A brave Derbyshire toddler recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes is the inspiration behind her mum’s determined crusade to raise awareness and understanding of the condition.
Three-year-old Ava Wood (pictured above with her mum) fell ill in March this year and her parents Carrie and Simon were shocked when they were told she had the condition.
“We were absolutely devastated when we were given the news,” explained Carrie, who is also mum to one-year-old Harry.
“Like most people we knew very little about the condition. And suddenly our lives were turned upside down and we have found ourselves having to face this head-on to ensure Ava is healthy, happy and safe.
“Ava was rushed to hospital and at first she hated what was happening to her, she fought having insulin injections four times a day.
"But within a couple of weeks this little girl totally amazed us, she takes her finger tests and insulin injections with minimal fuss now and understands this will keep her well."
Carrie added that while she cannot take away Ava’s endless insulin injections and trips to the hospital. If she could, she would in a heartbeat, but instead she wants to raise money to help support Diabetes UK’s research into finding a cure for the condition. She also wants to raise awareness.
“Many people think it’s down to what she has eaten. It’s nothing to do with lifestyle. Type 1 diabetes never is and she won’t “grow out of it” like some people have suggested,” added Carrie, who works for Derbyshire County Council.
“There is nothing we could have done to stop this from happening and she will live with it every day for the rest of her life. I can watch her during the day, but at night I worry about her glucose levels a lot and whether they have dropped too low.”
Carrie, Simon and Ava also wanted to pay tribute to Dr Bendefy at Lime Grove Medical Centre in Matlock who Carrie said: "Was brilliant with Ava and arranged the ambulance and a team was waiting for her as soon as she arrived at hospital. She also phoned when Ava was discharged to check how she was."
To kickstart her fundraising plans Carrie is taking part in the inaugural running festival VitalityMOVE at Chatsworth House on Sunday 9 July. The event is the brainchild of Olympic athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill. Diabetes UK is the official charity partner for the event.