A DETERMINED Stafford teenager who is lobbying the Government for more research into diabetes has urged her MP to add his support.
Darcy Evans, 13, a pupil at Stafford Grammar School, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just before her 11th birthday.
She has since become an ambassador for the charity Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the organisation has asked her to join a panel of young people in Parliament to talk to ministers on April 25 about how the condition affects their lives.
Darcy also met with Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy on Monday to urge him to join the event and help the fight for more funding into the condition.
People with Type 1 diabetes produce no insulin at all. and Darcy has to do at least eight blood tests and injections every day and inject insulin before eating, just to stay alive.
She has to manage her body’s energy intake and use or she becomes ill.
The condition affects 350,000 adults and 26,000 children in the UK. There is no history of diabetes in Darcy’s family, and no known reason why she developed the condition.
“I’ve lost the freedom to eat what I want, when I want,” she said. “I can’t do anything spontaneously any more. I have to plan everything and always have my diabetes kit and glucose and carb snacks with me. At the moment there’s a tiny amount of money going into researching Type 1 diabetes, yet cases in children are on the increase by four per cent a year, and we don’t know why.
“It’s an auto-immune disease which needs daily treatment and regular hospital check-ups for the rest of the patient’s life, so it’s a huge cost to the NHS. Type 2 diabetes gets about 10 times more funding for research than Type 1.
“There are days when I really don’t feel like doing injections, and want to give up, but I can’t. It’s bad enough for me, but what about small children who can’t do their own injections and blood tests? We have to find a cure for this awful condition.” Mr Lefroy has agreed to attend the event with Darcy and will be writing to ministers to press for more funding.
He added: “This is a serious disease that I knew little about, and hadn’t realised the impact it has on children’s lives. It’s important to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes, and I applaud Darcy for her actions. I hope we can achieve something positive when we go to Westmister.”