By Victoria Elvy, a Blackpool mum
Our son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was four-years-old. For our family this was a devastating diagnosis and our lives changed immediately. We now have a boy with a chronic auto immune condition, for which there is no known cure, that requires 24 hour care. His body has killed off the part of his pancreas that produces insulin. This is a totally different condition to Type 2 diabetes which is regularly given negative press. We balance food, insulin and exercise and walk a tightrope every minute of every day; a tightrope HE will continue for the rest of his life. If we did not help him keep tight control he could have a severe hypoglycaemic episode resulting in loss of consciousness, fits, and possible death if the hypo is prolonged. If we let run his blood sugars run high he cannot concentrate, feels miserable and long term effects are nerve damage, blindness, kidney damage and shortening of his life. He does numerous painful finger prick blood checks daily to inform the balance of his food intake and insulin injections. He has at least four injections of insulin a day.
Being involved with Diabetes UK Fylde Coast Children’s Support Group has been a lifeline.
We have gone from strength to strength over the last three years and enjoy regular fun get-togethers. Our next big event is a Friends and Family Halloween Party at the Hilton Hotel Blackpool, by way of thanks to everyone for their support.
Type 1 Diabetes can affect anyone at any time in their life and does not discriminate on basis of age, gender, economic status or ethnicity.
Any one of us could be walking in my son’s shoes and therefore it is important we raise awareness locally (www.fylde-coast-childrens.diabetesukgroup.org) and nationally.
This summer we hosted charity golf at the De Vere Herons Reach, supported by local businesses, and raising more than £8,000.
With £1,800 we have purchased a continuous glucose monitor for the Children’s Diabetes Clinic at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. We are also donating £2,000 to a Diabetes UK research project looking at an artificial pancreas.
As parents the success of this is paramount and a step nearer normal life for our children while we wait for a cure to be found.
The support group will continue to hold activities, ice-skating, swimming parties, dodgeball and quasar, and remain a positive influence on each member of our family’s life. We are looking forward to seeing what the future holds...