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Beads of Blue and Orange

Augie Keenan and Abbie Jane for the JDRF Type 1 Shoelace Project

Tuesday November 14 was World Diabetes Day, and two Broken Hill trailblazers are making sure the message of inclusion and recognition of type 1 diabetes is being imparted upon the community through the JDRF Type 1 Shoelace Project – a spin-off of the Rainbow Shoelace Project.

The collaboration between Rainbow Shoelace Project co-founder Abbie Jane and 10-year-old Augie Keenan who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes four years ago, along with JDRF, sees that instead of packs of rainbow beads, blue and orange beads for wearing on one’s shoelaces are put together.

“Augie started to become a huge supporter of the Rainbow Shoelace Project. She started packing beads for me and she was just so great,” Abbie told us.

“So, I thought, why not start something that can help Augie out and help so many other people out? Because obviously, the whole point of the Rainbow Shoelace Project is to prevent people from feeling alone and obviously people with type 1 can often feel quite isolated and alone, being different to other people.

“Augie [has given] me an insight into what it’s like to live with diabetes and giving me more empathy for those who do have type 1, because Augie is really strong, and she is absolutely amazing. She’s so young and she’s one of the bravest kids I know.”

Augie’s mother, Danielle Keenan, says when her daughter was diagnosed, they had to educate themselves, and it’s through partnerships like this which allow for more people to recognise the signs and what people living with type 1 diabetes must go through in their everyday life.

“World Diabetes Day, blue is very significant. It’s about wearing blue and showing that you support people with type 1 and the Shoelace Project just adds to that. It’s important to us that we participate in that and share that message around advocacy awareness and research,” she said.

“[Augie] will say that her biggest hope is that in her lifetime there is a cure. We put all our time and effort into raising awareness for JDRF and type 1 in terms of the impact to those living with it.”

To grab a packet of JDRF Type 1 Shoelace Project beads, visit rainbowshoelaceproject.com.au and in the order notes at the checkout, comment that you’d like the type 1 beads.

Additionally, to donate to JDRF, visit jdrf.org.au. You can also track Augie’s journey by following @ourtype.1 on Instagram.

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