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Dance the night away to help find a cure for type 1

18 October 2012

This Saturday (20 October) two local mums will be hosting the Sugar Plum Ball at the Castle Hotel, High Street, Windsor to raise vital funds to help JDRF. Enterprising mums Dawn Pritchard and Leyla Watson were spurred on to raise not only funds but also awareness after both of their sons were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of eight.

Dawn and Leyla hope to raise £20,000 and have been busy planning and encouraging people to come and have some fun while helping JDRF to find a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Dawn told us:

'In November 2008, both my son Cameron and Leyla’s son Samuel were sadly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. They were only eight. From that moment our entire families’ lives changed for ever. We could not have known when our baby boys were born that eight years later they would develop this devastating, incurable disease for no obvious reason. On the outside, children with type 1 diabetes look like every other kid. They play sport, go to school and have fun with family and friends, but on the inside they face a lifelong struggle as their pancreas no longer produces the insulin they need to keep them alive. People think injectable insulin is a cure. It’s not. It’s just life support. It allows us and them to manage their disease but not control it.'

Leyla continued:

'Every minute of every day is balancing act of measurements and actions – involving activity, food, emotions and insulin. Diabetes doesn’t take holidays; it doesn’t stop for sleep or celebrations. Cameron and Samuel can’t be carefree like other children. They can’t run on a football pitch and start playing, they have to do a blood sugar test first and take insulin every time they want to eat anything. They have to do at least seven fingertip blood tests every day and have multiple injections just to stay alive. Since they were diagnosed four years ago, they have each done around 10,220 finger prick tests and around 7,000 injections/pump insertions. They are very brave but unless a cure is found they will have to go through this their entire lives.'

The money raised will help to support vital research into finding the cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.  The chronic condition, which can strike suddenly and without warning, affects an estimated 400,000 people across the country, including 29,000 children.

Nicole Gerrard, JDRF’s Senior Fundraiser for the area, said:

'It’s people like Dawn and Leyla who really help to make a difference. Without this kind of generosity we wouldn’t be able to do what we do and I’m entirely grateful for their help.'

If you would like to support, sponsor or attend the Sugar Plum Ball, please email

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