A family link to type 1 diabetes (T1D) has seen twins Nina and Lara Buonvecchi pursue study in health science – and join the Children’s Diabetes Centre to complete their pracs.
The Notre Dame University biomedical science students’ mother was diagnosed with T1D when she was pregnant with their older brother in 1996.
Their mum started with insulin injections but switched to pumps as it suited her lifestyle better.
“Mum is currently using the 670G Medtronic MiniMed insulin pump and recently started using auto mode, which she is learning to love as she gains a better understanding of it,” Nina, 22, said.
“Seeing the daily struggles mum goes through while learning about the technology that is rapidly becoming available, definitely increased my interest in learning as much as I can about the latest treatment options available.
“It is always so exciting to observe how each technological update in her insulin delivery method is able to provide more ease of mind to her daily life, as well as her overall general improvements in her HbA1c and reduce hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia episodes.”
Lara said becoming an accredited diabetes educator was something she was considering in the future.
“I thoroughly enjoy seeing first-hand the impact that research has on the daily lives of everyday people, like my friends and family and I am now very eager to see the hard work that is being carried out for the technology trials here at the Children’s Diabetes Centre at the Telethon Kids Institute,” she said.
Lara said she and her sister had done blood tests to see if they were at-risk of developing T1D given their family history but that they had both tested negative for the antibodies.
Photo: Nina (left) and Lara (right) Buonvecchi between supervisors Julie Dart (far left) and Ace Choo (far right).