INSPIRATIONAL Bendigo girls Imogen Yeates and Bridget Johns yesterday led the walk around Lake Neangar in a bid to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
The pair raised more than $12,000 combined in Bendigo’s first Walk to Cure Diabetes.
More than 350 people attended the inaugural walk.
Ten-year-old Imogen was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes four years ago.
Those who live with type 1 require a daily regime of up to six insulin injections, as well as up to eight finger prick tests.
Imogen said it was important to raise awareness of the disease and that one day there would be a cure.
“Everyone is being so supportive,” she said. “I didn’t think so many people would come up to the walk.”
Imogen’s school friend Bridget, who has type 1 diabetes as well, also helped raise money.
Eight-year-old Bridget said she created a web page to help spread the word about the Walk to Cure Diabetes.
“I made the web page and then sent it to all my friends and family, and they all donated money,” she said. “I had so much fun at the walk; it was great to meet other people who have diabetes as well.”
Event organiser and Imogen’s mother, Tanya Yeates, said she was overwhelmed with the amount of support from the Bendigo community.
Mrs Yeates organised the event in just six weeks. She said the walk had raised up to $20,000 for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“The kids are having a great time, the weather is fantastic, it has been a beautiful day,” Mrs Yeates said.
Money raised from the event will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s research projects.
Mrs Yeates said another aim of the walk was to meet others in the region who also live with diabetes.
“There are a lot of people in Bendigo that we didn’t know had diabetes and it is great to have a day that we can come together and help each other,” she said.