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All news

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

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24
Mar

JDRF T1 Youth Ambassadors organise indoor skydives that raise £9,000

JDRF puts on lots of different events throughout the year, but they don't get much more exciting than Come Fly With Us - the indoor skydive which happened on 15 March and raised a huge £9,000 to support JDRF's work to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes.

Organised by JDRF T1 Youth Ambassadors Daniel Walls, Laura Dunion and Mimi Astle, there were three events across the country, in Milton Keynes, Basingstoke and Manchester.

Indoor skydiving is just like normal skydiving, except it’s done in a giant flight chamber that’s a bit like a wind tunnel. 

A big thank you to all who took part, even Rufus who also learnt to skydive.

JDRF will be organising another Indoor Skydive on Saturday 22 November, so keep an eye on the website for more details.

To find out more about becoming a T1 Youth Ambassador, click here »

14
Feb

JDRF supporters raise over £10,000 scaling Aconcagua

Congratulations and a huge thank you to JDRF supporters Steve Stanaway and Brad Lincoln for conquering Aconcagua, the highest peak on earth outside of the Himalayas. They have raised over £20,000, which will be split equally between JDRF and Awyr Las, the charity for better healthcare in North Wales.

Steve lives in Cheshire and is an NHS Consultant in diabetes at Wrexham Maelor Hospital in North Wales. Aconcagua is the highest peak in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres.

Steve said: 'The summit day was enough to test us to our limits especially after all the previous days in tents, in the cold, eating the stuff we were eating, losing muscle mass and being at very high altitude.

'The weather was mischievous on the mountain and we were the first summiters in nine days due to an avalanche risk and high winds. It actually turned on us again just as we hit the summit and we had a difficult walk down to high camp to sleep. For a few days it looked like we may not even get to the top.

'Temperatures dropped to minus 10 at night and windchill outside in the day was even lower. It was the hardest thing I've ever done.'

Before setting off on this incredible challenge in January Steve said: 'Speaking as not only a doctor but also as a dad and inspired and motivated by the fortitude of many of my patients I also want my campaign to in turn inspire young people to set themselves challenges, targets and aims and strive to achieve them. Life is for living and should be embraced. The environment around us is for exploring (and respecting) and any hurdles faced in life are surmountable.'

28
Jan

JDRF supporter to raise money with photoshoot

After raising over £1,000 for JDRF in 2012, Nottinghamshire-based photographer Rob Ferrol is hoping to capture more success this year with his second Rufford Abbey charity photoshoot.

The mass model photoshoot will once again be at Rufford Abbey Country Park, Nottinghamshire and will take place on 17 May 2014. Rob's son Andrew was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of three, and Rob wants to use his passion for photography to help find the cure.

Rob said, “The ruined abbey is a beautiful setting which will create a great opportunity for any photographer wanting to try model and portrait photography, build a portfolio or add new images to an existing portfolio. Over 30 photographers and nine models showed their support in 2012 and it would be great to have an even bigger event this time round. I hope the photoshoot will raise lots of money for JDRF and awareness of type 1, while at the same time providing a unique photographic opportunity.”

To donate go to Rob's JustGiving page and for further details see Rob's website.

03
Jan

Archery teen who lives with type 1 diabetes, has high hopes for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Jess Slater became a member of the Archery GB Northern Performance Academy back in August. She is currently focused on obtaining the relevant scores to enter the Junior European Championships in 2015 and then hopes to reach her ultimate goal of representing Team GB in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

16 year old Jess, of Cleckheaton, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was nine years old. Jess has proven that living with the condition does not have to hold you back, and has her sights set high for international archery success.

Offering advice to others that live with the condition, Jess said: “Having type 1 diabetes can be challenging, but it doesn't have to hinder your routine. You can stay fit, continue with your favourite sport and not let it stop you doing anything. I firmly believe that if you’re determined you can control type 1 diabetes without letting it control you.”

Jess took up archery in September 2009 by completing a beginner’s course with Nova Bowmen Archery Club in Cleckheaton. She has since gone from strength to strength, and recently won first place in the Junior Girl Recurve Under-18 category at the NCAS Junior Inter-counties Championship, where she represented Yorkshire. She is also currently Yorkshire Junior Lady indoor and outdoor champion.

Jess, whose brother Lewis is also a member of the Academy, said: “I'd like to thank everyone who continues to help, encourage and support me when I attend my club shoots, competitions and training. A big thanks also to my mum and dad, who are always there for me, running me to competitions and helping me manage my condition.”

Chris Normington, Development Manager at JDRF, said: “Jess is a real inspiration to people living with type 1 diabetes. The cure will one day be found, it’s just a matter of time, money and excellent research.”

If you would be interested in sponsoring Jess, and helping her reach her Olympic dream, then please contact Simon Slater on sdslater@talktalk.net for more information.

18
Oct

The Millom Mothers – the inspiration behind #TypeOnesie stems from three of our dedicated supporters in Cumbria

JDRF would like to recognise the great work of three incredible mothers- Michelle Lancaster, Kelly Brown and Angela Cummins - from Millom in Cumbria, and their part played in helping us to conceive our #TypeOnesie campaign to mark World Diabetes Day.

Mrs Lancaster’s daughter, Jessie, Ms Cummings’ daughter, Eryn-Lee and Ms Brown’s daughter, Ella, all live with type 1 diabetes. The trio decided to arrange a ‘Onesies for Type 1’ day back in June to raise funds for JDRF – during which, their children and friends  each paid £1 to come to school wearing a onesie.

World Diabetes Day takes place every year on 14 November and this year, JDRF is asking people to be a #TypeOnesie, wearing a onesie for the whole day to raise funds and awareness. 

Chris Normington, JDRF Regional Manager for the North, said: "As a charity, JDRF flourishes on the commitment and the creativity of its supporters. Michelle, Kelly and Angela's onesie-inspired fundraising event was a flash of genius. We thought it was so good that it could make a successful national campaign. Now #TypeOnesie has been launched, and a large number of people are getting involved right across the UK. 

"Michelle, Kelly, Angela and their families should be very proud of the huge impact their idea has had. We've even begun to receive interest in the campaign from as far afield as Canada, so #TypeOnesie could end up going international." 

Mrs Lancaster said: “We hope that this new campaign will highlight the important research JDRF continues to carry out to prevent, treat and one day cure type one diabetes.”

For more information on #TypeOnesie, and if you would like to get involved, then take a look at what you can do this World Diabetes Day.

31
Jul

Are you the type to help someone with type 1 diabetes?

How far will the people of Glasgow go to help a guy with type 1 diabetes?

JDRF has welcomed the launch of a short funny film that has been made by supporters for the charity’s benefit.

The clip features a man stealing drinks and snacks to raise his low blood glucose – while managing to avoid getting punched. This film was kindly paid for by ASCO Group, and produced and created by The Leith Agency, to persuade people to support JDRF’s Walk to Cure Diabetes events.

The Walks take place across the country in September and October.

If you want to show your support, share the video with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter (#jdrfwalktocure). And if you've been inspired, sign up now to your nearest Walk, and show that it’s not just Glaswegians who’ll help someone with type 1 diabetes.

Find your nearest Walk here.

14
Feb

Kicking type 1 diabetes into touch

Michael Thornton, 12, from Canada, has proved that having type 1 diabetes doesn’t stop you living your dreams, after completing football trials with some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including A.S. Roma, Inter Milan, Manchester City and Paris St-Germain.

Michael, who lives in Toronto, Ontario, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes aged six. It was a huge shock as there wasn’t any history of type 1 in the family, but Michael soon began to gain confidence in managing his type 1. He has since proved himself to be a top athlete, completing football trials with some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

Kicking off in Italy

Michael’s international football trials started in 2012, when two Italian scouts were so impressed by a video of Michael's soccer highlights that they invited him to Italy to spend two weeks on trial at AS Roma. While there Michael was fortunate enough to meet the captain of the team, Francesco Totti. In January 2013 Michael returned to Italy to participate in more trials with two other Italian Serie A clubs – Inter Milan and U.C. Sampdoria. Michael captured the attention of the media, being one of the first diabetics they ever had participating in their academy. After receiving a successful report by the coaches and club, he was asked to come back again.

A match with Manchester City

Michael also came to the UK in January 2013 to trial for Manchester City, where he met Roberto Mancini, Head Coach, and players from the first team and former player Mario Balotelli (pictured). Michael was able to talk about living with type 1 diabetes and about JDRF, the work we do and how he is a type 1 ambassador for the charity. He then flew to Paris, France to meet with coaches at Paris St-Germain (PSG) where this would be his last trial before returning to Canada. 

Michael and his parents have experienced a variety of world class soccer clubs and are now left with a decision to where the best environment would be for Michael to grow and develop in football.

Raising awareness of type 1 and JDRF

In August of 2012, Michael was the captain of the Canadian diabetic team, participating in the Medtronic Junior World Cup Soccer Tournament in Switzerland. Michael was lucky enough to meet the Canadian Prime Minister, in Ottawa, in November of 2012 where he raised awareness of JDRF.

He has been heavily involved with public affairs activity in Canada and has shared his type 1 stories with a number of MPs. While he travels the world showcasing his football abilities, Michael is commited to proving that children with type 1 diabetes can compete at the same level as those that don’t have the condition.

Michael said:

'My goal is to play professional football and every success I achieve will be not only for myself but for all individuals living with type 1 diabetes worldwide.'

Read Michael's story in full and watch a video of his trial with A.S.Roma »

Michael showcases his skills to Roberto Mancini

23
Jul

JDRF supporter wins awards for inspiration and positivity

Ten- year-old Kaye Sparrow from Billinge, Wigan, with type 1 diabetes has received two prestigious awards for being an inspiration to other young people and in recognition of her fundraising efforts for JDRF.

Kaye won the St Helens Primary School Pupil of the Year award sponsored by the St Helens Reporter earlier this month. The Reporter praised her attitude saying she was inspirational for not letting a condition which makes everything she does just a little bit harder than for others get the better of her.

She also won the Good Citizen of the Year Award (Young Citizen category) sponsored by Liverpool John Moores University for turning the negativity which can surround type 1 diabetes into positivity, helping raise awareness of the condition and recognising all her hard work fundraising for JDRF.

We are thrilled that Kaye has won two awards and feel that she thoroughly deserves them. On behalf of JDRF she recently delivered an exceptional speech to raise awareness at our T1 Youth Ambassador Action Day to 150 children and attended our type 1 parliamentary event at Westminster earlier this year to speak to politicians and the media regarding the condition.

She truly is an inspiration and she should be very proud of her achievements – well done Kaye!

Kaye is also our Guest Editor for the latest T1 magazine. If you are not already on the mailing list for your child, you can sign up here. 

Alternatively if your child wants to help raise awareness then signed up to be a T1 Youth Ambassador.  See the JDRFT1 website for more information. 

18
Jul

Five marathons in five days

This Sunday, Paul Bowyer will set off on an epic challenge to run five marathons in five days.

He came up with the idea last summer, while he and his brother were enjoying a few drinks. Paul wanted a way to raise money for some of the charities that supported his niece Georgie when she was diagnosed with leukaemia in July last year, and his nephew Charlie when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2008.

Rather than take part in a more traditional charity event, Paul has decided to run from Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool (where Charlie was diagnosed with type 1) to Birmingham Children's Hospital (where Georgia was diagnosed with leukaemia). This will mean running five marathons in five days, from Sunday 22 - Thursday 26 July 2012.

Paul told us:

'This is a very special, poignant run to mark two key events in my niece and nephew's short lives so far. My aim is to reach the finish line each day, regardless of time. I want to raise as much money as possible for my three chosen charities - JDRF, CLIC Sargent and Ronald McDonald House. Throughout everything, Charlie has been extremely brave and taken everything type 1 diabetes has brought him in his stride. He does not allow this condition to get in the way of doing the things his friends do and he is enjoying school which he started in September 2011.'

Paul is hoping for people to join him for some or all of the run, and a number of people are already planning on walking or cycling with him along parts of the route.

So far, Paul has raised £5,000 in total, and £1,500 for JDRF. Visit Paul's website to find out more, get in touch or sponsor Paul.

13
Jul

Adults wanted for type 1 diabetes focus group

JDRF is helping a specialised healthcare market research agency who are looking for volunteers who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 18 or over and within the last six years, to take part in market research in Nottingham. If you think you fit the bill, and are available on Wednesday 18 July, we would love to hear from you. 

Using an indepth interview process we hope to learn about the experiences of a newly diagnosed adult with type 1 diabetes. This will include aspects of your healthcare pathway and lifestyle. 

The research interviews will be at the Talkback studios in Nottingham and should take about one hour. The interview will be recorded. 

If you are interested or want more information, please contact Sharon Hayes on 0800 0196156, who will carry out a short screening interview to check you are suitable for the research project. 

02
Jul

Leeds Spinners raise over £2,500

Leeds office workers donned their cycling shorts to raise over £2,500 for JDRF in the Spin to Cure Diabetes on Thursday 28 June. JDRF was thrilled that so many workers took on the challenge and spent their lunch hour spinning to raise awareness and vital funds to support type 1 diabetes research.

Five teams of five pushed their bodies to the limit over eight-minute interval sprints on static Watt bikes at Wellington Place, Leeds. Teams included staff from Leeds-based KPMG, Eversheds, Addleshaw Goddard, RG Group and Pure Gym.

The fastest team was Eversheds who achieved a distance of 26,458 metres in 40 minutes. Steve Simkins from KPMG was crowned the ‘King of Spin’, covering 5,677 metres and Lenka Benesova from Pure Gym was crowned the ‘Queen of Spin’ with a distance of 5,056 metres (both pictured left).

Macquarie Group worked with JDRF to host the fourth series of bike-a-thons in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Leeds, with Nuffield Heath supporting the event as Fitness Partner. Bikes were provided by TEAMcycles.

Chris Normington, JDRF’s Development Manager for the North, said: 'There was a fantastic atmosphere at the event, with participants cycling hard, the crowd roaring their encouragement and teams cheering each other on to get the best time of the day. We believe the Leeds event will have raised more than £2500, so this is a marvellous achievement and well done to all involved.'

David Fass, CEO of Macquarie Group EMEA, said: 'Macquarie is proud to be a key supporter of JDRF in the UK and we were delighted with everyone’s efforts and would like to say a huge thank you for taking part. Events like this really help JDRF raise the profile of type 1 and we will continue to assist JDRF in its important work for people with type 1 diabetes and their families.'

Visit www.spintocurediabetes.org.uk for further information.

09
May

Going the extra mile for JDRF

On 15 April 2012, Andy Sier embarked on an epic journey to cycle 640 miles in 10 days, all in support of JDRF.

It was Andy’s first long distance bike ride, and involved cycling an eye-watering 64 miles a day (on average), with a combined climb of approximately 17,000ft.

As well as a test of endurance, the journey was an opportunity for Andy to visit some personally significant places. He planned his route to start in Essex (his birth place), and take him through York (his university city) and across some of his favourite parts of the Lake District.

This was also Andy’s first attempt at raising big funds for charity. With £1,300 raised for JDRF so far, it has been a particularly spectacular effort!

JDRF is a charity close to Andy’s heart. His daughter Anna (pictured) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 2, after being mistakenly diagnosed with a urinary infection by several doctors. The family were later told that if Anna’s condition had continued undiagnosed for much longer she would have gone into a coma.

Luckily Anna is now fit and well, and is approaching her ninth birthday. And with fundraising efforts like Andy’s, JDRF can fund more research to help find the cure for type 1.

To read all about Andy’s journey, or donate to his JustGiving page, visit Andy’s blog.

12
Feb

Type 1 fundraiser nominated for aware

A life in the day with type 1

Matthew Thackeray, aged 10 from Hartlepool, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in January 2011. In August he was awarded a certificate of merit for writing a creative piece of distinction, which was selected for publication in a Young Writers Anthology.

The book, Once upon a rhyme 2011, has now been published and here is Matthew’s poem, which he would like to share with everyone. 

Life in a day – A diabetic day

I wake up in the morning feeling like normal
Then I go into my cupboard and get out my injection
I put the needle in my leg
I don’t feel it anymore! 

At school I feel shaky
This means I’m low
I put the needle to my finger
I don’t feel it anymore!

At teatime I check my blood count
I have my injection
I put the needle to my leg
I don’t feel it anymore!

At 8 o'clock its bedtime
I have my last injection
I fall asleep
I don’t feel it anymore!

Matthew Thackeray (age nine).

30
Jan

Simfest

Simfest raises hundreds for type 1 diabetes research

Simfest, a music event organised by Danny Simm and his teenage friends, has managed to raise over £400 for JDRF and type 1 diabetes research. It was held at Fuzzbox Studios in Wigan with local bands like Levelled, Skive and Junction23 performing.

Danny said, ‘It was a fantastic event. We had some great bands performing.  Loor a los heroes went down a storm, Smitten Kitten blew everyone away and The Relays wrapped it up in style. To raise money on the day we shaved Mad Dog Maiden’s hair and raffled off a guitar, photoshoot and vouchers.

‘I decided to put on the event because friends of mine and my grandad have to live their lives with type 1 diabetes. This has alerted me to the struggle that they deal with on a daily day basis. It made me want to help and feel that I am doing something.’ 

One of Danny’s friends Harry Baxendale said, ‘I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was two and a half and living with type 1 diabetes can, at times, be a pain. But it doesn’t control me. I control it! It means a lot to me that Danny has organised this event to raise awareness and vital funds for JDRF, and it gave the band and me a wonderful opportunity to play to a packed crowd too.’

Danny said, ‘I just want to thank everyone who played, donated a prize and money. Next year we will be back with an even bigger event.’ 

(Pictured left to right: Josh Hindle, Harry Baxendale, Danny Simm, Sam Millar, Paul Mad Dog Maiden)

08
Dec

World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day fundraising thank yous

JDRF would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who decided to Go Blue for World Diabetes Day in November. Here are just a few things people did to help us continue funding vital type 1 diabetes research…

Stella Sass decorated her house in blue lights and the grandchildren iced cakes for a coffee morning at her home. Stella raised £160 for her grandson Matthew, aged eight, who has type 1 diabetes. 

Julie Crookes, whose son has type 1, raised £343 at a 'play the blues' for type 1 diabetes gig.

Andrea Jameson and Phillipa Dawson held an event in their local village hall with a host of activities raising £500. 

Phil Reynolds and other support group members organised a walk around Worden Park in Preston carrying blue lights as the sun went down.

Ashville College Prep School in Harrogate and Dalton St Mary’s C of E Primary School in Cumbria went blue for the day raising £162 and £231 respectively.

Faith Lee, aged five was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in May this year. Her mum and grandma baked over 250 blue cakes raising £120 at Glazebury C of E Primary School in Cheshire. 

Kaye Sparrow, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes earlier this year aged nine, has raised £457 from events including a non-uniform day at her school and a raffle. Friends and family got behind Katie Rose’s fundraising efforts by making biscuits, Christmas cards, and playing guess the weight of the cake and name the teddy games, raising a further £178.

If you would like to ‘Go Blue’ next year, please do get in touch with us by emailing cnormington@jdrf.org.uk

23
Nov

World Diabetes Day

Getting Sorted self-care workshops

'Getting Sorted: Our Way' is a self-care programme for young people aged 12-17 with type 1 diabetes. The unique programme has been developed ‘by young people for young people’ to meet the needs of 12-17 year olds and enable them to manage their condition.

‘Getting Sorted’ sets out to engage young people at every stage of their development. At the centre of the project, young facilitators with type 1 diabetes deliver a sequence of five informative, fun and interactive workshops. These are designed to help young people increase their understanding of the disease, self-manage their diabetes, and thereby reduce the risk of long-term complications.

The 'Getting Sorted' workshops are delivered by trained young facilitators who themselves have a long-term health condition. The workshops focus on the impact the condition has on a young person's life based on the three key principles of:

Self-efficacy: young people should be encouraged to take responsibility for their lives and their condition.

Empowerment: young people should be enabled to develop knowledge, skills, understanding and motivation in relation to their condition. 


Engagement: young people should be fully engaged in the process of managing their condition in a pro-active way.

The workshops are being delivered throughout the Yorkshire and Humber region. To find out more, please contact Lorna Galdas on 07769 239594 or email gettingsorted@leedsmet.ac.uk

12
Oct

Poets and photographers

Poets and photographers unite for unique charity project

41 UK based poets and photographers have worked together to create a unique charity calendar to raise money for JDRF. Poet, Victoria Bennett,  came up with the idea after her son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The calendar features nude male poets posing for each month of the year.  Each image has been shot by a different female photographer. As inspiration for the shoot, the poet and photographer duos were given individual poems, which were donated by a collection of female poets, on the theme of ‘the male muse’. The poems will feature alongside each of the images in the final calendar.

The photography was shot in places of literary inspiration across Cumbria, as well as other locations across the UK. Greta Hall, the former home to Southey and Coleridge, in the heart of the Lake District, was one of the main locations.

Commenting on the project, Victoria Bennett said: ‘After my two-year-old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I was looking for a way that I could help raise money for much needed research into the disease. Those who are good at climbing scale mountains; those good at running enter a marathon. So this was about using my skills and contacts in the arts world to raise money and awareness. It also gave me the chance to explore a theme which interests me: that of the focus on the male muse, as opposed to the female muse.  I hope the project will attract the attention of anybody interested in photography and poetry, as well as people who simply want to support the cause.’

The Naked Muse 2012 Calendar is created and published by Wild Women Press to raise funds to support JDRF’s type 1 diabetes research. The calendar will be available to pre-order from Thursday 6 October 2011, at a special price of £12.99 including shipping (normal price £14.99). To order a calendar visit www.wildwomenpress.com

Also, people can subscribe to a newsletter through the website. They will then receive a weekly PDF newsletter, with articles, extra images, words, and insights behind the scenes of the project up until the launch.

Credits: Dreadlock Alien (aka Richard Grant)/Photo by Tamara Peel/Location Kidderminster.