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All news

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

25
Feb

Type 1 diabetes hero Pennell returns to England rugby squad

JDRF supporter and rugby pro Chris Pennell, who lives with type 1 diabetes, has returned to England’s squad for the Six Nations.

As full-back cover for another player recovering from concussion – he’s now got a chance to edge back into the team – after being injured himself at the end of last year.

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 19, Chris was unsure what this would mean for his future rugby career. But when he heard of other sportspeople living with the condition, he said to the Telegraph: “That gave me instant reassurance and confidence that you can still achieve what you want to achieve.”

In June 2014, Chris became the first rugby player with type 1 diabetes to score a try for England.

Chris – along with his teammates – got behind our #TypeOnesie campaign last year. He said: “There’s been some remarkable work in pioneering type 1 diabetes research recently. Now more than ever is the time to help raise funds for JDRF.”

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF in the UK, said: “Living with type 1 diabetes certainly doesn’t have to stop you from achieving great things – Chris proves this. He is a brilliant role model for people living with the condition.”

Find out what other high-profile celebrities JDRF is grateful to have the support of here.

20
Feb

Who is your type 1?

For Valentine’s Day we asked you to tell us who your loved one with type 1 was. Here are your wonderful images you sent in response.

Whether you have type 1 or love someone who does, support from partners and loved ones can make a big difference. So let's thank those who are here for us every day! 

For a chance to meet some new and friendly faces affected by type 1 diabetes, come along to one of our Type 1 Discovery Days. Find your nearest here.

11
Feb

PM David Cameron announces JDRF collaboration for the cure with British Council

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a collaboration involving JDRF and three other leading medical research charities to fund world-class science.

The four charities are working with the British Council to investigate globally challenging conditions and diseases.

JDRF, the British Heart Foundation, the MS Society and Parkinson’s UK are major contributors to the £3.2 million new research programme at leading universities across Britain and Israel. Mr Cameron announced the programme today via Twitter.

Scientists from universities including Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester, Nottingham and Oxford will be using cutting-edge research to find cures for type 1 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s.

These new projects are the latest addition to the British Council’s Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange programme (BIRAX) – a £10 million initiative of the British Council investing in world-leading research jointly undertaken by scientists in Britain and Israel. A call for applications was launched by Mr Cameron last year.

Clare McVicker, Director of Research Advocacy at JDRF in the UK, said: “If medical science is to one day triumph over serious conditions such as type 1 diabetes, international collaboration between the best investigating researchers is utterly vital. JDRF is thrilled to partner with BIRAX to expand its Regenerative Medicine Initiative.”

The type 1 diabetes researchers selected to receive new programme funding will explore exciting aspects of regenerative medicine using stem cell therapies. Regenerative medicine research is an important focus for JDRF given its aim to re-establish insulin production and mediate the immune system’s attack on insulin producing beta cells. This could free people with type 1 diabetes from the daily regime of insulin via injections or a pump.

Madi Jacobson, CEO of JDRF Israel said: "JDRF Israel is excited to take part in the Birax initiative, and proud of the leading Israeli researchers involved. It is truly inspiring to be part of a team which holds investing and promoting innovative medical research in high priority. We trust this collaboration of brilliant scientific minds from Israel and UK will improve the lives of millions affected by type 1 diabetes around the world.”

Alan Gemmell, Director of the British Council in Israel said: “BIRAX combines the best of what Britain and Israel can offer the world; world-class scientists working together to improve the lives of millions of people. When the UK’s education and research sectors engage with Israel, the benefits go beyond our two countries and can be truly universal.”

At JDRF we use the money you raise to fund the best type 1 diabetes research in the world. Find out more about our research programme. 

Learn more about the BIRAX research initiative.

08
Feb

BAFTA nominated The Theory of Everything star supports JDRF

The best-actress BAFTA nominated The Theory of Everything star – Felicity Jones – has shown her support for JDRF.

She’s following in the footsteps of her friend and fellow Hollywood actor Jude Law, who also supports the charity. Both are helping to raise awareness of type 1 diabetes, and are calling on the UK Government to give better support to its medical research.

Talking to JDRF yesterday, Felicity said: “Many medical conditions have such a huge impact on daily life. For some the effects are visually obvious to people. But for others – like type 1 diabetes – it’s not.  I didn’t realise to what extent it takes over – the monitoring, carb-counting, injecting, finger prick-testing.

“At Cambridge, Stephen Hawking revolutionised physics. But the university’s medical science is also amazing. JDRF is funding research there to change the future for those with type 1 diabetes.”

 Felicity plays Stephen Hawking’s first wife in the feature-length The Theory of Everything biopic. And she’ll be at the 68th British Academy Film Awards taking place tonight.  Originally from Birmingham, Felicity has also been nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal in the film.

She added: “I was told about JDRF by Jude Law – who supports its #CountMeIn campaign. It’s a great organisation that’s dedicated to delivering a cure for type 1 diabetes. Until then, it campaigns, it offers support, it does a lot.

“It would be wonderful if more people unaffected by type 1 diabetes knew more about it. So if I can do anything to raise awareness – and help bust some myths – then that’s cool!”

JDRF launched a new manifesto as part of its #CountMeIn campaign last week. Millie’s Manifesto – written by 12 year old JDRF supporter Millie Hainge – is asking politicians to recognise the impact of living with type 1 diabetes.

In the run up to the General Election on 7 May, Millie and JDRF are urging people to share the Manifesto with their MP and the candidates standing for election. To get involved, go to jdrf.org.uk/millie.

Photos courtesy of James Appleton Photography.

06
Feb

Behind the headlines: The Daily Mail – fact or fail?

The Daily Mail this morning reported the results of a study from the Lancet under the headline ‘Women with type 1 diabetes are 40 per cent more likely early to die than men with the disease’.

Yet as many people rightly pointed out in the article comments, this headline is somewhat misleading. It could lead people to think that women with type 1 diabetes more often die much younger than men with the condition. This is not the case.

It’s well-known that, on average, women live longer than men. However, in people who have type 1, both men and women have similar lifespans. This means that the effect of type 1 diabetes on lifespan is more pronounced in women than in men ­– this is where the Mail’s 40 per cent statistic comes from. The effect on women is 40 per cent bigger than the effect on men, which amounts to both men and women living a similar amount of time.

The same is true for the other statistics – women tend have lower rates of cardiovascular disease and stroke than men, so if type 1 puts both genders at a similar level, then the effect of having the condition is much bigger for women. They are not, as the Mail suggests, 37 per cent more likely to die of a stroke than men; it is that the effect for women is 37 per cent greater.

In addition, the overall effect of type 1 diabetes upon mortality is getting less and less every year. Last month, we reported a study that showed that people with type 1 are living longer than ever before, and we are funding numerous projects such as AdDIT to combat the threat of complications.

Despite this, both the Mail article and the Lancet study highlight an important point – women with type 1 are being more strongly affected by the condition than men, and we need to address this discrepancy. Studies have found that women have slightly higher HbA1c levels over their lifetimes, and as long-term hyperglycaemia raises the risk of complications, this could contribute to the difference.

Better treatments to support glucose management – including smart insulins and the artificial pancreas – would go a long way towards reducing the impact of type 1 on everyone.

Sarah Johnson, Director of Policy and Communications at JDRF, said: ‘We know that research has shown young girls and women with the condition are more likely to have poorer blood glucose control than their male counterparts. Whatever the reasons are behind that, what’s certain is that every single early death linked to type 1 diabetes is unacceptable.’

She added: 'One day, the cure will be found. To get there, we need research to be better supported.'

05
Feb

Inhaled insulin launches in the US

Afrezza, the inhaled insulin developed by MannKind and licensed to pharmaceutical company Sanofi, has gone on sale in America this week. This means that American adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can now get Afrezza on prescription as a bolus insulin.

However, the drug is not yet approved for people outside the US, for children or for people with chronic lung conditions.

Afrezza is taken using a thumb-sized inhaler at the start of the meal, and passes through the lungs into the bloodstream. The peak insulin level in the blood occurs around 12-15 minutes after use, making it more similar to insulin produced naturally by the pancreas in people without type 1. Most ‘rapid’ insulins peak 30-90 minutes after use.

This led JDRF to fund a trial using Afrezza in 2010, as part of a programme developing faster insulins for the artificial pancreas. The participants used it at meals to fine tune their blood glucose levels, alongside the slower-acting insulin being given by the artificial pancreas. This led to smaller blood glucose level peaks at mealtimes.

An additional benefit of the drug is that it could be used as by people who do not want to inject insulin. Pierre Chancel, Senior Vice President of Sanofi’s Diabetes Division, commented: ‘There is a recognized need for an insulin that doesn't require an injection, and our organization is committed to making this new treatment option available to patients.’

We previously covered Afrezza in June 2014 when it was approved for sale by the FDA, making it the only inhaled insulin on the market. A previous inhaled insulin developed by Pfizer, called Exubera, was withdrawn after poor sales and suggestions of an increased risk of lung cancer.

04
Feb

New JDRF partnership offers better future for diabetes data access

In response to the growing international hunger for better access to health data, a new JDRF partnership is offering safe, convenient and reliable access to type 1 diabetes data.  The project was revealed in the UK by the BBC’s flagship technology programme – BBC Click – this weekend.

JDRF is supporting Silicon Valley based non-profit Tidepool in creating the app ‘Blip’ – an open source platform for people with type 1 diabetes who use insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors.

Through the app, their real-time data will be visible through a cloud platform, to share remotely with healthcare providers, family members, and others. It hopes to greatly reduce the challenges of living with the condition.

It comes after a growing number of people are taking risks by hacking their diabetes medical kit. Some people are currently hacking their CGMs to upload their diabetes data into the cloud. Others are taking it that step further by ‘reverse-engineering’ their insulin pumps or even attempting to create their own artificial pancreas.

Paramedic Rachel Graham has been hacking her daughter Isabel’s self-funded CGM for several months now. She’s been doing this by altering the way they access its data. 

Bristol resident Rachel said: “We’ve struggled a lot in the past because Isabel suffers from hypo unawareness. But by hacking her diabetes devices I can now see what her levels are just by checking my Pebble watch. I can then send a text to Isabel’s own Pebble watch – and to the school – to let them know if she needs treating.

“I can monitor her from home while she is at school and from the ambulance while I’m on night shifts. Now Isabel can go to the park, see her friends and enjoy a lot more freedom – all while I know if she is OK."

Sarah Johnson, Director of Policy and Communications at JDRF said: “We cannot encourage people to hack their medical devices, unsupervised by professionals. But we understand their urge for better access to diabetes data.

“At JDRF we recognise the importance of reducing the burden of living with type 1 diabetes now – and a way of doing that is through technology. That’s why we are partnering with Tidepool.”

In the long term, this collaboration will increase the data available to type 1 diabetes researchers and speed up developments such as the artificial pancreas – a system that could revolutionise the treatment of the condition in the future. 

Learn more about Tidepool here, and see its feature on the latest BBC Click episode from 06:22 in.

03
Feb

Behind the headlines: a probiotic cure for diabetes?

This morning, the Daily Express ran a headline saying ‘Breakthrough pill can CURE diabetes: New drug fights both types of killer disease’. So is it true, can a pill now cure both type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

Sadly, no. But the study behind the headline is really interesting.

Researchers at Cornell University, led by Professor John March, have developed a ‘probiotic’ pill containing modified bacteria that are typically found in the human gut and given them to rats with diabetes.

Central to the story is a hormone called glucagon-like peptide 1, better known as GLP-1. GLP-1 helps to regulate the body’s response to glucose in a meal. It does this by blocking the production of glucagon, so that glucagon does not act to raise glucose levels in the blood still further.

Professor March’s team engineered bacteria so that they would produce GLP-1, then gave a group of diabetic rats feed supplemented with this new ‘probiotic’ and compared them with a group of diabetic rats with un-supplemented feed. Rats given the supplemented feed developed insulin producing cells in their gut – some of the regular gut cells were ‘reprogrammed’ to make insulin. This meant that they showed significant increases in their insulin levels and the research teams estimated that these cells were sufficient to produce up to 33 per cent of a healthy rat’s insulin capacity.

So while this study does not herald a cure for type 1 diabetes, it does show that GLP-1 may have an important role to play in improving treatment for people with the condition.

GLP-1, and molecules that mimic its effect (known as GLP-1 agonists), have been widely researched in type 2 diabetes, and there are now a number of GLP-1 agonists available to help in treating type 2 diabetes. But these drugs have only recently started being investigated in type 1 diabetes – thanks in part to funding from JDRF.

Rachel Connor, Head of Research Communication at JDRF comments: ‘The Cornell team’s study adds to our understanding of the role GLP-1 and also demonstrates a novel way of increasing GLP-1 levels in the body. It’ll be interesting to see whether the same effects can be observed in humans with diabetes.’

02
Feb

JDRF researchers discover cell behind type 1 diabetes

Researchers at London’s Royal Free Hospital have found the immune system cell responsible for triggering the destruction of insulin-producing cells in type 1 diabetes.

Their finding could lead to new treatments that target this triggering process, potentially offering a way to cure or even prevent the condition.

Type 1 occurs when the body’s own immune system, which is meant to fight off diseases, attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin. Previous research has found that T cells, part of the immune system, are behind the attack, but this is the first time researchers have identified the specific kind of T cell involved.

The London team, led by Professor Lucy Walker, studied T cells from people with and people without type 1. They found that samples from people with type 1 contained much higher levels of molecules associated with a kind of T cell known as a ‘follicular helper T cell’.

These cells have previously been implicated in other autoimmune conditions such as lupus, but this is the first time they have been identified as being behind the autoimmune attack in type 1.

“Knowing more about the type of T cell that causes type 1 is definitely good news for future treatments” said Professor Walker. “It provides us with a new way of thinking about the cells that are causing the problem, and may allow us to develop different ways of interfering with them.”

While the discovery offers potential for research into a cure for type 1, it could also support research into preventing the condition, explained Professor Walker: “Measuring the level of this specific type of T cell in the blood could turn out to be a way of assessing someone's risk of developing type 1 ­– this is an idea we'd like to explore in the future.”

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

30
Jan

JDRF Climb Kilimanjaro Challenge wins national award

A major national fundraising institute has recognised JDRF Climb Kilimanjaro as an award winning challenge event.

Classic Tours UK – the organisation which supports the JDRF expedition – won the ‘Best Challenge Events Partner’ category at last night’s Partners in Fundraising Awards.

Staged by the Institute of Fundraising, it won because of its help in putting on the JDRF challenge in 2014. The world record breaking event saw a group of 31 people – 19 of which living with type 1 diabetes – scale Africa’s highest mountain.

It's not too late to sign up. The JDRF Climb Kilimanjaro will be taking place again in June this year.

Rebecca Tomlinson, Senior Challenge and Sport Fundraising Manager at JDRF said: “This is an incredibly well deserved award! Our spectacular charity challenge events with Classic Tours have raised more than £900,000 for JDRF so far.

“A once in a life time opportunity – we look forward to another Kilimanjaro adventure with them this year.”

For more information, and to sign up, go to jdrf.org.uk/kili.

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.