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Diabetes Gibraltar holds charity walk for children with Type 1 Diabetes

A charity walk raising almost £2,000 was held last Sunday, November 14, on World Diabetes Day.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month with World Diabetes Day marked every year on November 14, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.

In Gibraltar, there are currently 278 individuals living with Type 1 diabetes, which includes 20 under the age of 18.

At the end of September, a group of parents of children with Type 1 diabetes initially came together to pitch the idea of fundraising to purchase a DCA Vantage Analyser; a finger prick test that measures HbA1c.

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong autoimmune condition usually diagnosed in childhood where the body’s insulin producing cells are killed off and there is therefore no insulin being produced to enable sugars building up in the blood to be transferred to the muscles for use as energy.

Having Type 1 diabetes impacts on every aspect of their lives.

“Aside from the daily chore of multiple finger pricks, injections, site and pump cannula changes, etc. to manage and control this auto immune decease, these children are also required to undertake blood tests every three months to confirm their HbA1c (haemoglobin A1c) levels; which calculates their average level of blood sugars over the previous two to three months,” Diabetes Gibraltar said.

“Whilst children with Type 1 diabetes may be 'used to needless' having blood tests every three months is stressful, traumatic and now unnecessary, because equipment exists that can alleviate their suffering.”

On November 14, parents, supported by Diabetes Gibraltar and Susan Edwards and Karen Whitehead (GHA Diabetic Nurse Specialists), hosted a 5km charity walk to raise sufficient funds to purchase a clinic HbA1c analyser for the Children's Primary Care Centre, Gibraltar.

“This will allow our Type 1 kiddos to check their HbA1c levels during their quarterly clinic check-up with just 1 finger prick - no more blood tests,” Diabetes Gibraltar said.

The walk commenced from Casemates square at 11am and was attended by over 350 people, most were wearing blue ‘Diabetes Gibraltar’ t-shirts, bandanas or ribbons to raise awareness and support this worthy cause.

Parents were pleasantly surprised by how well the event was supported and expressed, and thanked all those who attended and donated.

Parents and Diabetes Gibraltar would like to extend their thanks to all corporate and individual sponsors of the event as well.

A separate ‘JustGiving’ page was also set up and has already raised £4,000 from individual donations.
If you would still like to donate, please visit:
https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/charitywalkforchildrenwithtype1diabetesgibraltar

Or search for ‘Gibraltar - Walk for Children with Type 1 Diabetes’ under ‘crowdfunders’ on the JustGiving.com webpage.

“Please help us to give generously and support our warriors - every little helps," Diabetes Gibraltar said.

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