Mums speak out about diabetes ahead of fundraiser
11:57 21 January 2013
Four mums in Braunton whose children have type one diabetes are trying to raise awareness of the life-long condition.
A GROUP of mums have spoken out about how type-one diabetes has changed their families’ lives ahead of a fundraiser they have organised for Diabetes UK.
Lin Ross, Julie Palmer, Jo Hall and Helen Patterson, from Braunton, all have children who suffer from the condition which means they will have to inject insulin and regularly monitor their blood sugar levels for life.
They have organised a ‘boogie night’ on February 8 with a raffle, auction and disco in a bid to raise awareness of their children’s condition.
Jo Hall told the Gazette she was heartbroken when her eight-year-old daughter Rhiannon was diagnosed with type-one diabetes.
She said: “She was diagnosed when she was two-years-old; she was really poorly, drinking lots and also weeing a lot, which are the most common symptoms.
“We ended up taking her to hospital and the doctors told us if she hadn’t been in hospital that night she could have died.”
Jo now has to constantly regulate Rhiannon’s blood sugar levels, as her pancreas does not produce insulin, causing her to constantly worry about her daughter’s health.
Not only does the worry continue throughout the day, but also through the night, explained Lin Ross, whose 13-year-old son Davy also suffers from the condition.
“You have to check their sugar levels a couple of times throughout the night, only last night we were up around midnight because his levels were too low,” she said.
Davy was diagnosed when he was eight-years-old and has been injecting insulin into himself since he was nine.
“He’s been so brave, but it’s so scary because I have to let him do it on his own.”
Helen Patterson, whose 11-year-old daughter Jolie was diagnosed when she was six, said the condition was tough on the whole family.
“When they are first diagnosed, you think, why couldn’t it have been me?” she said.
“To have to tell a six-year-old they can’t have cakes or sweets was really hard.
“It’s also difficult for them to take part in any sleepovers or school trips because of the responsibility involved.”
The condition can also lead to the diagnosis of other autoimmune conditions as well, explained Julie Palmer, whose daughter Flossie has also been diagnosed with coeliac disease.
“It makes it even harder, because their diet is so restricted anyway, to then not be able to have gluten,” she said.
“It’s so difficult to control their sugar levels because anything from hormones to the weather can cause them to change.”
The group hopes the event on February 8 at Unison in Croyde will raise awareness of the life-long condition, as well as being a chance to meet others in similar situations.
Jo said: “We’re trying to set up support networks around North Devon as you need all the help you can get.
“But really the night is about having fun – even if you don’t want to dance, come have a drink and take part.”
The auction will feature a range of lots donated to the group including a weekend away in Exmoor, jewellery, theatre tickets, dinner at various restaurants and vouchers.
Tickets costs £15 and include a free welcome drink, buffet, raffle, disco and a charity auction. The event will run from 7.30 until 1am.
For more information and tickets contact Lin on 01271 816082, Jo on 07817 266344, or Helen on 07990 554709, or visit ‘Diabetes UK Boogie Night – come and strut your funky stuff’ on Facebook.