Kyla Reen with children Ebony and Issac, will benefit from a Nestle Gympie donation towards an insulin pump.
Kyla Reen with children Ebony and Issac, will benefit from a Nestle Gympie donation towards an insulin pump. Renee Pilcher

Gympie extends helping hand

GYMPIE single mother of two Kyla Reen is facing some tough challenges right now, but Nestle Gympie workers have thrown their support behind the gutsy mum.

Kyla has lived with type 1 diabetes for more than 20 years. The past three years have been the toughest.

Her second child Issac is severely disabled and fighting the battle of his own young life with ongoing complex medical needs.

These battles with their health has meant much of their time is spent in and out of hospitals in Gympie and Brisbane. And while Ebony, 7, is a great support to Kyla and a wonderful big sister to Issac, 3, there has been little quality time spent together.

Although Kyla has a supporting family and health professional network, things have been difficult these past few years.

Understandably, these challenges have at times been quite overwhelming and taken a huge toll on Kyla's general health and in particularly, the management of her diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is a disease that destroys the body's ability to produce insulin, which is vital for life. People with type 1 diabetes face a rigorous daily regime of blood glucose management and, depending on blood glucose levels, may need up to six insulin injections, or receive a continuous infusion of insulin through a pump every day, just to stay alive. Type 1 diabetes is not preventable and insulin is not a cure.

To assist Kyla, she has recently received an insulin pump on loan to provide the necessary daily levels of insulin, which has lifted Kyla's quality of life.

In November, she will need to find the money to buy her own pump to ensure she can continue to control her diabetes and give her family a better quality of life.

Insulin pumps cost $8000 and, as a single mum on a pension with many other medical costs associated with Isaac's condition, this is totally out of Kyla's reach.

A group of Gympie's Nestle employees heard about Kyla's need and decided to use the organisation's Innovations and Improvement program as a means to raise funds to donate towards the purchase of an insulin pump. Nestle Australia has very generously donated $3435.

"When our employees heard of Kyla's plight they wanted to help in some way to make life a little easier for her and her family," Nestle Gympie factory manager Andrew Younger said.

"Through a fundraising program initiated by our employees we were able to raise almost half the money needed to buy Kyla the insulin pump which will give her a better quality of life."

Kyla said she was "absolutely overwhelmed and so grateful" to everyone at Nestle for their amazing gift.

"My loan pump has made a world of difference to the daily management of my diabetes and this amount of money will help so much towards getting my own pump which will be life-changing for me," she said.

While this generous donation from Nestle Australia is a great start to raising the total funds needed, more community assistance is needed.

The Bribie Island Diabetes Support Group has been working with Kyla to assist with her practical and emotional needs in whatever way they can, and has offered its bank account for the receipt of further donations.

Donations can be made by direct debit to Bribie Island Diabetes Support Group Inc (CUA Bribie Island, BSB 814-282, Account No: 309 044 20), or posted to PO Box 186, Bribie Island 4507, phone 3408 6541. Please reference any donations with 'Kyla'.

Gympie Times


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