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Olympic champion, Cathy Freeman to visit the NT to highlight the importance of a healthy, active life in managing diabetes

15 October 2012

Olympic Champion, Cathy Freeman will visit Alice Springs and Darwin this week to talk about the importance of living a healthy, active life when it comes to managing diabetes.

Cathy became a household name in 2000 when her image was beamed to millions of homes around the world as she became the first competing athlete to be invited to light the Olympic flame at the opening ceremony in Sydney. Days later, she went on to win gold in the 400m.

These days, while her focus is very much on family, living a healthy, active life is still a very important part of Cathy’s life for more reasons than one.

In 2011, Cathy announced that she and her husband, James Murch, were expecting their first child, at which point she also revealed that she had been diagnosed with pre-diabetes. During her pregnancy Cathy had to monitor her blood glucose levels and inject insulin 4 times a day. Cathy also revealed she has a family history of diabetes, with both of her brothers and extended family living with this condition.

This week, Cathy will travel to the Northern Territory in her role as FreeStyle brand ambassador for Abbott Diabetes Care, to share her story to help raise awareness of how indiscriminate this disease can be.

The visit also aims to raise community awareness of the importance of good diabetes management and to highlight how people can make everyday choices to improve their health, something that Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute strongly supports.

During her time in the Northern Territory, Cathy will tour the Alice Springs Hospital, including the gestational diabetes clinic and Baker IDI’s Indigenous health research facilities. She will also share some of her personal health experiences at an educational symposium for health workers in Darwin, titled ‘Diabetes Care at the Top End’, which is being co-ordinated by Baker IDI.

Earlier this year, a report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ‘Australia’s Health 2012’ revealed that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 3 times more likely as non-Indigenous Australians to report some form of diabetes.  They are also far more likely to suffer complications from type 2 diabetes, such as kidney and eye disease.

Type 2 diabetes is linked with lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity and an unhealthy diet, with both of these factors having an important bearing both on the prevention and good management of diabetes.

For media queries:

Tracey Ellis, Baker IDI Communications & Marketing Manager on (03) 8532 1514 or 0433 781 972