By Melissa Sheil
AT only 11 years old, Wattle Grove resident Ollie Sherlock has managed to raise more than $3000 in a month for a charity close to his heart.
Throughout July, Ollie biked, ran and walked 50km to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Blue Army, a not-for-profit aiming to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.
Ollie was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes two years ago, a life changing condition that sees him having to be injected with insulin several times a day to keep his blood sugar levels stable.
“My goal was originally only for $350, so it felt amazing raising so much more,” he said.
“I didn’t expect it and each time I checked my fundraising page I had to double check the total, I was that blown away.
“I’m so grateful to everyone who donated.”
Ollie hopes his money can go towards research in finding a cure or even eliminating the need for daily injections.
“It’s really challenging at times because I can never turn my Type 1 off,” he said.
“I never get a break from thinking about it and sometimes I have to miss out on sport or playing with my friends if my blood glucose levels are out of range.
“However, there has been positives as I have probably become a lot more responsible and I have a better understanding of why it’s important to be healthy and strong.
“My family and friends are really supportive of me and there is always someone looking out for me, which is a really nice feeling.”
Ollie’s mother, Brooke Martin, said his family were very proud of him, both for his fundraising efforts and how he deals with his condition.
“When Ollie was first diagnosed we felt incredibly overwhelmed and I guess there was some sadness as we knew life as he knew it was going to be significantly changed.
“But even from diagnosis he handled everything so well and took it all in his stride, wanting to learn everything and was doing his own injections within the week of being diagnosed.
“He is just such a resilient child, and it really is a credit to him being able to reach out to the wider community and raise awareness of something that has impacted his life so greatly.”
Despite a few blood glucose related hiccups, the 50km goal was achieved in time, completed via loops of a 5km track in Wattle Grove, with Ollie accompanied by his parents, and for the last kilometre, his best friends Josh and Cohen.