Janelle’s Story

Since age 10, Janelle has lived with Type I diabetes. This did not stop her pursuing a career as an opera singer and travelling the world. She sang full-time with the Australian Opera, Sydney, and Frankfurt Opera, Germany, before going blind at age 29 from the complications of diabetes.

Returning to Brisbane, Janelle established Salubrious Productions, an entertainment and production agency. She continued to accept regular singing and public speaking engagements around Australia and overseas, including the International Diabetes federation World Congress in Paris 2003, the Bermuda Diabetes 25th Gala Celebrations in 2004, an Australian Tourism launch in Seoul Korea 2005, and an international dialysis meeting in Chicago 2007. She was invited as one of 100 Health Stream delegates to the 2020 Summit in Canberra 2008 and has held numerous board positions including Diabetes Australia Queensland and the Kidney Support Network. She was appointed in August 2008 to the Health Consumers Queensland Ministerial Committee.

With diabetes-related kidney failure Janelle was placed on the kidney/pancreas transplant waiting list in 2001. She was removed from the list in 2004 due to stomach cancer. Undergoing a stomach removal operation and 3 years of dialysis, on 20 July 2008 Janelle was the recipient of a combined simultaneous pancreas kidney transplant. She no longer has the ordeal of 10 hours of daily dialysis and for the first time in 32 years she feels healthy and no longer faces multiple daily injections and blood tests. In October she has been invited to the International Diabetes World Congress in Montreal as speaker for ‘Living with Diabetes, a Patient’s Perspective of Impaired Kidney Function’.