Dr Martin de Bock and his research team are this year’s recipients of the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation’s prestigious $100,000 Wine & Art Auction Grant. Martin is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of Otago, Christchurch with a special interest in Type 1 Diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is a genetic condition affecting over 200 children in Canterbury, and more than 2000 nationwide. 35 new cases are diagnosed locally every year. There is no cure, and living with diabetes is very hard. Throughout the day, children have to receive multiple doses of insulin and also have their blood tested frequently.
Two thirds of kids are at great risk from complications such as blindness, kidney failure and heart disease. They also commonly experience depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
Martin and his team will be establishing a long-overdue registry of kids in Canterbury and wider New Zealand with Type 1 diabetes. This will tell us what care they receive, the quality of care depending on where they live, how this compares nationally and most importantly, what we can do better to support the little patients, so that no matter where a child lives, they receive the best care possible.