Type 1 diabetes: Sturt cricketer Eliza Bartlett on solo charity trek

HERE’S a cricketer who’s not afraid to walk.

Sturt Cricket Club women’s captain Eliza Bartlett has begun an epic, six-month solo 4000km trek from Italy to Scotland with the aim of raising $100,000 to help find a cure for Type 1 diabetes.

It’s a cause close to her heart: the 27-year-old was diagnosed with the condition when she was aged just nine.

The sports-mad youngster uncharacteristically asked for a quarter off netball because she was too tired.

“This is a disease that I have to treat 24 hours a day,” Ms Bartlett said. “In my 18 years of living with diabetes, I have had more than 40,000 injections or pricks to my body and I’ve worn a device and sometimes two (insulin pump and Continuous glucose monitor) attached to my body every second of every day for the last 15 years.

“I have spent thousands of dollars and lost thousands of hours of sleep … I have very nearly lost my life to dangerously low blood sugar levels.”

media_cameraSturt captain Eliza Bartlett is walking solo across Europe in the cricket off-season for six months to raise money for Type 1 Diabetes. Picture: Sarah Reed
media_cameraEliza Bartlett in action last month. Photo: AAP Image Keryn Stevens

Because of the daily needs of her condition, half her hiking backpack is filled with medical supplies, which leaves only enough room for one change of clothes, two pairs of socks and two pairs of underwear. Many of her loved ones warned her not to do the trek.

“(But) I’m pretty determined to prove people wrong, especially with my diabetes,” the mental health nurse said.

“I’ve always said diabetes was the best thing to happen to me because it’s pushed me to do so much.”

Ms Bartlett’s mammoth trek, which she is documenting on social media, follows a similar one six years ago when she walked from Adelaide Oval to the MCG. On that walk, she returned with infected blistered and torn foot tendons.

This time around her preparation has included rubbing gravel on her feet to ward off blisters and purchasing leg braces to protect her tendons.

media_cameraEliza Bartlett in training before her solo, six-month trek through Europe, raising money for Type 1 diabetes, a condition she also has. Picture: Sarah Reed

The trek started last week in Brindisi, Italy and she is walking north where she’ll cross the Swiss Alps, then on to France and England (where she’ll catch three Ashes Test matches and a women’s T20 match).

The fifth generation Sturt cricketer, who last month captained her side to the SACA women’s first-grade premiership, is aiming to be home by September 26.

Money raised will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Donate at: elizabartlettJDRFwalk.com

Originally published as Eliza’s boots and all charity jaunt

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