JDRF Fundraising update by Stuart in S3
The Alford Academy Interact group did some fundraising for the charity JDRF last term and we wanted to let Stuart tell you in his own words how important the support from the school community has been in terms of the funds raised. Stuart was keen to share some facts about diabetes and the work of this brilliant charity. Stuart is an active member of the school Interact club and we are delighted to share his words below:
Thank you so much to Alford Academy for all your kind donations. A total of £342 was raised and this will help JDRF create a world without Type 1 Diabetes.
Recently The New York Times and the Sunday Times reported that the first person with Type 1 Diabetes to take part in a clinical trial for Stem Cell Therapy, saw their need for insulin disappear almost entirely. Both papers reported that the participant was ‘cured’ of his Type 1 Diabetes. Although this is not quite true, it is a huge step forward for the Type 1 community. And that’s why JDRF has invested in Stem Cell research since 2000 and are currently supporting hundreds of researchers around the world who are developing insulin producing cells in this way. We still have a long way to go before we can consider Type 1 Diabetes cured. Participants in the trial still must take immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their life. That’s why JDRF continues to invest in research so we can find ways to restore insulin production without requiring a lifetime of further treatment. Your money will help to make this happen.
I am diabetic, and I live with the challenges it brings every day. I wear a machine attached to my stomach 24 hours a day, 7 hours a week. I cannot take it off. It pumps insulin into my body and keeps me alive. Insulin is made in your pancreas and it helps to control your body’s blood sugar levels and turns the food you eat into energy. Without it, your blood would eventually fill with sugar and turn to acid. Unfortunately, my pancreas has stopped producing insulin. This happened when i was seven years old, I have been injecting lifesaving insulin into my body ever since. Every day, I work to keep my blood sugar at a safe level. To do this I need to do about 8-10 finger pricks a day to measure the amount of sugar in my blood. Everything affects this. The weather, my mood, excitement, what I eat and how much exercise I get. If my blood sugar levels get too low, I become hypoglycaemic and this makes me feel tired, weak and I might faint. If my blood sugar levels get too high, I become hyperglycaemic and this makes me feel angry, upset and very tired. It is hard work to keep my blood sugar at a good level. Every time I eat, I use my pump to inject insulin into my body. Before I do this, I have to weigh my food and calculate the amount of carbohydrates it contains so I know how much insulin to take. Living with Diabetes often leaves me exhausted. I cannot leave the house to meet my friends without taking a bag of medical supplies with me. I can’t wait for the day there is a cure. JDRF don’t receive any direct funding from the Government towards their research, so they rely on supporters like you to fund their work. I am personally grateful to everyone who donated.
It was only 100 years ago, in 1921, when Frederick Grant Banting discovered insulin. Before that, Type 1 Diabetes was a deadly condition, there was no way to treat it. Banting went into the children’s ward of a Toronto Hospital; 50 young patients lay dying in a diabetic coma. One by one, the children were injected by a substance, later known as insulin. As the last of the children were injected, the first started to wake from their coma’s. This was a medical miracle, and in 1923, Banting received the Nobel Prize for his discovery of insulin.
Even since I was diagnosed at 7 years old the treatment for diabetes has improved. I used to inject insulin using a needle up to seven times a day. My legs would get swollen red and sore. But thanks to advances in research and technology, I was one of the first four patients in the Royal Aberdeen’s Children’s Hospital to be offered a brand-new insulin pump that works without requiring the patients to be attached to it from a tube. It is life changing. So, thank you once again. Your money will directly make a difference to my life. I can’t wait to see a world without Type 1 Diabetes!
Thank you to Stuart for sharing this with us.
Alford Academy Interact.