Your browser is out of date

With an updated browser, you will have a better Medtronic website experience. Update my browser now.


Skip to main content

18 November, 2022

Medtronic Australasia launches the Blue Balloon Challenge to raise awareness and funds for T1D

Medtronic Australasia, a subsidiary of Medtronic plc (NYSE:MDT) — the global leader in medical technology — is calling on Aussies to take part in the #BlueBalloonChallenge, to raise awareness and fund research into type 1 diabetes.

In its second year, the Blue Balloon Challenge sees participants perform an everyday activity while keeping a blue balloon in the air, record themselves doing it, and then post it to Instagram or Facebook with these tags: #blueballoonchallenge @medtronicdiabetesaus.

For every post, Medtronic will donate $5 AUD to JDRF – the world’s leading supporter of type 1 diabetes (T1D)* research.

T1D affects more than 125,000 Australians, with 3,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. The challenge of keeping a balloon in the air highlights the complexities of living with T1D, and the constant balancing act required to manage the condition.  

“The effort of keeping a balloon in the air at all times while performing other daily tasks is a powerful metaphor for how people living with type 1 diabetes have to continuously think about managing their blood glucose levels 24/7,” said Aviva Assouline, Senior Regional Director, Medtronic ANZ Diabetes.

“People living with type 1 diabetes need to make multiple decisions every day to keep their blood sugar levels in check. These include making choices about everything they eat, drink, how much exercise to do, and so much more. There is never a break, and it is always there, often invisible to others.”

“JDRF Australia is delighted to be supported by Medtronic’s Blue Balloon Challenge this year, helping to increase awareness of life with type 1 diabetes and raise vital funds needed to continue funding our research”, said Mike Wilson OAM, CEO and Managing Director, JDRF Australia

“JDRF’s is committed to creating a world without type 1 diabetes, and our research portfolio is designed to unlock cures for the condition and improve lives every day until that happens. That isn’t possible without the generous support from our partners like Medtronic, who share in our ambition for changing the future for the type 1 diabetes community.”

T1D patient and Sydney Swans AFL Star Paddy McCartin^ believes that research has come a long way in improving the lives of people with T1D.

“There have been a lot of advancements in diabetes research since I was first diagnosed, thanks to the amazing work of doctors and researchers. However, people with T1D still face daily challenges that the general public are unaware of,” said Paddy.

“Managing T1D takes a lot of planning and patience. I have to plan my insulin around what my day looks like, for example, what I eat and when I train. However, there are also other things that can affect blood sugar, such as hormonal changes, stress, and the time of day.”

“Medtronic’s Blue Balloon Challenge is a great initiative to raise awareness of what people with T1D go through every day, and the efforts and sacrifices they need to make to lead a comfortable and normal life,” said Paddy.

Join Medtronic in raising awareness and funds to support breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications, via the Blue Balloon Challenge.

The Blue Balloon challenge will kick off 14 Nov 2022 and run through to May 2023. Please tag your video on Facebook or Instagram with the following tags to enter:  #blueballoonchallenge


*The total amount donated By Medtronic Australasia will be capped at AUD10,000.  Terms and conditions apply.

^ Paid partnership

Sydney Swans AFR star Paddy McCartin showing his support for the Blue Balloon Challenge at the Waverly Oval in Sydney.

Pictured: Sydney Swans AFL star Paddy McCartin showing his support for the Blue Balloon Challenge at the Waverly Oval in Sydney.

About JDRF

JDRF’s mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2.5 billion in research funding since its inception. It is an organisation built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. It collaborates with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. JDRF staff and volunteers throughout the United States and five international affiliates, including Australia, are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement, and the vision of a world without T1D.

About Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)

T1D is an autoimmune condition that causes the pancreas to make very little insulin or none at all, leading to long-term complications which can include highs and lows in blood sugar; damage to the kidneys, eyes, nerves and heart; and even death if left untreated. It is one of the fastest-growing chronic health conditions. Many believe T1D is only diagnosed in childhood and early puberty, but diagnosis in adulthood is on the rise, and accounts for nearly 50% of all T1D diagnoses. The onset is sudden, and nothing can be done to prevent it yet—it is not related to diet or lifestyle. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. There is currently no cure for T1D.The competition is judged and compiled by Inventium – Australia’s leading innovation consultancy. Inventium uses a unique, scientifically proven approach to help organisations grow through innovation. It applies this methodology and scientific smarts to compile the lists. Inventium also utilises a panel of industry experts to judge the innovation component of the competition.