A 14-YEAR-OLD girl who has to inject herself with insulin every day for the rest of her life has inspired a north Suffolk village to raise funds for a charity close to her heart.
Madeleine Young, of Wortham, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in February 2011 after a two-year spell of feeling unwell in which she lost three stone and was continually thirsty.
Now, with the help of eight other families from her village, Madeline and her mum Sarah Young have organised a big sale in Wortham Village Hall to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), which she hopes will one day find a cure.
Madeleine was rushed to West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds last year for emergency treatment after the results of a blood test confirmed she was diabetic.
“They were surprised I wasn’t in a coma I was that bad,” said Madeleine. “When I found out I cried hysterically for about three hours. No one wants to find out they have to inject themselves for the rest of their life.”
Type 1 diabetes is a disease that permanently destroys beta cells in the pancreas, meaning that the body can no longer produce insulin.
The disease can lead to complications including heart disease, strokes, retinopathy - an eye condition - and kidney disease.
Madeleine has to inject herself with insulin up to five times a day - before she eats or drinks and before bed to keep her blood sugar level under control, and attends regular check-ups at the hospital.
“When I inject myself before bed the volume of liquid is quite high so it hurts,” she said. “I get quite a lot of bruises and cuts, but if I didn’t do it I wouldn’t be here.”
Madeleine is studying for her GCSEs as well as completing a level two City and Guilds in art and design.
“My lifestyle hasn’t changed. I do kick boxing, swimming and ballroom and Latin dancing. It’s a bit defeatist to stop doing things.”
The big sale, which will include items such as books, clothes, plants, tools, toys and larger items, will be held on October 20 from 10am to 1pm. Proceeds will go to JDRF as well as the East Anglian Air Ambulance and East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices. Admission is 20p.
Madeleine added: “I go to clinics at the hospital and some of the children there are so young. I want a cure for this and it makes me feel better knowing I can help other people with diabetes.”