Welcome to the second blog in our new feature which focuses on some of The Pendsey Trust’s supporters and why they chose to become involved in improving the lives of individuals living with Type 1 diabetes in India.
Although April has quickly passed us, our star supporter for April is Catherine Llewllyn from London. Catherine has being involved with The Pendsey Trust right from the start and here we talk to her about why she has chosen to get involved with making a difference to the lives of young people with diabetes in the developing world.
So Catherine, how did you first hear about The Pendsey Trust?
I have been involved with the Pendsey Trust since its early days after studying at university with Lucy (Laycock – founder and President of the Trust) and hearing her inspiring stories from her visit to India meeting Dr Pendsey and his patients.
What made you want to get involved?
As many people are, I am very saddened that the people The Pendsey Trust helps suffer and sometimes even die; when there are medicines in the world that can help them this is so avoidable.
That’s right, the issue is deeper than insulin access, many of the families we support also face a terrible stigma which is still associated with diabetes in many countries; only this month, Laksmi, one of the children we supported, sadly died in such circumstances.
I know, I was very saddened to hear of Laksmi’s death. I think an important aspect of being a supporter is spreading the word. When I tell friends about the stigma some people with diabetes face, they are genuinely shocked. I think it’s important for people to know that this is happening – we need to give people a voice.
What fundraising events have you been involved in for The Pendsey Trust?
I have helped out with events and looked for venues to hold some of the pub quizzes held by the charity. For those keen to get involved, you will be pleased to know that many pubs are very kind and offer a room if they have one and also throw in prizes!
Does that mean you have sometimes, erm, had a little drink whilst fundraising?
Oh yes, the fundraising events are so much fun, they not only raise essential funds for the important work the trust does, but they provide an opportunity to socialise, network and spread the word about both insulin access and the stigma faced by diabetics in other parts of the world.
What is your hope for the future?
My hope is that The Pendsey Trust continues to grow and that one day people suffering from diabetes in the developing world will have as equal opportunities as everyone else.
Thankyou Catherine, with continued help and support from people like yourself, the charity can continue to grow and help more people living with type 1 diabetes in the developing world. We not only help people access life saving insulin, but we help challenge poverty by providing educational grants and scholarships to enable our young people to become self sufficient with their medical costs. We could not do this important work without people like yourself supporting us.