In this feature we would like to bring you up to date with a few of our ‘Star Supporters’. Through fundraising of their own, and as a response to similar life situations they are dealing with, have made the generous decision to sponsor children at The Dream Trust.
“December 2014 marked the first anniversary of our son Oliver being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 6 years old. I now know that a diabetes anniversary is called a “diaversary” and whilst diabetes seems a strange thing to celebrate, we felt it was important to mark the occasion and after all, Oliver was treating it like it was his birthday. We were proud of Oliver and all that he had achieved in the 12 months post diagnosis, he was complying with his treatment, he had learnt how to explain his condition to others, his health was improving, had good results at school and he had fundraised for various diabetes charities.
“World Diabetes Day was just before the diaversary and we became aware of the #insulin4all campaign. Type 1 diabetes is a life threatening illness and sadly, when insulin is not available, it is a fatal illness. We were shocked to learn that children in some developing countries only survived for a few months post diagnosis. Sometimes, children are never diagnosed, instead they fall into diabetic comas; their parents not having the resources needed to take them to see a Doctor. It seemed so unfair to us that someone else’s child should be given a death sentence just because they do not have access to life saving insulin. Children who do receive insulin find that it costs 60% of their family’s income, which pushes them deeper into poverty and means children have to give up school and go out and work instead. Females especially are seen as a financial burden as it is difficult for them to find a husband due to the expense of insulin treatment. We had spent a lot of time raising money in order to find a cure for type 1, but insulin undoubtedly works and keeps a child healthy. Many parents would love to have what we have in the UK: a readily available supply of insulin for free on the NHS. Thankfully, there was something that we could do to help those who do not have this; we decided to raise money and sponsor a child in India via The Pendsey Trust.
“We held a raffle at Oliver’s party and now sponsor Ruchita, a 9 year old girl from Chandrapur, India. Her Dad is a labourer and he has to take Ruchita to Nagpur to obtain her medical supplies; a round trip of over 200 miles, which they do on public transport. This is the equivalent of Leeds to Newcastle and back on rickety, uncomfortable public transport and in a hot & humid climate. Thanks to our sponsorship, Ruchita can continue to receive her medical treatment at the centre, learn to manage her condition, stay in education and look forward to a happy and healthy future.
“We like the way that The Pendsey Trust is run by volunteers, there are no administrative costs and we are confident that every penny gets through to building a better future for children like Ruchita. I like to think that our money relieves some of the financial pressure and gives other parents hope. We will continue to sponsor Ruchita until she can support herself one day. We are confident this day will come because whilst she will get the ongoing medical care she needs, this will be coupled with educational opportunities, enabling the dream of a brighter and self sufficient future to be a realistic dream. In the meantime, we look forward to becoming more involved with The Pendsey Trust and seeing the difference that can be made”.
Dilan has been one of our biggest supporters in the past year, and undertook an adventure of a lifetime when he trekked to Everest Base Camp last year. We were following his progress from before the event, and last caught up with him when he sent us an update from midway through the journey.
This personal fundraiser that Dilan, a diabetes sufferer himself, has undertaken reached it’s climax in November 2015. The reason he challenged himself to the extreme: in aid of sponsoring Guarav, another Dream Trust child. You can find a summary of his latest blog, where he reflects on the final stages of his challenge, and what it meant to be part of this sponsorship project at The Pendsey Trust:
“It has already been 3 months since I was on a trip of lifetime, seeing Mount Everest before my eyes from Everest Base Camp, which involved a 2 week trek in Nepal. My final blog, is the letter that I am sending to Gaurav (the Type 1 Diabetic child whose medication we are sponsoring), as a trek update. I sent Gaurav a letter prior to the trek, and Dr Pendsey (who started the Dream Trust, see previous blogs) informed me that they were both looking forward to hearing an update. Dr Pendsey told the newly diagnosed diabetic children at his clinic about my trek, and I hope them hearing an update on my trek will also show them their goals and dreams can be achieved.
“I am extremely grateful for all the donations received, which go directly to sponsoring Type 1 diabetes medication for Gaurav. His father said “The help we are getting from the Dream Trust is saving Gaurav’s life”, and these words helped motivate me during the trek.
Thanks as always for your support, Dilan Shah.
The Laycock Family
Earlier this year we did a feature on Pendsey Trust Champions, Catriona and Andrew Laycock. It followed their support for our charity, where they talked about how they have been sponsoring Nandini, a Dream Trust child, since 2011. We were lucky enough to speak to Polly, Catriona and Andrew’s daughter, who along with her sister (our very own founder and president) had the privilege of meeting Nandini last summer:
“Whilst it is touching to read about and listen to Lucy’s experiences with The Pendsey Trust, the only time I can profess to being truly overwhelmed was arriving at Dr Pendsey’s clinic in Nagpur to meet Nandini. My family had sponsored Nandini for three years and it was only clear now how much of a difference Dr Pendsey is making to people’s lives.
“When we arrived from our business hotel a couple of minutes away from the clinic, we saw Nandini and her mother and suddenly felt incredibly underdressed in our travel trousers and Pendsey T-shirts. Nandini was wearing an exquisite pink dress, clearly bought specially for the occasion, and her mother was also immaculately dressed despite travelling for hours and hours from their basic home in an impoverished village. Later in the conversation when Nandini’s mother mentioned a picture of Lucy being on her (incredibly small) wall at home, it was clear how poignant this moment was for them. The sponsorship meant everything.
“It was incredible to hear this impoverished family’s story first hand. Nandini’s mother told us of her husband’s depression, of the way that she had gone out to work to try to provide for her family. She was undoubtedly an inspirational woman. Nandini was shy but passionate, studious and with a positive belief in her future. That is what The Pendsey Trust had done for her. Nandini was thrilled just to receive the small gifts we had brought for her such as a pencil case and some pens. Naturally, watching her leave with a bicycle was magical. A bicycle which would allow her to more easily attend vital education.
“Hearing Dr Pendsey talk about children dying from lack of insulin demonstrated the harsh reality that this loving mother could already have lost Nandini without the help of The Pendsey Trust. Instead, hundreds of pounds has given her a thriving eleven year old daughter who is dreaming of becoming a doctor one day to help others with Type 1 diabetes.
“The incredible work Dr Pendsey and his team are doing really does feel a million miles away from my life in London, the consumer capital where people spend hundreds of pounds on a night out, shoes, a watch, not a life.
If, like all these fantastic supporters, you would like the opportunity to sponsor a child at The Dream Trust in India who is suffering from diabetes, please do contact us and check out our main sponsorship page. Help those who do not have the access to insulin and other medicines as easily as here in England, to manage treatment of this life threatening illness, who without our aid find it impossible. Thank you.