The Pendsey Trust has some amazing supporters, amongst them are an army of young people who make a huge difference to the lives of young people living with diabetes in the developing world. In this blog we want to tell you about Amy, an inspirational young lady who has not let type 1 stop her!
Amy is 11 and was diagnosed with Type 1 last year, which she now manages well with an Omnipod pump. Amy is a member of her local athletics club, plays netball for her school, does cross country and generally loves sport. Amy leaves junior school this week and will start Secondary in September, which will involve independent travel on buses & trains. Amy also like science and is looking forward to a career as a forensic scientist when she leaves school. Type 1 diabetes will not get in her way, with an NHS free at point of use to provide her medical care, plus free high school education, Amy can be confident that if she puts her mind to it, she can be and do whatever she wants and her condition will not stop her. Lets contrast this to the lives of the children The Pendsey Trust supports in developing regions of the world.
Type 1 Diabetes is a life changing and life threatening condition; without insulin, coma and death develops within days. Everyone is insulin dependent, insulin is as essential to life as nutrition, oxygen & water. People with type 1 diabetes can no longer produce their own insulin so they need to inject it or infuse it via a pump. A type 1 diagnosis in some parts of the world is a death sentence. This is because insulin is not affordable. Diabetes can cost 70% of the household income and it is simply not possible to purchase the items required in order to stay alive. It is estimated around 50% of people in the world who are insulin dependent do not have affordable and regular access to it. It is not known how many people are missing from these statistics because they die before even getting a diagnosis. Most children with T1D in the developing world do not have another birthday after diagnosis and a large percentage do not live beyond a year.
In India, a young person like Amy would not be well enough to participate in sports and would have to leave school. Children who do manage to go to school might find they have to walk several miles over unstable terrain in 45 degree heat. Further to this, Amy would be at a disadvantage because she is female. Despite T1D affecting males as equally as females, we find that around 90% of the young people needing our support are female, this is because they live in a society where females are not seen as equal.
The Pendsey Trust is slowly changing this. In 2014, we provided 100 bikes to get children with diabetes safely to school. Our sponsorship programme links UK sponsor families with a family in India, which ensures that individuals receive the help and support they need until the time comes when they can be self sufficient. Educational grants and scholarships are provided to young people to help them remain in education, become employable and therefore be in a position where they can afford their own insulin and not be a financial burden. Other young people receive business start up grants to enable them to work for themselves. All these initiatives really make a difference.
We could not do this without your help. Our supporters around the UK kindly agree to fundraise for us, Amy and her family held an 80’s themed party, everyone brought a plate of food which was pooled together to make a buffet, guests made a £5 donation to the trust, music was provided and the fancy dress looks amazing! Fun was had, but more importantly, £250 was raised and this will now send 6 children to school or college, giving them the opportunity to look forward to a bright future like Amy does.
Thankyou so much Amy, every penny of this money will be used where it is needed most.
What can you do to raise funds for us? If you would like some ideas or support, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out about our sponsorship programme, click here