Yesterday, 14-year-old Ella Marsden and her mum Debbie visited Parliament with Mary for a special event on type 1 diabetes.
Ella, a year nine pupil at Ossett Academy, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2011.
Organised by type 1 diabetes charity JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), the event brought people from communities across the UK affected by type 1 diabetes together with researchers, people who fund them, and MPs. It was hosted by Labour MP Jamie Reed MP, who lives with type 1 diabetes.
At the event, JDRF launched a report that paints a positive picture of the UK’s research into the condition. It reveals that seven funders have committed funding to tackle the condition amounting to £97 million in this country. The event came as the National Institute for Health Research announced further funding support for researchers investigating type 1 diabetes immunotherapies.
Ella said: “It was on my diagnosis, I remember being frightened and asking the question ‘will I die?’ and it was my mum’s answer that pushed us as a family to raise awareness and hope for a cure. My family made a promise that we would fight for the best treatment until we get a cure. The only charity that is committed to help with our promise is JDRF, who are active in the type 1 community to help build awareness and an understanding of the condition. None of their work could take place without support of individuals like us: I, along with friends and family, have joined them in fundraising for the cure.”
Debbie said: “Being officially invited to Parliament allowed us to speak with so many inspiring people all of us sharing the same passion. Conversations over the day with MPs, researchers and fundraisers, all with their personal stories of type one, many inspiring and some heartbreaking. I truly hope voices were heard and good things will happen.”
Mary said: “It was inspiring to meet Ella and Debbie, and it’s fantastic to see research into type 1 diabetes advancing. While the search for a cure continues, I will fight for Ella’s application for a continuous glucose monitor that would make a big difference for her day-to-day. Instead of going to war with junior doctors, this Conservative government needs to focus its efforts on supporting our NHS so that we see improvements in access to treatment for people like Ella.”
To find out more about JDRF, click here.