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Find out the latest news about JDRF's research and fundraising events.

29
Jan

Roald Dahl play removes misleading ‘diabetes’ line after JDRF supporter campaigns for change

Hit West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has removed a line saying that ‘eating chocolate causes diabetes,’ after a JDRF supporter campaigned for its change. 

Nathalie Bristow contacted its production company after taking her 8 year old daughter – who lives with type 1 diabetes – to see the show.  

Mrs Bristow said: “My family love the theatre, so were deeply upset and offended when we heard the line about how children will get diabetes if they eat too much chocolate. We nearly left. 

“Thousands of people –including parents and children – see the show every day.  I would hate for others to feel upset too, or for this to have a damaging effect on the perception of type 1 diabetes. The producers could not have been more helpful though – a big theatre listened to us and we made a difference.”

400,000 people in the UK live with type 1 diabetes – nearly 30,000 of which children. And 97 per cent of childhood diabetes is type 1, which is not linked to lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.

Responding promptly to Mrs Bristow’s concerns, Producer Caro Newling said: “I am so sorry that it had such a negative effect. That was never the intention and it was meant to be entirely humorous.”

She added: “But why upset anyone when you don’t have to? As a result, we have amended the script to drop the reference to diabetes and have replaced it with an alternative comment.”

Spoken by Mrs Pratchett the sweet-seller, the new line went into the show last week and now goes ‘chocolate, chocolate, not one of your five a day.’

Michael Connellan, Senior Media Manager at JDRF said: “It’s frustrating when differences between type 1 and type 2 are ignored in references to ‘diabetes’. Greater recognition of the differences between them is something that JDRF constantly strives for.

“It’s fantastic to see that people and establishments are beginning to recognise these issues, and thank you to Caro Newling. It is important that others continue to follow suit.”

JDRF continuously strives for a fairer deal for people with type 1 diabetes. For more information on our campaigns, and how you could get involved, go to jdrf.org.uk/campaigns.

28
Jan

Thank you for a successful #TypeOnesie 2014 – you’ve doubled our World Diabetes Day income. WOW!

The final figures are just in. We’ve raised £136,591.78 from World Diabetes Day 2014 – that’s more than double than the year before.

From schools to celebrities and work places to universities – you donned your best all-in-ones, had fun and helped support vital type 1 diabetes research.  Thank you for making it such an incredible success!

Did you miss #TypeOnesie 2014? For various ways that you can support JDRF – take a look at how you can get involved at jdrf.org.uk/get-involved.  

26
Jan

New JDRF manifesto demands politicians make a difference for people with type 1 diabetes

As part of its nationwide #CountMeIn campaign, JDRF has today released a new manifesto calling on politicians to give a fairer future to people with type 1 diabetes. And the charity wants you to help.

Millie’s Manifesto – written by 12 year old JDRF supporter Millie Hainge – is asking all politicians to recognise the impact of living with type 1 diabetes. On behalf of the 400,000 people in the UK with the condition, Millie is calling for:

1. Better understanding of the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes

2. Greater access for all to the best type 1 diabetes technology

3. Increased Government funding for vital type 1 diabetes research

In the run up to the General Election on 7 May, Millie and JDRF are urging you to share the Manifesto with your MP and the candidates standing for election.

Diagnosed with the condition aged 9, Millie said: “People in power need to know the specific challenges facing people with type 1 diabetes. I’m urging as many people as possible to help set the facts straight on the condition. Shout loud enough, and we can make a difference!”

Help Millie and JDRF secure a fairer future for people with type 1 diabetes. Download and share the Manifesto now by going to jdrf.org.uk/millie

23
Jan

JDRF celebrates another artificial pancreas breakthrough

JDRF won international headlines this week as its artificial pancreas project reached another major milestone.

The Guardian and the Mirror reported the start of the global launch of Medtronic’s MiniMed 640G System – which was developed from JDRF-funded research and is the next breakthrough advance in artificial pancreas systems technology.

Four-year-old Xavier Hames of Australia is the first to receive the “predictive low glucose suspend” system, designed to help achieve better glucose control through advanced protection from dangerous low glucose events.

The combined pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) system is the first in the world to both automatically suspend insulin delivery when sensor glucose levels are predicted to approach a low limit and resume insulin delivery once sensor glucose levels recover to normal levels.

“Predictive low glucose suspend” systems are another crucial step in the JDRF-developed artificial pancreas development strategy.  Each step provides new features to these systems to further improve automated glucose control of the user.

We are currently supporting a large study in Australia which is led by Dr Tim Jones -- testing the Medtronic 640G system to see how much low glucose events can be reduced and if this improved control can help people with low glucose unawareness restore their sensing of such lows.

In the UK, Dr Roman Hovorka of Cambridge University continues JDRF-funded advanced human trials of a fully ‘closed loop’ artificial pancreas system.

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF in the UK said: “Congratulations to our supporters on another milestone reached. But we won’t rest until the artificial pancreas is a reality for everyone who wants one.”

The product is not yet officially launched in the UK. We will be updating our supporters when it is – and working to ensure it is delivered through NHS services.

Find out more about JDRF's artificial pancreas project.

16
Jan

JDRF launches new pregnancy toolkit for UK women with type 1 diabetes

JDRF has this week launched its brand new Pregnancy Toolkit for UK women living with type 1 diabetes. The Toolkit is packed with lots of useful information for people living with the condition and planning a pregnancy.

Baby planning is an exciting time for any couple, but if you have type 1 diabetes, there are some extra things to think about. This new free Toolkit – written with input from healthcare professionals, JDRF volunteers and women with type 1 diabetes – helps explain the best way to achieve a healthy pregnancy for both mum and baby.

London resident Rowena Gracey, has had type 1 diabetes for almost 20 years and struggled to find the facts she needed when pregnant with her son George. She said: "I found there was very little information available to explain what to expect and how to manage my condition.

“JDRF’s Toolkit provides really practical advice for what you need to consider pre-conception, what happens at each stage of your pregnancy, and who you can call on for support to keep your health in the best shape possible.   I only wish it was around when I was pregnant!"

The Pregnancy Toolkit comes after JDRF funded researchers found that people with type 1 diabetes tend to have fewer children on average than those without the condition.  There is no clear explanation for why, but the scientists – who published their findings in September last year – believe this may be because having type 1 diabetes can be an extra burden for women during pregnancy. The Toolkit could help to relieve this pressure. 

The Toolkit covers each trimester of pregnancy – helping mums-to-be understand what to expect and how their management of type 1 diabetes will be affected by their growing baby. There is also a helpful pre-pregnancy checklist of things you need to think about before trying for a baby. Additional chapters cover the birth and post-pregnancy.

Susan Quinn, Diabetes Specialist Midwife at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester, said: “Having a good experience of birth and a healthy baby starts even before pregnancy. From preconception to a woman holding her baby in her arms – this time can be complex and challenging.

“The Toolkit is provided as part of specialist care for women living with type 1 diabetes. They will be able to access important facts and information throughout their pregnancy journey.”

The free toolkit is available to download now from the JDRF website.

15
Jan

Prime Minister backs JDRF’s call for more diabetes technology on the NHS

Prime Minister David Cameron has recognised the need for more diabetes technology to be available on the NHS – providing a boost to JDRF’s #CountMeIn campaign for greater government support.

Mr Cameron responded during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday to a report published on the state of diabetes healthcare.

He said: “An enormous amount of exciting new technology is coming forward on diabetes, and I want to make sure that this technology is rapidly adopted by the NHS.”

The Prime Minister was responding to a Diabetes UK report, which highlights that there has been very little improvement in diabetes healthcare over the past year. His response comes after the delivery of JDRF’s #CountMeIn petition to Number 10 Downing Street only last week – calling on the Government to increase funding for type 1 diabetes research.

Unfortunately, in comparison to other nations, the UK still lags on providing access to existing type 1 diabetes treatment technology such as insulin pumps.

However, working with partners including Diabetes UK, JDRF is leading the way on making diabetes technology such as the artificial pancreas a reality – not just in the research laboratory but also by campaigning for its delivery by the NHS.

The report – ‘State of the Nation’– also highlights that only 29.1 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes aged under 40 are receiving eight of their nine NICE recommended care processes. The figure for the same group of people but living with type 2 diabetes was 46.3 per cent.

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF in the UK, said: “This report draws important attention to the current state of our healthcare system for people living with type 1 diabetes.  Research into the condition is making excellent progress – and I would like to thank Mr Cameron for understanding the need for its continued development and delivery.”

Learn more about the #CountMeIn campaign here.

09
Jan

BBC broadcaster Sally Traffic calls on motoring fans to join her in JDRF car rally

Sally Traffic – well known to listeners of BBC Radio 2 for her travel reports – will be joining JDRF this spring to launch an adventurous car rally across Europe. She’s calling all motoring fans and JDRF supporters to join her in the fun too.

Scumrun – now in its tenth year – sees participants drive old cars onto a ferry from Dover and then along the roads of western Europe. The four day event in May has a big reputation for fancy dress, fun and humour. Funds raised will support vital type 1 diabetes research.

Sally, who will be waving off participants at the launch event, said: “I’m delighted to be supporting the tenth year of Scumrun for JDRF!  I’ve heard many adventurous travel tales as my time as a traffic broadcaster.  This is a great opportunity for people to have theirs – all while raising money for an important cause.”

Sally has become a national cult figure, and was awarded an ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ on behalf of the UK Truckers for her traffic reporting. She has also been voted one of the most attractive female voices on UK radio in a Radio Times poll.

Known by many as the ‘patron saint of road users’, she added: “As a huge motoring fan myself, I’m encouraging everyone to get involved with the event. I’ll be there at the big send off and can’t wait to see you all there!

"To everyone who has signed up so far – thank you for embarking on this journey. I can’t wait to play a part in it too.”

Do something truly different this year. For more information on Scumrun and to register for the event, click here.

06
Jan

People with type 1 diabetes living longer, healthier lives

JDRF-funded researchers at the University of Dundee have found that people with type 1 diabetes are living longer than ever before.

While previous estimates have suggested that type 1 can reduce life expectancy by 15-20 years, Professor Helen Colhoun and her colleagues found this gap had narrowed to 11 years for men and 13 years for women. The difference was even smaller for older adults, reaching single digits for people aged 50-54.

Overall, life expectancy for people with type 1 has improved tremendously in just the last 40 years. In 1975, the difference between people with and without type 1 was almost 30 years, shrinking to less than 20 years in the 1990s.

However, the study shows that there are still improvements to be made, which is why JDRF continues to fund research into complications. AdDIT, a trial being run at the University of Cambridge, aims to prevent young people from developing heart and kidney diseases – highlighted by the Scottish research as two of the biggest factors that reduce life expectancy.

Better treatments, too, have an important effect. While good blood glucose control is encouraged at all ages, a US study also released today found good glucose management early on after diagnosis can give people with type 1 longer, healthier lives. JDRF-funded research into glucose control treatments such as the artificial pancreas and smart insulin is designed to make this challenging job, much easier.

Both the Scottish and American studies were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

23
Dec

Five JDRF fundraising feats in 2014 you need to know about

2014 has been a brilliant year of fundraising for JDRF. Our wonderful supporters – whether donating a little or a lot – are dedicated to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes. Here are just five of many remarkable fundraising highlights from this year.

1Two old Shropshire school friends reached dry land in February after spending 50 days crossing the mighty Atlantic Ocean for JDRF. Alex Bland and Harry Martin-Dreyer left their jobs in the City to take on the challenge, and spent each day rowing alternative two hour shifts in a small two-man boat. Travelling from Gran Canaria, they arrived 3,000 miles later in Barbados and raised over £100,000 for JDRF.

 

 2. April saw 197 JDRF runners take to the streets for the annual London Marathon. From MPs to onesie wearing world record-breakers, they proved themselves phenomenal fundraisers as well as athletes. Over £380,000 was raised in support of vital research projects – such as the artificial pancreas.

 

 

 3. Kilimanjaro climbers completed a monumental mountain challenge for JDRF in June. The group of 26 included 19 people living with type 1 diabetes – believed to be the largest number with the condition to ever scale Africa’s biggest mountain. Participants raised over £144,000 in total, and its huge success means it will be taking place again next year.

 

4. 130 JDRF cyclists braved downpour conditions in August to compete in the RideLondon- Surrey 100. Competitor Ian Rees – who lives with type 1 diabetes – beat thousands of others to the finish line. One determined participant even completed the race with just one pedal after an unfortunate bike malfunction.  The event raised over £87,000 for JDRF.

 

 

5. Old Etonian and IT teacher John Carver crossed the English Channel for JDRF in August – by flying bike!  He flew from Dover to Calais and back, having last flown his bike for JDRF in 2009 from Land’s End to John O’Groats. John’s lived with type 1 diabetes for over 35 years and has raised over £20,000 for JDRF since his support.   

Fancy doing something different and supporting JDRF in 2015? Find out how you can get involved here.

23
Dec

JDRF highlights risky type 1 diabetes advice in Daily Mail article

Published today, a Daily Mail article on Medical Detection Dogs includes risky advice on how people living with type 1 diabetes should manage their condition.

The article ‘doggy doctors who save their owners’ lives every day’ includes a quote from a doctor saying that for people living with type 1 diabetes and using this service, “you can throw away your blood-testing meter now.”

Sarah Johnson, Director of Policy and Communications at JDRF, said: “For the 400,000 people in the UK living with type 1 diabetes – 29,000 of which children – this is wrong advice to give.

“At JDRF we understand that Medical Detection Dogs can help give peace of mind and complementary medical assistance for people living with the condition. But this in no way replaces the need for multiple daily finger prick blood glucose testing – the current UK bedrock for diabetes management.  

“Not testing would be a serious danger to the health of a person with type 1 diabetes, as they must constantly balance insulin, exercise and food intake in order to keep their blood glucose levels at a ‘healthy’ level. It is risky to suggest otherwise.”

Claire Guest from Medical Detection Dogs said: “I agree that this is a misleading comment.  The placement of a medical alert assistance dog does not in any way replace the need for regular blood testing. The dog alert is there to inform that an extra blood test is needed and for the client to then assess what further action is required.”

While better informed articles on type 1 diabetes are becoming more common, this isn’t the first time inaccuracies on the condition have been published in the media. Earlier this year, a billionaire's misunderstanding of diabetes was highlighted in a Sunday Times letter from JDRF. 

15
Dec

JDRF welcomes new director to further strengthen UK type 1 diabetes research

JDRF is pleased to announce that Dr Clare McVicker has officially joined the organisation to the new role of Director of Research Advocacy.

Clare comes to JDRF from having spent nine years at the Wellcome Trust. With a wealth of expertise in type 1 diabetes, she has been a manager in their Department of Cellular, Developmental and Physiological Sciences in the science funding division.

Clare – who has a BSc in pharmacology and a PhD in physiology – will be working to increase and further strengthen type 1 diabetes research by raising awareness of the condition and the profile of JDRF in the wider UK research community.

Clare said: “I’m excited about helping JDRF expand its funded programme of type 1 diabetes research – and to therefore enhance scientific understanding in crucial areas – such as the misfiring immune system response behind the development of this serious condition.”

Type 1 diabetes is one of over 80 known autoimmune conditions including multiple sclerosis, coeliac disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Over four million people in the UK live with an autoimmune condition, which sees their immune system mistakenly attack friendly cells.

She added: “The cure for type 1 diabetes will be found. It’s just a question of time, money, and great research. Finding this cure could act as a skeleton key – unlocking ways to prevent and cure a range of other autoimmune conditions.”

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF in the UK, said: “We believe that there are significant opportunities to drive forward our understanding of the root causes of type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune conditions. By adding Clare’s wealth of experience and knowledge to our team, we are really looking forward to taking this research to the next level in the UK. 

“I thank her for joining the team and helping to accelerate progress toward our vision of a world without type 1 diabetes.”

Since JDRF was established 40 years ago, we have funded more than £1 billion of research worldwide. Find out more about the projects we support here.

12
Dec

Korn singer gives hope to son with exclusive song for JDRF

The best-selling metal group Korn have released an exclusive download for JDRF, after the lead singer’s youngest son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year.

So Unfair was written by frontman Jonathan Davis to shine a light on his son Zeppelin’s struggle with the condition. The 43 year old has made an emotional call for people to download the single – available for a limited time only.

Multiple Grammy Award winner Davis said: "Zeppy has had type 1 diabetes now for over a year. It's a battle for me, it's a battle for him, it’s a battle for everybody.

"I have to constantly monitor his glucose, I have to constantly hurt him and stick him with needles, and he doesn't understand.”

He added: "JDRF gives me hope. I want to support this wonderful organisation that is fighting tooth and nail to help these little kids out. It's a horrible disease and I hate seeing kids in pain. Let’s find a cure for this bull****, please.”

Davis has "hope for an artificial pancreas" for his six year old son, which he has been reading a lot about since the shock diagnosis. And he isn’t the only global rock star calling on people to unite against type 1 diabetes. Only recently did Este from Haim – who lives with the condition – announce her support for JDRF too.

Watch Jonathan Davis talk about So Unfair and the inspiration behind it in this video (contains swearing). Korn will be touring the UK in January next year. 

10
Dec

Winners announced of 2014 research photo competition

We asked our researchers to send in images that showed their research in action, for the chance to win a £500 travel bursary (£250 for the runners-up). Here are the winning entries, with explanations from the researchers themselves.

1st place

Georgios Ponirakis, Clinical Research Coordinator at The University of Manchester

The photos show our team using In Vivo Corneal Confocal Microscopy (IVCCM) to test for nerve damage caused by type 1 diabetes. Nerve damage is a common complication of diabetes, so a rapid, non-invasive, clinical assessment technique for its detection - such as IVCCM - is useful to predict and prevent further complications.

We hope that by screening for long-term complications early on, we can prevent them from developing.

2nd place

Dr Sarah Cross, Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM), University of Oxford

In June 2014, the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism held its first public engagement event, entitled 'Unravelling the Mysteries of Diabetes'. Our aim was to create fun and interactive ways to explain, to both adults and children, the diabetes research that is carried out in our centre, in order to make our research more accessible to the general public.

This photograph was taken during one of the guided tours of the DRWF Human Islet Isolation Facility, in which we demonstrated how we collect the parts of the pancreas that make insulin, the islets of Langerhans, from a donated organ in our clean room labs. These tours proved extremely popular with the public, who were able to discover both the long history of islet transplantation research in Oxford and how it is now translated to the clinic to combat hypo unawareness and allow insulin independence in patients with severe type 1 diabetes.

3rd place

Dr Sarah Cross, Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences and Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM), University of Oxford

Islet transplantation is a classic example of recent research in type 1 diabetes that has enabled a novel treatment to be translated from 'bench to bedside'.

This series of photographs illustrates the process of human islets being extracted from a donor pancreas, infused into the recipient’s liver, and the transformation of a patient’s life from life-threatening hypo unawareness to stable blood glucose levels (and, in this patient, prolonged insulin independence). The microscopy image demonstrates the complex structure of the pancreas and the ongoing challenges of islet isolation. This challenge forms a central component of our JDRF-funded research.

10
Dec

Young singer dreams of Christmas hit with type 1 diabetes awareness song

JDRF supporter Phoebe Maddison – who lives with type 1 diabetes – has released a single to raise awareness of the condition.  

The song, My Life, has been written with the aim of explaining to those unaffected by type 1 diabetes what life is like for children and teenagers who have to live with it every day.

Speaking to the Swindon Advertiser, ten year old Phoebe said: “The song uses the words of children who are diabetic. It’s letting them express themselves. It’s very powerful and emotional and tells you what diabetes is really about.”

She added: “It would be my dream to get a number one at Christmas.”

The lyrics were written by Steve Paxton from Nuneaton, who has two children that also live with the condition. He said: “Any parent of a type 1 child will tell you how difficult it is for friends and even family to appreciate what they go through every day just to stay alive.”

He added: “The purpose of the song is to give children with type 1 diabetes something they can play and say: If you want to know what it’s like for me, this tells you.”

Phoebe is very use to being in the public spotlight and championing type 1 diabetes issues. Earlier this year she won an International Emmy Kids Award for her appearance in BBC documentary Same But Different – about the condition.

Music written by Jack Fletcher, My Life is available as a CD or to download here. All money raised from the sales of the song will be donated to JDRF.

If you want to spread the word on type 1 diabetes too, why not sign up to be a T1 Youth Ambassador? Help set the facts straight on the condition – find out more here.

26
Nov

Breath test device could help diagnose type 1 diabetes in children

The potential to quickly diagnose children with type 1 diabetes before the onset of serious illness could be achieved using a simple, non-invasive breath test, according to new research reported today in Journal of Breath Research and the Daily Mail

A team of researchers from Oxford have linked a sweet-smelling chemical marker in the breath with a build-up of potentially harmful chemicals in the blood that accumulate when insulin levels are low. It is hoped these results could inspire the development of a diagnostic device to identify children with new diabetes before the onset of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). 

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF in the UK, said to the Mail: “Early diagnosis of type 1 diabetes is crucial if people are to avoid being hospitalised with diabetic ketoacidosis. This is life-threatening and extremely traumatic for the individual’s wider family.

“Any new knowledge from research that could help doctors to diagnose people more swiftly is to be very warmly welcomed. I hear far too many stories from people who were turned away by their doctors after their first visit.’

She added: ‘The best known symptoms of type one diabetes are the “four ts” - more visits to the toilet, increased thirst, increased tiredness, and getting thinner. But sweet-smelling breath, also known as pear drop breath, is another important clue. Some or all of these symptoms can be present.’

DKA occurs when a severe lack of insulin means the body cannot use glucose for energy and starts to break down fat instead. Organic compounds called ketones are the by-product of the breakdown of fat and, if left unchecked, can build up and cause the body to become acidic. Acetone, which is the simplest ketone, is one of the by-products produced in the development of DKA and is usually disposed of through the breath.

Professor Gus Hancock, one of the researchers behind the study, said: “Our results have shown that it is realistically possible to use measurements of breath acetone to estimate blood ketones. 

“We are working on the development of a small hand held device that would allow the possibility of breath measurements for ketone levels. Currently testing for diabetes requires a blood test which can be traumatic for children.”   

 He added that the test could be used in children already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, to establish if their condition was deteriorating by “providing a warning of the possible development of DKA.”

Being newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes can be a daunting time for anyone. For parents, adults and teenagers – JDRF has a range of useful resources to help.

21
Nov

JDRF Chief Executive supports calls for greater recognition of insulin needs in developing countries

JDRF’s Chief Executive in the UK is supporting calls for greater recognition of the needs of people with type 1 diabetes in developing countries.

Speaking in praise of the #insulin4all campaign that was launched for World Diabetes Day last week, Karen Addington is calling on people to join this significant awareness raising initiative.  

The campaign – formed by The Pendsey Trust and T1International – is drawing attention to those with the condition who struggle to survive in countries where they cannot afford insulin and other essential diabetes management tools.

Mrs Addington said: “While treatments and technology to manage type 1 diabetes are constantly improving for those with the right access, thousands of people still lack the life-dependent equipment they need to live with it. Surviving and thriving with the condition should not depend on where you live.

 “At JDRF we fund the best type 1 diabetes research worldwide and we’ve seen more progress in the last five years than we have in the past 50. There have been remarkable breakthroughs recently, and when more pioneering diabetes technology comes to market in the future, it is my hope that everyone can eventually get access.”

World Diabetes Day was celebrated on 14 November – the day of Frederik Banting’s birthday. It was this gentleman – along with Charles Best – who discovered insulin back in 1921. Before then, type 1 diabetes was a death sentence for everyone.

20
Nov

Artificial pancreas could arrive sooner – if Government can deliver on plans announced today

Government plans to cut wait times for new treatments in half could be a major boost in the fight to deliver the artificial pancreas for those living with type 1 diabetes, according to JDRF.

The Times reported this morning on the Government’s attempt to drastically increase the speed at which the NHS can introduce new therapies.

The newspaper reports that outside of the parameters of the usual clinical trials system, Ministers also want to test individual patients with promising new drugs and analyse their anonymised data to discover much more quickly how effective certain treatments are.

Minister for Life Sciences George Freeman said: “I want to ensure that patients up and down the country can get access to important innovations as soon as possible. By revolutionising the way in which we look at getting medicines and devices into the NHS we will make sure that this country is the best place in the world for 21st Century medical innovation."

Sarah Johnson, Director of Policy and Communication at JDRF, responded by saying: “It is a real concern for JDRF that new treatment developments emerging from research into type 1 diabetes take so long to reach people. We work as hard as we can to reduce the timeframe, but there are significant barriers in the way. Any measures that seek to break down these barriers, while maintaining patient safety, are to be welcomed.”

She added: “The artificial pancreas has been developed with the support of JDRF. It is now in advanced human trials, and promises to change lives for those with type 1 diabetes. We are committed to making it a reality – and helping to ensure all those in the UK living with the condition who want it can access it.”

19
Nov

X Factor mum affected by type 1 diabetes to help JDRF shed light on condition

2014 X Factor contestant Helen Fulthorpe – whose son lives with type 1 diabetes – has become an ambassador for JDRF. She will help JDRF to raise awareness of the condition, and will be performing at its annual Christmas Celebration Concert in London this December.

The 34 year old mother of two knew nothing about type 1 diabetes until her son, Joseph, was diagnosed with the condition last year. Now passionate about supporting JDRF and its mission, she said: “I think it is so important to inform people about type 1 diabetes, and support and help those affected by it too. I am honoured to be an ambassador for this amazing charity.”

In 2007, after training as a dental nurse, Helen had a sudden change of heart and decided to embark on a career in music. Her two children then decided to apply for the X factor on their mother’s behalf. Helen impressed both the audience and the judges and reached the last few stages of the competition.

Helen will be performing at the JDRF Christmas Celebration Concert on Saturday 6 December.  She will be joined by the show stopping Fulham Brass Band and the Type 1 Children’s Choir. There will be Christmas drinks, mince pies and general festive cheer. All proceeds from the event will go to JDRF.

Louise Ingham, Development Manager at JDRF said: “Helen has the most wonderful and dazzling stage presence. I am really delighted to be welcoming her to this year’s Christmas Concert! A big thank you to Helen – and every other participant – for supporting our mission to eradicate type 1 diabetes.”

Tickets for the concert are £20 and under 16’s go free.  For more information and to buy yours before they sell out, visit our website here.

17
Nov

Rockstar Este Haim talks type 1 diabetes to JDRF – and makes global call to ‘kick this thing in the butt!’

Musician Este Haim – part of the international best-selling group ‘Haim’ and who lives with type 1 diabetes – is raising awareness of the condition and fundraising for JDRF.

Este was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 14 years old and is a member of the group with her two sisters – Danielle and Alana. Speaking to JDRF in the US at a California fundraising event on Saturday, she said: “type 1 diabetes takes a lot of planning. It’s no joke. You’ve got to take it seriously.

“My sisters are like my cheerleaders. Having support is really, really important – I’m so lucky I have them with me.”

In 2013 Haim were awarded the ‘Sound of 2013’ by the BBC. And in 2014 they received ‘Best International Band’ award from NME. Este told the BBC this year how she once ‘nearly died’ having a hypo while performing on stage at Glastonbury.

Calling on others to join her in fundraising for JDRF, she said to KTLA News: “I know we can help fund a cure together…let’s do this and help me kick this thing in the butt!”

Este took part in a JDRF Walk last weekend – an event which takes place globally. And only recently, did thousands of JDRF supporters #WalktoCure Diabetes across the UK. 

Find out how you too can get involved with JDRF.

17
Nov

Thank you to all of our wonderful supporters – you’ve made #TypeOnesie 2014 an incredible success

It was World Diabetes Day on 14 November. And for the second year running, JDRF supporters up and down the country embraced our #TypeOnesie campaign.

From schools to celebrities and work places to universities – you donned your best all-in-one, had fun and helped support vital type 1 diabetes research! Specifically, you’ve helped us fund research like a smart insulin – which could mean only one injection a day for people living with type 1 diabetes.

Sam Loxton has lived with the condition for 27 years. He did a #TypeOnesie golf night for World Diabetes Day and raised over £4,600 for JDRF. He said: “I’ve seen incredible developments in the technology available to treat the condition.  And this would not have been possible without research –that’s why I’m willing to look silly and try raise the much needed funds to help JDRF find a cure for type 1 diabetes.”

33 year old Natalie Wood took part in a #TypeOnesie event in Hampstead because her brother lives with the condition. She said: “He’s shown me that we are very much in control of our lives, not the conditions we have.  His endless strength and determination is an inspiration to everyone he meets – a #TypeOnesie of a kind!”

Thousands of you took to Twitter and Facebook and showed how serious you are about raising awareness of type 1 diabetes. Here’s just some of your brilliant efforts.

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF, said: “The dedication of our supporters – shown clearly through the #TypeOnesie campaign – is incredibly humbling. Social media has been alight with so many fantastic World Diabetes Day activities. #TypeOnesie or not – thank you for fundraising for JDRF and sharing with us everything you’ve been doing in support of type 1 diabetes research.”

It’s not too late to get involved. To show your support for World Diabetes Day – visit our donate page.