Benalla's Emma Purcell has won a national award.By Meg Pigram
Benalla eight-year-old Emma Purcell can add ‘sweet talker’ to her resume after winning the Australia-wide Sweet Talk Young Achiever of the Year Award which celebrates the success and accomplishments of young people with diabetes.
Emma, who is determined not to allow having Type 1 diabetes to get in the way of her life, has shown courage and perseverance as she’s faced the challenges of the condition and inspired thousands of Australians with her focus and determination.
When Emma was diagnosed with diabetes last year, her family was awed by her strength and courage. After being hospitalised with what was then an unknown condition, Emma had to undergo many blood tests — and not once shed a tear.
Diabetes hasn’t stopped Emma from embracing the activities she loves; from dancing to squash and netball, diabetes has not held her back.
The only child at her school with diabetes, Emma has been informing all her friends and teachers about her experiences and this year began her first fundraiser for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Jelly Baby Month, raising more than $380.
As the Sweet Talk Awards winner, Emma is the proud recipient of a trophy, plus a $1000 experience gift voucher which gives her a host of opportunities from helicopter rides to swimming with dolphins or a trip to Australia Zoo.
This bright and bubbly girl who captures the heart with her vibrant approach to life, said she was told two weeks ago that she had won.
‘‘We were in the car going to the farm, and mum said ‘everyone be quiet, I want to hear Emma read’,’’ she said.
‘‘She said, ‘can you please read this letter?’ — and it said, ‘Dear Emma, congratulations, you are the winner of the 2012 Sweet Talk Awards,’’ Emma said.After being announced as the winner, Emma lived like a star, participating in a photo shoot and making a video with a team from Sydney.
Emma’s decision on how she will spend her Red Balloon voucher is still pending, but one thing is for sure — whatever she does, it will be adventure-packed.
The second annual Sweet Talk Awards were launched in April this year to provide the opportunity for people affected by diabetes to share their success stories, celebrate their achievements and inspire others who may also be affected by the condition.
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