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All news

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

Displaying December 2011


Sanofi to conduct a survey of parents who have teenagers and young adults with type 1 diabetes

Do you have a son or daughter aged between 13 and 23 who has type 1 diabetes? Are you ever concerned about their health and diabetes management now that they are becoming more independent?

Sanofi is conducting a survey of parents of teenagers and young adults (aged between 13 and 23) who have type 1 diabetes to highlight any worries they may have for their children’s health and diabetes management. The survey will be used to support the launch of a new, blood glucose monitor (BGM).

If you choose to complete the survey, your son or daughter may then be invited to participate in the second stage of activity which would involve using the new blood glucose monitor.
To take part in the product assessment, your son or daughter must be aged between 18and 23, own an Apple iPhone or iPod touch, have recently left home, e.g. to start university, and be willing to use and assess the BGM over a 1 month period.

If you are interested in being involved and would like to find out more you can get in contact with Claire Nicholson by calling 020 7025 6524 or emailing her at [email protected]


Christmas fundraising

Christmas fundraising in Norton Village

People travelled form far and wide to attend this exceptional Christmas Fair, which was held in Norton Village Hall, Kent and saw hundreds of people attend throughout the day.

Father Christmas arrived by tinsel covered horse and carriage to open the much anticipated event and was received with cheers by villagers young and old alike. 

As well as Father Christmas making an appearance, villagers were treated to a wide variety of stalls, beautiful refreshments, face painting, and tombola. There was even a raffle to win meat ready for Christmas Day!

The event was organised by Jude Childs whose four year old granddaughter Gabriella was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes earlier in the year.

Jude said ‘I was so touched to see so many people come along to support the fundraiser. It meant the world to know that people are as passionate as we are to find the cure for type 1 diabetes’. 

In total the fair has raised over £5,000 for type 1 diabetes research – an absolutely fantastic amount!

Thank you to Jude and Gabriella for your hard work and to everyone who was involved in making the Norton Village Fair a resounding success!


New trial seeks REMOVAL of complications threat

The first patient has just been recruited to join a new, large-scale JDRF-funded clinical trial. This major international research project is seeking to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with type 1 diabetes.

The five-year, £4.25m trial, is being led by researchers at the Universities of Glasgow and Dundee. Known as REMOVAL (Reducing with MetfOrmin Vascular Adverse Lesions in type 1 diabetes), the trial will investigate the effects of a drug called metformin on people aged 40 and over who have type 1 diabetes.

People involved in the trial will be asked to continue their regular insulin treatment but will be asked to add a daily tablet to their treatment regimen. 
They will be given either metformin or a placebo.

Metformin has been used for 40 years in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Although it works by preventing high blood glucose levels, evidence also exists that it can improve blood vessel function, reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and improve the action of insulin on the liver, even for people without diabetes. Small clinical trials using metformin with people with type 1 have been conducted in the past, but the studies have been too small to draw any firm conclusions. The REMOVAL trial should be able to provide doctors with a definitive answer as to whether metformin can help people living with type 1.

Over three years, researchers will monitor the effect of the treatment on the participants’ glucose control, and monitor if there is an effect on their ‘intima media thickness’: a measure of cardiovascular health that can help to predict the likelihood of heart attacks or strokes. This is measured using a simple ultrasound scan of the neck.

Ten hospitals around the UK are participating in the trial, along with sites in Australia, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands. The research team need to recruit 499 more people from around the world (about 250 from the UK) to get involved in the trial.

So if you have type 1, are over 40, and would like to help find out if adding a simple pill to type 1 treatment could help prevent cardiovascular complications of diabetes, why not find out if a hospital near you is involved in the study?


Putting type 1 in the picture

Mrs Chunjing Wang, who works at Birmingham University, has won JDRF’s first ever scientific photography competition. Her image (left) was judged to be both interesting and strikingly beautiful.

The photograph was taken through a microscope, using special fluorescent ‘tags’ to show up different features of an islet of Langerhans being attacked by immune cells.

Blue shows the insulin-producing cells in the islet, while green shows the immune cells which are attacking it. The red dots show cells which are multiplying – as these are mainly seen in green cells this image shows the scale of the immune attack.

The photograph had to fight off strong competition from a wide variety of images from other scientists working on type 1 diabetes related projects up and down the country.

Chunjing has a medical degree and masters degree from China. She is currently studying for a PhD in Dr Lucy Walker’s laboratory. This group is working to understand what makes the immune system attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas leading to type 1 diabetes, with funding from JDRF and other organizations.

The prize for the winning photograph is a £500 travel bursary. Describing what this will mean to her, Chunjing said “I am delighted that my image has won this travel bursary. I will now have the opportunity to travel to a scientific meeting where I can present my research findings and also keep up to date with what other researchers are doing.”

Scientific meetings are vital for scientists to exchange ideas and learn from each other. However, it can be difficult for scientists at the start of their careers, like Mrs Wang, to attend these meetings. This means that they may miss out on early opportunities to interact with other more established scientists, and hear from people working in fields slightly outside their own.

JDRF will be using all of the images entered into the competition over the coming months, through our website and publications to illustrate and explain stories about our research.


Is pure technology the only reason people who use insulin pumps can achieve better glucose control?

Professor Simon Heller, a member of JDRF’s Scientific Advisory Committee has just launched a trial to answer some of the questions he discussed in an interview with Type 1Discovery magazine two years ago…

In Type 1 Discovery issue 50, we interviewed Professor Heller about hypoglycaemia and ways people with type 1 can manage their condition to maintain good control and avoid hypos as far as possible.

In the article Professor Heller talked about both the Dose Adjustment For Normal Eating (DAFNE) programme and the role of technology in treating type 1. He also discussed how complex it is for doctors and people with type 1 alike to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of different ways of treating type 1 for different individuals.

Most research around starting to use an insulin pump in adulthood has been done comparing people who start using a pump with people who continue to use multiple daily injections, without any additional training. This means there is a gap in the research evidence. It is possible that the training people receive when they begin using a pump, particularly around carb counting, may be at least partly responsible for the improvements in control that studies on pump use suggest.

The Relative Effectiveness of Pump Therapy Over MDI and Structured Education (REPOSE) trial seeks to find out if this is the case. Volunteers to the study will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group will participate in the DAFNE course, while the other group will participate in DAFNE and begin using an insulin pump. Both groups will be followed up for two years, and the researchers will collect information on how glucose control in both groups changes during the trial. They will also collect a range of information about how people in the trial feel about their type 1 treatment, their quality of life, and importantly their fear of hypoglycaemia.

The results of the trial will help doctors and decision makers within the NHS to understand how information and training can work alongside different technical ways of treating type 1 diabetes. If the trial demonstrates an added benefit of insulin pumps above injections then the hope is that diabetes teams may be more willing to refer people for pump therapy which is relatively underused in the UK.

The trial is completely funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme. It is currently recruiting volunteers all around the country: if you are over 18, do not use a pump and have never done the DAFNE course, why not get in touch with the REPOSE team to see if a hospital near you is involved in the study?

Please contact:
Diana Papaioannou, REPOSE Trial Manager 
email: [email protected] phone: 0114 222 0766
Lucy Wraith REPOSE Trial Support Officer 
email: [email protected] phone:  0114 222 0866


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 [email protected]


Vote for Amelia Lily to win the X Factor!

Last week Amelia Lily made it through to the final of the X Factor. The 17 year old has spoken publicly about her experience of living with type 1 diabetes. Many of you have been in touch to let us know the singer has been an inspiration, proving that type 1 diabetes need not stop you fulfilling your dreams.

Amelia tweeted "Guys can't even thank you all enough for voting for me! I'm so grateful, can't believe I'm In the final of TXF!"

JDRF has been backing Amelia since the early stages of the show and we wish her all the best for the final. We know she'll go on to do great things and look forward to following her career post X Factor, but would love for her to win!

If you do tune in to the show on Saturday, please support Amelia by picking up the phone to vote for her to win. Telephone voting numbers will be available on The X Factor homepage when the vote opens on Saturday night.There won't be the chance to text vote in the final.


Christmas lights

Type 1 Youth Ambassador gets into festive spirit of fundraising

JDRF Type 1 Youth Ambassador, Karl Beetson from Northamptonshire, is raising awareness about type 1 diabetes, and funds for JDRF this Christmas by lighting up his house.

Karl and his family have decorated the front of their house and are asking for donations to JDRF from visitors who are coming to view their Christmas-tastic display! 

From 24th November until 31st December the public can come to the Beetson's house and view the festive show that has already raised over £450 for JDRF and the type 1 diabetes research we fund.

For more information please visit Karl's website