‘Fustrated’ type 1 teen visits Parliament
A teenager has vowed to make every Member of Parliament understand the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Millie Hainge from Leicester, who has type 1 said she finds it “fustrating” when people do not understand the difference between the two very different types of diabetes.
The 14-year-old said: “There are so many misconceptions and I have to help change them, so I am heading to Parliament again. I last went a year ago before the election so I am going again as there are new MP’s who haven’t heard my message yet.
Despite the shock I knew that I had to try to make a change. I knew that I needed to play my part in helping people understand what living with type 1 is like
“If MPs understand the disease they can help young people in their own constituencies and they will be able to make informed decisions when allocating funding for research and NHS care.
“I will keep plugging away until a cure is found and I will keep coming to Parliament until every MP knows the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes.”
The event, called #Type1Catalyst, was held by the type 1 diabetes charity JDRF, and saw leading figures in medical research and Members of Parliament join families with a connection to type 1 diabetes.
The event was hosted by Copeland MP Jamie Reed, who himself lives with type 1 diabetes.
The event also saw the release of a report, titled Type 1 Research Today, which outlines the current landscape of type 1 diabetes research in the UK and paints a positive picture of UK research into the condition – revealing that funders have committed funding to tackle the condition amounting to £97m in this country.
Karen Addington, chief executive of JDRF in the UK said: “The JDRF supporters at this event did a wonderful job of spreading the word about type 1 diabetes and exciting progress toward the cure.”
Millie, who was diagnosed with the auto immune disease aged 9, has teamed up with the diabetes charity JDRF to spread the word.
The schoolgirl has campaigned tirelessly to help make more people aware of type 1 diabetes and how different it is to type 2.
She said: “Being diagnosed with type 1 was a complete shock, there is no history of it in my family and I knew little of the disease.
“But my life and that of my family changed overnight. From that moment on I had to count all of the carbohydrates I eat, stick needles in my fingers to check my blood glucose levels between eight and 10 times a day and inject insulin as my body can’t make any.
“I have to do this every day for the rest of my life as no one knows what causes this disease and there is no cure.
“Despite the shock I knew that I had to try to make a change. I knew that I needed to play my part in helping people understand what living with type 1 is like.
“It is really frustrating when people ask if I got type 1 because ‘I ate too many sweets’ or say ‘I thought you only get diabetes if you are obese’.
“I don’t want other children to be turned away from a concert venue because they are carrying ‘sharps’ and the Steward won’t let them in.”
For the first two years after her diagnosis, Millie had to have up to four insulin injections a day, and a further nine needle pricks to test her blood glucose.
Now her insulin is automatically administered through an electronic pump which is attached to her body.
Last year she visited American politicians in the US Senate, where she attended a Children’s Congress in Washington D.C.