Sister's touching tribute to doctor found on Coast beach
GEMMA Diessel was just 10 when she decided to become a doctor after learning her sister had been diagnosed with diabetes.
"She said she wanted to be a doctor to find a cure for me," Tanya Diessel told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
"She never would have found a cure … but she always wanted to help people like that."
Tragically Dr Diessel, 27, was just four weeks into her new career as a doctor of medicine at the Sunshine Coast Hospital when she was found drowned off Dicky Beach at Caloundra on February 14.
Police believe she got into trouble during a midnight swim and say her death is not suspicious.
An autopsy has been completed but findings have yet to be reported.
Family and friends are heartbroken but not beaten, because Gemma would "never have wanted us moping," says her father, Steve Diessel.
Gemma Diessel grew up at Worongary on the Gold Coast and was a "shadow" to Tanya, who was two years older.
"We did everything as a pair. Mum and Dad put us through all sorts of activities," Tanya said.
"She was always there, it was just always having that companion to go through life with.
"She was the best little sister that anyone could have. She achieved more than what most people achieve in their whole life."
Dr Diessel was a student at Emmanuel College before studying at the Queensland Academies Health Sciences Campus at Southport in Year 11.
She studied for nine years at Griffith University, working her way through as a research assistant achieving a doctor of medicine and a bachelor of biomedical science with class 1 honours.
A high achiever, she excelled in anything she put her mind to, her family said.
Dr Diessel was dux in junior school at Emmanuel College and competed at state athletics championships. She was also a skilled and confident skier, conquering pistes in Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
"She lived life pretty full on," Tanya said.
"She loved to travel, she was very independent and loved to go exploring all over the world.
"She did scuba diving, skydiving, visited third world countries on her own.
"She just made the most out of everything. She was very switched on."
Mr Diessel said it was difficult for family members to choose a favourite memory of their beloved daughter and sister.
"There's 27 years of this," he said.
"She was very competitive and an achiever. If she wanted it, she made it happen."
The family thanked everyone for their messages of love and support.
A funeral date had yet to be decided.