of years ago the Byron Council worker trekked through the Strzelecki and Sturt’s Stoney deserts, and this year he’s preparing to tackle the Great Wall of China.

But “Fitzy”, as he’s known around the traps, isn’t just doing it for the exercise.

He raising money to help those affected by type 1 diabetes.

John ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald.

‘Juvenile diabetes, or type 1 diabetes, is a terrible, lifelong autoimmune disease, that affects more than 120,000 people in Australia and requires multiple daily insulin injections and finger pricks which is really hard for adults, but it’s even more difficult for kids,’ Fitzy says.

‘One of my work colleagues has type 1, and another’s child has it – in fact everyone you talk to knows someone with type 1.

‘There is no cure so I am playing a small part in raising awareness and money for research.’

To take part in the Great Wall walk John has to pay his own expenses and raise a minimum of $3,500 which goes directly to JDRF.

So far he’s raised almost $7,000, thanks to donations from across the community including big contributions from the members and employees of the Mullumbimby Golf Club, the Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce, the United Services Union, and his colleagues at Byron Council.

‘The Golf Club put on a day for me which raised $2,000 and the Chamber has given a generous donation while at Council staff have held cake sales and soup lunches which have put money in the kitty as well,’ he said.

“I have lived in Mullumbimby all my life and the support of family, friends and businesses is what makes this place the best place in the world – thanks to everyone,” John said.

To make a donation visit https://jdrf-hike-for-health-2019.everydayhero.com/au/johns-jdrf-trek.


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